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Officials close restrictive housing unit in Louisiana prison

4 months 4 days 13 hours ago Tuesday, May 15 2018 May 15, 2018 May 15, 2018 6:46 AM May 15, 2018 in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ANGOLA, La. (AP) - Officials have closed a Louisiana State Penitentiary housing unit that had been one of the most restrictive within the prison for more than 40 years.

The Baton Rouge Advocate reported Sunday that officials closed Camp J, which at its peak confined over 400 prisoners being disciplined in solitary cells for more than 23 hours a day. Officials primarily cited the Angola unit's infrastructure for the closure saying years of deterioration had created safety issues.

State Corrections Secretary James Le Blanc says the closure also aligned with officials' goal to improve segregated housing. The state Department of Corrections partnered with the Vera Institute of Justice in 2016 to work on an initiative aimed at reducing solitary confinement nationwide.

Vera's David Cloud says the closure is a huge symbolic victory because Camp J was a microcosm of issues.

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