LAFAYETTE, LA, October 20, 2015 – A security video inside LPCC filed in Federal Record shows several inmates outside of their cells inside the Lafayette jail.
The First Amended and Supplemental Complaint for Damages filed in the matter entitled Steven Duplechain, III vs. Michael Neustrom, et al can be found by following the below link:
The supplemental complaint alleges “unit 4E on July 29, 2015 was designated as a special management or lock down unit. The area was designated for housing prisoners in single occupancy cells 23 hours a day and providing for release on an individual basis from their cells for one hour a day.”
The supplemental complaint further alleges: “Despite 4E pod being designated a special management unit the faulty locking devices compounded by low staffing levels, structural changes to the physical plant, changes in security protocols to adjust for physical plant changes and improper supervision/management, prisoners within the unit are able to exit their cells at any time and for any purpose, including to carry out attacks on other prisoners.”
You can view a portion of the video by following the below link:
The Complaint alleges “The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office has exhibited overwhelming and blatant disregard for the safety of Lafayette inmates, many of whom, like the plaintiff in this case, are imprisoned o non-violent charges then subjected to horrible acts of violence inside the jail walls. In this case, both the brutal rape committed by two inmates as well as the shocking attack on an inmate by a Deputy Officer are chilling examples of the deteriorating situation at the jail in downtown Lafayette.”
The Complaint for Damages is one of three recent complaints filed in Federal Court against the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office a widespread pattern of violence resulting from several contributing factors directed at the Sheriff, including:
Excess Prison Population resulting in a breakdown of facility operations and increased violence;
Understaffing resulting from a failure of appropriately and adequately assess staffing needs;
Physical Structure inadequacies and the operation of the physical plant in a manner in which it was never intended;
Inadequate Classification and Separation of Prisoners;
Inadequate Supervision, Oversight and Administrative Controls;
Inadequate Searches and Shakedowns for Weapons and Contraband;
Inadequate Training; and
Deliberate Indifference to the Constitutionally Unacceptable Risk of Violence Faced by Prisoners and Staff.
An internal memorandum authored by Director of Corrections Rob Reardon which reads: “…the oppressive environment that has to have been either there or constructed by myself resulting in some aspects of this issue.” Reardon would later continue: “I now wonder not only what documents are being forged, but who is being physically abused, not being allowed out of their cell, not being allowed medical treatment, so forth and so on…” Reardon would also state: “My concern is the concept of draconian controls that the middle management believes to be in place. I believe I have played some role in that with the placement of Captain XXXXXX into the jail and then Captain XXXXXX. Both decisions apparently poor ones but the best candidates at the time. It is apparent that either the middle management feels so inhibited or does not have the capacity to bring concerns forward.” Reardon would conclude: “The new entry level employee is supposed to take direction from individuals that they know are falsifying documents or worse. How are the first line level staff supposed to follow any direction given by this middle management group?”
The other two recently filed suits are:
L.M. Vs. Neustrom, et al (U.S. Western District; Docket No.: 6:15-cv-02524)
J.H. Vs. Neustrom, et al (U.S. Western District; Docket No.: 6:15-cv-02525)
Other suits handled in recent years by the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess against the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office include:
Rakestrau Vs. Neustrom, et al (U.S. Western District; Docket No.: 6:11-cv-01762)
Thomassee Vs. Neustrom, et al (LA 15th JDC; Docket No.: 2011-2573G)
Howard Vs. Neustrom, et al (U.S. Western District; Docket No.: 6:13-cv-03236)
Please do not contact us regarding this release. No comments will be made outside of what is contained in the public record.
Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess
605 W. Congress St.
Lafayette, LA 70501