Lawsuit: Prisoners may have been forced to bark for food
BATON ROUGE - A lawsuit accuses state prison officials of blocking attorneys from investigating claims that inmates with disabilities are being neglected and abused at a north Louisiana prison.
The federal suit filed Thursday by the Advocacy Center says the New Orleans-based nonprofit has received "alarming" reports of physical and verbal abuse of mentally ill inmates at David Wade Correctional Center.
The suit cites allegations that prisoners have been slapped, punched, kicked, sprayed with mace and bleach and forced to kneel or bend down and bark like dogs for food.
Advocacy Center attorneys visited the prison in June to investigate those claims. But the suit says prison officials prevented them from interviewing inmates and staff.
Corrections Secretary James LeBlanc said he hadn't seen the suit and couldn't immediately comment on it.
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