DJ # 204-32M-55


  1. The United States initiated this matter as a compliance review of the Louisiana State Penitentiary ("LSP"), Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, ("Title II"), and the United States Department of Justice's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35.
  2. On May 9 - 14, 2010, representatives from the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division toured LSP with a consultant in the field of architecture.


  1. The ADA applies to LSP because it is a "public entity" as defined by Title II. 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1).
  2. The United States is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to determine LSP's compliance with Title II of the ADA and the Department of Justice's Title II implementing regulation, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. § 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing Title II of the ADA.
  3. The parties to the Agreement are the United States of America and the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
  4. Based on this compliance review of LSP's programs, services, activities, and facilities, the United States has concluded that LSP contains architectural and programmatic barriers to access for persons with disabilities and that qualified individuals with disabilities are, by reason of such disabilities, excluded from participation in or are denied the benefits of many of LSP's programs, services, or activities or are subjected to discrimination in violation of Title II of the ADA. The programmatic barriers include: the failure to provide accessible transportation to transport inmates with disabilities to the medical infirmary and other areas, as needed; and limited access to jobs for inmates with mobility disabilities. The agreed upon remedial actions, identified in Section IV below, are intended to remedy those violations.
  5. The parties agree that it is in their best interests, and the United States believes that it is in the public interest, to resolve this dispute without engaging in protracted litigation. The parties have therefore voluntarily entered into this Agreement.
  6. Nothing in this Agreement shall be interpreted as an admission of ADA violations or liability by LSP.
  7. In consideration of, and consistent with, the terms of this Agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit in this matter, except as provided in the section entitled "Implementation and Enforcement."


  1. The term "LSP" shall refer to LSP, Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, and its employees, agents, or contractors, who are wholly or partially responsible for the custody and care of inmates confined at LSP.
  2. The term "inmate with a disability" shall refer to any inmate who meets the definition of "disability" as set forth in the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12102.
  3. The term "new construction" shall mean each facility or part of a facility constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of LSP where the construction commenced after January 26, 1992. 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(a).
  4. The term "alterations" means a change to LSP's facilities that affects or could affect the usability of the facility or any part thereof where the alteration was commenced after January 26, 1992. 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(b).
  5. The "effective date of this Agreement" is the date of the last signature agreeing and consenting to this Agreement.


  1. Architectural Issues
    1. Within three (3) years of the effective date of this Agreement, LSP shall complete the modifications to LSP as specified in Attachment A, using the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. § 35.104 ("2010 Standards"). LSP will retain an Independent Licensed Architect ("ILA") as set forth in Section VII, to monitor compliance with the provisions of Attachment A and any other alteration, addition, or modification made by LSP during the term of this Agreement.
    2. In the event that LSP has already undertaken an alteration, addition, or other modification to any element identified in Attachment A since the onsite review of May 9 - 14, 2010 and prior to the effective date of this Agreement, LSP will submit, within six (6) months of the effective date of this Agreement, a written report to the ILA and the United States summarizing the actions taken and providing evidence establishing each individual element's compliance with the applicable architectural standard as permitted by 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(c) and its Appendix, copied below:
      Date of Construction or Alteration Applicable Standards
      Before September 15, 2010 1991 ADA Standards or UFAS
      On or after September 15, 2010, and before March 15, 2012 1991 ADA Standards, UFAS, or 2010 ADA Standards
      On or after March 15, 2012 2010 ADA Standards
    3. Within six (6) months of the effective date of this Agreement, LSP shall identify all LSP buildings, including areas and elements within buildings, constructed or altered on or after March 15, 2012, and shall develop a plan to provide the number of accessible cells required under the ADA. New construction of, and alterations to, correctional facilities shall comply with the 2010 Standards except that correctional facilities shall provide accessible mobility features complying with § 807.2 of the 2010 Standards for a minimum of 3% accessible cells (but no fewer than one) of the total number of cells in a facility. Cells with mobility features shall be provided in each classification level. 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(k).
  2. Services, Programs, and Activities
    1. To provide access to programs, services, and activities for inmates with disabilities, LSP, consistent with its custodial role, shall:
      1. Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of the Agreement ensure that inmates with disabilities are provided benefits, aids, or services that are provided to other inmates. This includes, but is not limited to, work (and the creation of alternative jobs for inmates with disabilities who cannot perform physical labor), education, and recreation. LSP will also provide accessible transportation for inmates with mobility disabilities to its programs. 28 C.F.R §§ 35.149, 35.150.
      2. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of the Agreement ensure that wheelchairs and other adaptive equipment used by inmates with disabilities are routinely cleaned, repaired, maintained, and generally kept in a safe, operable condition. In addition, LSP must provide appropriate devices, such as canes, trapeze bars, prostheses, orthopedic shoes, braces, air mattresses, and other medically necessary equipment, as required to meet the needs of inmates with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.130, 35.130(b)(7).
      3. LSP will maintain an adequate number of wheelchair accessible vehicles for the transportation of inmates with mobility disabilities to meet their needs. LSP will also adopt procedures to ensure the safe transportation of inmates with disabilities, including inmates who use wheelchairs, and train staff on these procedures, including the use of appropriate equipment to secure and stabilize wheelchairs during transit. 28 C.F.R. § 35.130.


