Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women

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Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women
Location7205 Highway 74, St. Gabriel, LA 70776
Temporary main facility:
Jetson Youth Center
15200 Old Scenic Highway (at US Hwy 61) Baker, LA 70714 (physical address)
StatusOpen
Security classmixed
Capacity1100
Opened1961
Managed byLouisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections

Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women (LCIW) is a prison for women with its permanent pre-2016 facility located in St. Gabriel, Louisiana. It is the only female correctional facility of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Elayn Hunt Correctional Center is immediately west of LCIW.[1] LCIW includes the state's female death row.[2] As of 2017 the prison has temporarily moved due to flooding that occurred in August 2016, and its prisoners are housed in other prisons. The administration is temporarily located in the former Jetson Youth Center near Baker. By 2021 the Baker area address was given for the prison on the LCIW website.[3]

History[edit]

In 1961 the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women opened on the grounds of a former prison farm camp. Female inmates were moved from the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola) to LCIW.[4] A 200 bed dormitory intended to alleviate an overcrowding of female prisoners was scheduled to open in the northern hemisphere spring of 1995.[5] In 1995 the state received federal approval for its plan to double-bunk inmates. That way the state could transfer state-sentenced female prisoners who were held in parish jails to the women's prison.[6] The television special 900 Women: Inside St. Gabriel's Prison is about the women inside the facility.[7]

2016 flooding[edit]

In August 2016 the facility, which had 985 prisoners,[8] experienced flooding, ranging from 8 in (20.3 cm) to 3 ft (0.91 m).[9] LCIW, the only state-operated prison to receive flooding during that incident, temporarily closed.[8] It was the first time in state history that the whole population of a particular prison was evacuated to other facilities.[10] The chapel and one other building did not flood.

LCIW prisoners were immediately transferred to the former C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center a facility near DeQuincy, which received 678 prisoners; the private Louisiana Transitional Center for Women in Tallulah, which received 221 prisoners; Avoyelles Parish Jail in Marksville, which received 47 prisoners; and Angola, which received 39 prisoners.[8] By September the prisoners housed near DeQuincy were transferred to the former Jetson Youth Center, a youth prison near Baker which closed in 2014.[11] As of 2017 the prisoners are divided between Jetson, where the administration of LCIW is temporarily located; Angola; and Elayn Hunt.[12]

As of 2019 the prison remained closed as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had not yet determined how much of the facility sustained damage; once this is done the state plans to raze the flooded buildings as it determined that demolition is more cost effective.[13] The new prison will cost about $100 million, with $36.2 million provided by FEMA. It will be somewhat smaller than the former facility and about 0.5 miles (0.80 km) from the original location.[14]

In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic in Louisiana affected various temporary facilities housing LCIW prisoners, many of which were more cramped than the previous LCIW prison.[15]

Facility[edit]

The pre-2016 prison had two per room prison cells as the form. Prison toilets and showers had individual stalls.[15]

Demographics[edit]

As of circa the 2010s the prison has about 1,100 prisoners. 80% of the prisoners had children. Only 126 of the prisoners had sentences of six or fewer years, 126 had life sentences, and two had death sentences. Many prisoners were convicted of drug use and/or of prostitution, as Louisiana law treats prostitution as a sexual offense.[16]

Programs[edit]

The prison has the Program for Caring Parents and the Christmas Extravaganza, and in 2016 women were allowed to participate in some programs offered by Hunt Correctional Center.[16]

Notable inmates[edit]

Death row

Non-death row:

  • Amy Hebert - Convicted of murdering her two children. She was held at LCIW as a pretrial inmate since Lafourche Parish lacked adequate facilities for female inmates who needed medical care,[18] and she remained at LCIW as a sentenced felon.[19] As of 2019 she was held at the Jetson facility.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine." Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Retrieved on August 24, 2010.
  2. ^ "Classification–Where Inmates Serve Their Time." Inside the System: How Inmates Live and Work[permanent dead link]. Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections. 14/40. Retrieved on June 30, 2010.
  3. ^ "Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women". Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Retrieved 2021-07-19. Physical Address 15200 Scenic Highway, Baker, LA 70714
  4. ^ "LOUISIANA CORRECTINS TIMELINE." [sic] The Advocate. March 12, 2000. News 13A. Retrieved on August 29, 2010. "1961 Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women opened in an old prison farm camp at St Gabriel with female prisoners moved from Angola..."
  5. ^ "Women inmates overflow prisons, parish jails in La.." The Advocate. December 1, 1994. Retrieved on August 29, 2010. "this spring when the state opens a 200-bed dormitory complex now under construction at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel"
  6. ^ "State to double-bunk women inmates." The Advocate. November 18, 1995. Retrieved on August 29, 2010.
  7. ^ "900 Women: Inside St. Gabriel's Prison." The New York Times. Retrieved on August 29, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c Lau, Maya (2016-08-30). "Louisiana women's prison shuttered after flood, nearly 1,000 inmates relocated to various lockups". The Advocate. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  9. ^ Nakamoto, Chris (2016-08-23). "Crews begin cutting road to relieve flooding". WBRZ. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  10. ^ Chawla, Kiran (2016-08-24). "Mold growing inside women's prison where floodwaters refuse to recede". WAFB. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  11. ^ Chawla, Kiran (2016-09-09). "Hundreds of evacuated female inmates transferred to closed EBR youth center". WAFB. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  12. ^ "Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women." Louisiana Department of Corrections. Retrieved on June 29, 2017. Archive, Archive #2
  13. ^ Toohey, Grace (2019-04-20). "'Temporary has become permanent' for displaced inmates of flooded Louisiana women's prison". The Advocate. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  14. ^ Gill, Lauren (2019-10-29). "Louisiana To Build New Prison For Women Displaced By 2016 Storm". The Appeal. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  15. ^ a b Skene, Lea (2020-06-07). "After Louisiana women's prison flooded in 2016, temporary dorms inundated with coronavirus". The Advocate. Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  16. ^ a b Piche, Brianna; Kieu Tran; Josh Auzenne (digital). "Mother tells of life behind bars". WAFB. Archived from the original on 2016-12-27. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  17. ^ "Ex-officer denies link to bone find." Associated Press at The Dallas Morning News. November 12, 1995. Retrieved on October 14, 2010. "Robert Jenkins, Ms. Frank's attorney, said he discussed the case with Ms. Frank last week at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel, where she is awaiting execution.."
  18. ^ Fontenot, Brian (2007-08-28). "Hebert transferred to St. Gabriel". Houma Times. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  19. ^ Ruffin, Sophia (2009-05-20). "Mom will live out her days at state prison". Houma Times. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  20. ^ Copp, Dan (2019-04-03). "Mom who killed her kids loses final appeal". Daily Comet. Retrieved 2019-05-11. Hebert is serving out her life sentence in the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in Jetson.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°15′47″N 91°04′23″W / 30.26306°N 91.07306°W / 30.26306; -91.07306