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MacArthur Justice Center Sues Private Prison for Withholding Information

New Orleans – The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center of New Orleans has filed a lawsuit against Allen Correctional Center, which is run by a private contractor for the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, for failing to respond to a request for public documents regarding inmates who are held in segregation.

“For over nearly two months we have made repeated attempts to obtain the requested documents and the Warden simply refuses to provide the information,” said Katie Schwartzmann, co-Director of the MacArthur Justice Center’s New Orleans office. “All we want to know is who they are holding in solitary confinement and segregated housing. The Warden is illegally obstructing our inquiry and we are now seeking a court assistance.”

The MacArthur Justice Center has made similar inquiries at other prisons in the state. All others prisons have complied.

The formal request for information was received on June 22, 2017. Louisiana law allows five days for information to be provided in response to such an inquiry.

“The public’s ability to inspect public records is a critical to holding the government – and its private contractors – accountable for how they manage public resources,” Schwartzmann said.

The suit asks a court to compel an expedited hearing and the disclosure by Allen Correctional Center of the requested documents.  It also seeks sanctions and attorneys’ fees for having to bring the litigation, which should have been resolved without court intervention or attorney time.

A copy of the Complaint can be found here.

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