The set-up of the Department can be confusing to many people. Constitutionally, it is one Department. Practically, the Department is divided into three areas:
1. Corrections Services oversees the assignment and care of adults in custody, including those under Probation and/or Parole supervision.
2. Public Safety Services is comprised of Louisiana State Police, the Office of Motor Vehicles, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Highway Safety Commission.
3. The Office of Juvenile Justice is responsible for youth in custody.
Each entity reports directly to the governor. The secretary of the Department of Corrections oversees Corrections Services.
At present, there are more than 36,000 people serving time for state felonies. Louisiana simply doesn’t have the capacity to house all of people serving time for state felonies in state correctional facilities. Capacity at state facilities is just under 19,000. Therefore, the state relies upon parish and private facilities throughout Louisiana to house and care for people serving time for state felonies. The state reimburses these entities for housing people serving time for state felonies.
All people in prison should only have access to telephone services through the provided phone system at the facility where they are assigned. Each individual at a state operated correctional facility is limited to having up to 20 approved numbers on his/her master telephone list. This includes all family, personal, and legal contacts.
Changes to an individual’s master telephone list can be made on a quarterly basis and is directed by the administration of the facility. To set up billing accounts for phone service or if there are problems receiving calls, family members may contact (1-800) 844-6591 for telephone related inquiries. Prison telephone services are currently provided by Securus Technologies. The staff at this number and website will not be able to assist in approval of contact lists.
People serving time for state felonies who are housed in local level facilities must utilize the phone systems that are set up in those facilities. Information on how to use the system can be obtained from the staff at the assigned facility by the person incarcerated at the facility.
In no instance is a person in prison allowed to possess or utilize a cellular telephone while incarcerated. Family and friends are warned not to send or bring cellular telephones to people in prison and doing so will result in prosecution for introduction of contraband into a correctional facility and may be subject to a fine up to $2000 and up to five years in prison.
People in prison are first encouraged to speak with staff if they have an issue of concern or need. However, if for some reason communicating with a staff member is not helpful, he or she is asked to put his or her concerns in writing and submit the letter to appropriate staff. Lastly, if these mechanisms do not answer the question or address grievance of the person in prison, he or she may submit the issue through the Administrative Remedy Procedure (ARP).
The Department and all local jails housing people serving time for state felonies have established Administrative Remedy Procedures (ARP) through which a person in prison may, in writing, request a formal review of a complaint related to any aspect of his or her incarceration. Such complaints include actions pertaining to conditions of confinement, personal injuries, medical malpractice, time computations, or challenges to rules, regulations, policies, or statutes. Through this procedure, people in prison shall receive reasonable responses and, where appropriate, meaningful remedies.
People in prison are assigned to facilities based on custody classification, space availability, level of care designations (medical and/or mental health), and many other contributing factors. While DPS&C would like to make assignments with only geographical considerations in mind, it is not possible to do this based on the demand for beds in various areas of the state. As such, people in prison are placed in locations that best meet their needs and the space needs of the Department.
Written transfer requests should be initiated by the person in prison and addressed to the warden of the facility at which he/she is assigned. The request should include specific explanations for the transfer. When people in prison are moved into state operated facilities, they are usually first processed through the Adult Reception and Diagnostic Center (ARDC) at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center (for males) or the Louisiana Correctional Center for Women (for females) before being assigned to a permanent location.
Headquarters does not get involved in specific transfer requests, as assignments are coordinated through the appropriate classification process at the assigning facility or local jail.
As part of the orientation process, people in prison are notified of the rules and procedures that govern them while incarcerated. “Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Adult Offenders” is also known as the “Offender Rulebook” and people in prison have access to the rulebook at all state correctional facilities, as well as local level parish and private jails where people serving time for state felonies may be assigned. As such, when people in prison have questions or concerns, they should refer to the rulebook for guidance and proper procedure in dealing with their concerns.
We encourage families to understand that part of the rehabilitation process for a person while incarcerated is learning to accept responsibility for oneself and following the rules and procedures for obtaining information or addressing grievances about situations that affect him or her. Any correctional officer or the individual’s classification officer will be able to assist him or her should he or she need help understanding appropriate procedure. As such, inquiries should be initiated by the person in prison through the appropriate staff member where he/she is assigned and not through a family member.
