This brief addresses the decision by the State of Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) to place Louisiana children in a former death row wing of Angola Prison and subject them to shocking conditions likely to cause severe, lasting harm. Moreover, this devastating deprivation of rights was not imposed equally—Black youth were far more likely to be incarcerated under these traumatic conditions.
Incarcerating young people at an adult maximum-security prison, especially one rife with deplorable conditions and abuse, is a “severe punishment” that contravenes well-established legal principles and best practices. The horrendous treatment young people were forced to endure at Angola violated their constitutional rights and cannot be remedied by simply moving young people to another adult facility. There is no legitimate government interest in unconstitutional practices that cause irreparable harm to children and make communities less safe. As such, this brief seeks redress by asking that the Court affirm the district court’s order granting a preliminary injunction.