  1. LSP shall maintain a Disabilities Coordinator with responsibilities for LSP. The Disabilities Coordinator shall report to the LSP Warden and LSP shall provide the Disabilities Coordinator with sufficient authority and resources to perform the tasks required by this Agreement, including coordinating requests for accommodations from inmates with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. § 35.107. The Disabilities Coordinator shall maintain records of requests for auxiliary aids and services and the auxiliary aids and services provided with or without a specific inmate request. The Disabilities Coordinator shall also resolve inmate ADA complaints and maintain records regarding the disposition of each complaint.
  2. LSP shall continue to implement a written grievance procedure for resolving inmate ADA complaints. 28 C.F.R. § 35.107. Within ten (10) days of the effective date of this Agreement, LSP will submit to the United States for review and approval its ADA Grievance Procedure for resolving inmate ADA complaints. 28 C.F.R. § 35.107(b). The United States shall review the Grievance Procedure and provide comments to LSP. LSP shall incorporate the United States' comments and submit the revised procedure to the Department for review and approval within ten (10) days of receipt of the United States' comments. Within sixty (60) days of the Department's approval, LSP shall adopt and implement the approved Grievance Procedure.
  3. LSP will post any amendments to the grievance procedure within twenty (20) days of finalizing the amendment. LSP will post the amendment(s) in all housing areas, intake, and medical units. LSP shall amend the Inmate Handbook to describe the Grievance Procedure.


  1. LSP has retained Brian Nolan, Carencro, Louisiana, as an Independent Licensed Architect ("ILA") knowledgeable about the architectural accessibility requirements of the ADA. This ILA, paid by LSP without regard to outcome, has been approved by the United States. The ILA must act independently to certify whether remediation of the violations identified in Attachment A and any other alterations, additions, or modifications made by LSP during the term of this Agreement comply with the applicable accessibility standards pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(c) and the Appendix to 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(c).
  2. The ILA will conduct semi-annual inspections of LSP's facilities in order to ensure compliance with Section IV.A. of this Agreement. The ILA will impartially prepare written reports with photographs identifying that the violation has been remediated and will use the certification form at Attachment B. The ILA will be considered a neutral inspector for purposes of issuing certifications of compliance and will be reasonably available to the United States to discuss findings in the reports, photographs, and certifications.
  3. The United States may also, in its discretion, provide technical assistance to the ILA throughout the term of this Agreement. Upon request by the Department, LSP will provide prior notice to the United States of inspections by the ILA to allow representatives of the United States to be present.
  4. LSP will submit ILA certifications along with its reporting requirements as set forth in this Agreement.