People in prison are permitted to request up to 10 approved visitors. The person in prison is responsible for initiating the request to have an individual added to his or her list, as well as for ensuring approved visitors are advised of changes in his or her visiting privileges. The person in prison is given information on the process for adding or changing his or her visiting list and staff are available to help him or her as needed.
All prospective visitors must complete the application and mail it to the facility the visitor wishes to visit. Parents/legal guardians shall be required to complete the application for minor children under the age of 18 and shall sign the application on behalf of the minor child. Faxes of the application are not acceptable. It is important that the application be completed fully and all questions answered honestly. Failure to provide all requested information may result in a delay in the processing of the application or a denial of visiting privileges.
Visitors are sent information relative to the rules and procedures for visiting with the application for being considered as an approved visitor.
Visitors are reminded that the person in prison may also refuse a visit at any time. Staff may terminate visiting at any time for security reasons or if the person in prison or visitor violates the rules governing visiting.
Visitation is considered a privilege, not a right, and violation of rules may result in termination of the visit, loss of the imprisoned person’s visiting privileges, banning of the visitor from entering the institution or its grounds and/or criminal charges as circumstances warrant.
A few helpful reminders:
For more information on visitor guidelines and information, click here.
Individuals who have a current or prior conviction for a sex crime involving a minor child family member, or who have a documented history of sex abuse with a minor child family member, are ineligible to visit with any minor child, including their own biological or step-child.
Individual who have a current or prior conviction for a sex crime involving a minor child who is not a family member are ineligible to visit with any minor child. However, at the warden’s discretion, such individuals may be authorized to visit with their own biological child. The legal guardian shall submit a written request and shall accompany the minor child during the visit. If approved by the warden, the visit may be contact or non-contact at the warden’s discretion.
The warden may consider special visits for people who have successfully completed or are participating satisfactorily in sex offender treatment when the legal guardian has submitted a written request and accompanies the minor child during the visit.
The legal guardian may be permitted to name another individual other than the legal guardian who is on the person’s visiting list to accompany the minor child for a visit. The legal guardian shall provide a written, notarized statement authorizing a specific individual to accompany the minor child.
People in prison are put on notice about how the disciplinary process works while incarcerated and the procedures are outlined in the rulebook. They are also advised of their right to appeal at the time of a disciplinary hearing and the appeal must be submitted to the facility at which the hearing occurred. Any issues regarding disciplinary matters should be handled through these procedures. A person in prison who needs help understanding these procedures may ask staff at the facility where he or she is housed for assistance.
Upon intake into a state facility, people in prison are provided information in writing about the Department’s rules for the handling of mail while in prison, utilizing the “Notification of Mail Handling” form. People in prison are not allowed to receive packages, publications, greeting cards, or post cards from their families. People in prison may only receive packages through Union Supply Direct, who is the approved package vendor for the Department. Family, friends, and imprisoned people may purchase packages. Please visit Union Supply’s website for more information regarding ordering periods at www.LAinmatepackage.com.
However, family and friends are allowed to send correspondence, which must be addressed to the facility to which the imprisoned person is housed and must include the person’s name and DPS&C number on the envelope. In addition, do not send cash or stamps through the mail or photographs that have a hardback. These particular items will be rejected and cash will be confiscated.
People in prison can receive money in the following ways:
Details on sending money to people in prison can be found by clicking here.
Funds cannot be sent to people in prison from other people in prison or the families of other people in prison without prior approval of the Warden. Funds cannot be sent to people in prison from people who were formerly in prison or their families, or employees and their families.
If a person in prison has questions about his or her financial account, he or she is encouraged to ask staff or write a letter to Inmate Banking where he or she is assigned and a written response will be provided explaining the finding of his or her account review. Families of those in prison will not be given information relative to their imprisoned family member’s bank accounts.
Due to confidentiality, release of medical/mental health information is strictly governed by regulation. If you are inquiring about a specific person in prison and are not authorized by regulation to access this information, appropriate release of information forms must be on file and then only authorized staff members may discuss this information with you. In these cases, you should contact the facility where the person is housed. Please be aware that even in instances where one is authorized to access this information, only general information will be shared over the phone.
People in prison are oriented on how to access the medical staff 24/7 at the facility where he or she is housed through established sick call procedures. In serious medical situations, any staff member will assist a person in prison in obtaining medical treatment. Medical staff will make a determination about his/her treatment.
