The Louisiana State Prison System
In Louisiana, the prison system, which is considered to be the final phase of the criminal justice process, is managed by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections. The department oversees the operation of custody, incarceration, probation, and parole of inmates in the state. However, the state department of corrections is only concerned with all affairs related to the state’s correctional centers. This often involves the classification of convicts into different security levels. Jails, on the other hand, are operated by law enforcement agencies in the county or city. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) manages federal prisons located in Louisiana.
What is the Difference Between Jail and Prison in Louisiana?
The terms ‘jail’ and ‘prison’ are often used together to mean the same thing. However, the major difference between the two terms lies in jurisdiction and mode of operations. Generally, the state department of corrections manages prison facilities while local law enforcement officials maintain jails. State prisons in Louisiana are built to hold prisoners in detention for lengthy periods. They are larger and have more training centers, religious care, and mentoring services than jail. While county jails detain all male and female prisoners, each state prison is gender-specific.
Another distinction between jails and prisons in Louisiana is where they are located. Since most inmates in prisons are in the pre-trial stage of their proceedings or are anticipating sentencing, jails are usually placed within the streets of the courtroom in the center of each city where the prosecutions of the inmates are handled. Most prisons are housed in remote places and are classified as either minimum, medium, or full security. Note that Louisiana is a state with the death penalty. Therefore, the department maintains a death row prison with capital punishment administration services at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola.
How Many Prisons are in Louisiana?
There are 19 jails, nine state prisons, and two federal prisons in the state of Louisiana. The LA DPS&C also manages the affairs of the parole/probation offices and transitional work program facilities. Below are the names of the prisons in Louisiana:
- Ascension Parish Jail
- Bossier Parish Jail
- Caddo Correctional Center
- Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center
- East Baton Rouge Parish Prison
- Iberville Parish Jail
- Jefferson Parish Jail
- Lafayette Parish Correctional Center
- Livingston Parish Detention Center
- Orleans Parish Prison
- Plaquemines Parish Jail
- Pointe Coupee Detention Center
- Rapides Parish Jail
- St. Bernard Parish Jail
- St. Charles Parish Jail
- St. Landry Parish Jail
- Tangipahoa Parish Jail
- Terrebonne Parish Jail
- West Baton Rouge Detention Center
Louisiana State Prisons
- Allen Correctional Center (private)
- Avoyelles Correctional Center
- B. B. Rayburn Correctional Center
- David Wade Correctional Center
- Dixon Correctional Institute
- Elayn Hunt Correctional Center
- Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women
- Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola Prison)
- Winn Correctional Center (private)
Federal Prisons in Louisiana
- Federal Correctional Institution, Oakdale
- United States Penitentiary, Pollock
How do I search for an Inmate in Louisiana State Prison?
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections maintains an imprisoned person locator accessible to requesters searching for inmates in any Louisiana state prison. Requesters can only access the database by calling (225) 383–4580. The central repository is accessible by providing the prisoner’s last name, DPS&C number, or birth date. The search result includes the names, images, and locations of the prisoner. Inmates located in county and city jails are accessible at the office of the sheriff or police department. The department refreshes this repository every day to ensure that it is as precise as possible. Also, to know about any change in a convict’s status, an online tool has been provided called the Louisiana Automated Victim Notification System (LAVNS). LAVNS is available to individuals seeking information regarding the case status and custody of suspects who are still undergoing trial.
Are Incarceration Records Public in Louisiana?
Incarceration records in Louisiana are open to state residents as stated under the public records law. These records may be found under the criminal history files of a prisoner. Approved record custodians are required to provide access to eligible requesters to show the integrity and openness of state agencies. Criminal records may contain police reports, arrest records, court records/dockets, court transcripts, probation records together with incarceration records.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
● The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
● The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state where that person resides or was accused.
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
How to Look Up Jail Records in Louisiana?
The county sheriff or police department provides jail background searches either online or via mail. In person requests may also be preferred by individuals who live close to the city’s police department or county sheriff office. Criminal history records in Louisiana are obtainable at the state levels through the Louisiana State Police (LSP). The law enforcement agency operates an internet background check (IBC) that is accessible using two methods: fingerprints search or name-based search. Requesters are expected to pay $26 for using the IBC. Name searches require information such as the offender’s name, race, sex, birth date, social security number and/or driver’s license number. Note that inaccurate information may produce inaccurate results. Fingerprint-based searches are more expensive and are only accessible by the record holder or by law enforcement agencies approved by the court.
Can Jail Records be Expunged in Louisiana?
According to section 978 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCRP), a criminal record may be expunged or destroyed. Expungement refers to the destruction of documents, and law enforcement authorities will no longer access it. Nevertheless, expungement in Louisiana is probable if an inmate is not guilty of a felony crime. Also, expungement is often granted for ex-offenders that obtained an executive pardon. Such persons can start the process of expungement by contacting the circuit court clerk. At the office of the court clerk, forms will be provided for filing for expungement. Applicants are required to carry a state-approved ID, stamped copies of their forms, records revealing educational background information, and jobs’ history. Applicants should receive an email after the hearing indicating whether their appeal has been accepted or rejected.