Judge: Louisiana penitentiary medical care unconstitutional

Louisiana News

FILE – In this May 9, 2011, file photo, the Louisiana State Penitentiary is viewed at Angola, La. A federal judge says medical care at Louisiana’s state penitentiary is so poor that it violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution. U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick’s ruling on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, says there are “overwhelming deficiencies” in the administration of medical care at the lockup in Angola that have led to undiagnosed illnesses and preventable prisoner deaths. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge says medical care at Louisiana’s state penitentiary is so poor that it violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick’s ruling says there are “overwhelming deficiencies” in the administration of medical care at the lockup in Angola that have led to undiagnosed illnesses and preventable prisoner deaths.

The Baton Rouge-based judge’s ruling came in a 2015 lawsuit. It cites inadequate equipment and staffing.

And it lists multiple examples of inmates suffering or dying due to failure to address symptoms and provide proper diagnoses and treatment.

Prison officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

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