Serious concerns of abuse or mistreatment that puts a person in prison in immediate danger, should be directed to the warden of the facility where the person is housed.
If an imprisoned person’s release date has been calculated, you can contact the Department’s automated system at (225) 383-4580 with the person’s name and either his/her date of birth or DPS&C number to find out his/her release date, facility, or P&P District Office to which he/she is assigned and contact information for those locations. If there is no date available on this system, the time calculation has not been completed yet and callers are encouraged to call again later. This system is automatically updated and will have the information as soon as it is available. If a person has recently been sentenced to DPS&C custody, the Department has to receive official paperwork from the sentencing court in order to calculate the person’s release date. For additional information on time computation related issues, you can call our automated system at (225) 342-0799.
Every person in prison is sent a copy of his or her Master Prison Record document reflecting the calculation of their sentence when the calculation is complete. If there are questions about time computation, imprisoned people housed in state facilities should write the Records Office at his/her assigned facility. For people serving time for state felonies and are housed in local facilities, they are advised to submit their questions in writing following the Administrative Remedy Process.
While imprisoned people often ask family members or friends to contact the Office of Adult Services on their behalf about time computation questions, imprisoned people should be encouraged to follow appropriate procedures to ensure that staff has the information and time needed to respond to their concerns.
People in prison who participate in Certified Treatment Rehabilitation Programs can write the program coordinator if they have questions about their eligibility for program credits. Credits for program completion can take up to 90 days, though they are usually awarded within a few weeks. They are prioritized based on the person’s discharge date. People in prison who do not agree with credits given for any particular program may file a grievance under the Administrative Remedy Procedure.
People in prison may request to participate in programs through classification in state facilities and through program coordinators at the local facilities. Requests should be submitted in writing to the appropriate person by the person wishing to participate in the program. Staff in state facilities and/or program coordinators at local facilities may then enroll eligible and suitable imprisoned people in programs based upon identified need and other suitability factors.
An imprisoned person’s work release eligibility date is noted on the Master Prison Record as “WRE.” The Office of Adult Services will automatically evaluate an individual’s eligibility for this program when he or she becomes eligible. If a person in prison has questions about his/her eligibility for the Transitional Work Program, he/she should write the Records Office at the facility where he or she is assigned.
Unless precluded by law or Department regulation, in general people in prison are eligible for the Transitional Work Program up to four years prior to their discharge date. There are some instances in which an imprisoned person’s eligibility is limited to the six months or 12 months of his or her incarceration, based on his or her offense and time served. Staff will be able to assist the imprisoned person in understanding when he or she will be eligible for Transitional Work Program participation.
Eligibility does not ensure placement in the Transitional Work Program as there are usually more people eligible than there are jobs available. The Department makes every effort to place eligible people in the program, although it may not be for the entire period of their eligibility.
The only way to seek restoration of firearm rights is to apply for a pardon with restoration of firearms rights. More information on clemency can be found on the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole page.
In Louisiana, the right to vote is automatically restored upon completion of your sentence of imprisonment, probation, or parole. Once a person has completed a sentence of imprisonment or supervision, he or she will receive documentation from the facility where he or she was incarcerated or from the probation officer stating that he or she has completed his or her sentence (if this document is lost, the person will need to contact the P&P district office where he or she was supervised or the Clerk of Courts Office). The person applying to restore voting rights will take this documentation to the Registrar of voters’ office with a completed voter registration form, where his or her name will be restored to the voting rolls.
If convicted before the current state constitution took effect, which was January 1, 1975, a person must apply for and receive a pardon from the governor to regain his or her right to vote.
Voters must register to vote at least 30 days prior to an election. If a voter registration application is mailed to the elections office, it must be postmarked at least 30 days prior to the election in which the voter intends to vote.
Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole hearing information can be found here.
All demographic information for Louisiana’s prison population can be found here.
Under Louisiana law, particularly the provisions of R.S. 15:574.12, the records of imprisoned people (past, present or future), in the custody of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Corrections Services is confidential and cannot be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to anyone. This is not to say that some information, in the hands of another state agency or subdivision of the state, is not available. However, pursuant to state law, while held by this Department, that information is confidential. Consequently, we are unable to accommodate any request for any kind of data sharing on any terms.