  1. Within six (6) months of the effective date of this Agreement, LSP will provide the United States with a written status report, including any supporting documentation, delineating all steps taken during the reporting period to comply with each substantive provision of this Agreement. Thereafter, for the duration of this Agreement, LSP will send a status report every six (6) months to:
    Disability Rights Section
    Civil Rights Division
    U.S. Department of Justice
    1425 New York Ave., NW
    Washington, DC 20005
    [DJ # 204-32M-55]
  2. The United States shall have full and complete access to LSP, its records, inmate records, and inmates, with advance written notice. The Department shall have the right to conduct confidential interviews with inmates.


  1. This Agreement shall remain in effect for three (3) years from the effective date of the Agreement.
  2. LSP shall ensure that all relevant current and future staff, including contractors, understand and implement the terms of this Agreement.
  3. This Agreement is binding on all successors, assignees, employees, agents (including contractors) and all those working for or on behalf of LSP.
  4. LSP shall implement all reforms necessary to effectuate the terms of this Agreement and shall revise any policy, procedure, or practice, as necessary, to effectuate the terms of this Agreement.
  5. LSP agrees that it shall not retaliate against any person that filed or may file a complaint, provided information or assistance, or participated in any other manner in an investigation or proceeding relating to this Agreement.
  6. LSP shall maintain sufficient records to document its compliance with all of the requirements of this Agreement. During the period of this Agreement, LSP shall maintain any and all records required by or developed under this Agreement.
  7. It is a violation of this Agreement for LSP to fail to comply in a timely manner with any of the requirements of this Agreement.
  8. Failure by the United States to enforce any provision of this Agreement is not a waiver of the United States' right to enforce any provision of this Agreement.
  9. If LSP fails to implement the terms of this Agreement, the United States reserves the right to institute a civil action to enforce this Agreement and the ADA and obtain remedies for the violations. Each party will bear the costs of any attorney fees associated with this matter.
  10. This Agreement (including its Attachments) is the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party will be enforceable. This Agreement does not remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or other federal law. This Agreement does not relieve LSP of its continuing obligation to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
  11. This Agreement does not address, remedy or preclude a remedy in the ongoing case, Lewis v. Cain, No. 3:15-cv-00318 (M.D. La. Filed May 20, 2015), and the remedial actions listed in Attachment A of this Agreement do not impact any potential ADA violations identified at LSP facilities in that ongoing litigation.
  12. Each of the parties to this Agreement shall bear its own costs and expenses associated with, or arising from, its performance of obligations under this Agreement.
  13. The parties may jointly agree, in writing, to modify the terms of this Agreement. If LSP cannot meet the agreed upon deadlines in this Agreement because of a state budget shortfall, it will promptly notify the United States in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances of the legislative budget shortfall, the impact of the shortfall, and the proposed new deadlines for completion of the identified remedial actions. The proposed modification will not take effect until the United States agrees to the proposed modification. The United States will not unreasonably withhold or delay approval.
  14. No person or entity is intended to be a third-party beneficiary of the provisions of this Agreement for purposes of any civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding. Accordingly, no person or entity may assert any claim or right as a beneficiary or protected class member under this Agreement. This Agreement is not intended to expand the right of any person or entity who seeks relief against LSP or the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, its officials or employees. This Agreement may not be used as evidence of liability in any proceeding.
  15. The person signing for LSP represents that he is authorized to bind LSP to this Agreement.



For Louisiana State Penitentiary


/s/ James M. Leblanc
Secretary, Department of Public Safety and Corrections
504 Mayflower Street
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802


/s/ Darrel Vannoy
Warden, Louisiana State Penitentiary
17544 Tunica Trace
Angola, Louisiana 70712

Dated: 11/14/17


For the United States:

United States Attorney
Russell B. Long Federal Courthouse
U.S. Attorney's Office
777 Florida Street, Suite 208
Baton Rouge, LA 70801













Acting Assistant Attorney General
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

Acting Chief
Supervisory Trial Attorney

/s/ Dov Lutzker
Trial Attorney
Disability Rights Section
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20530
(202) 514-5746

Dated: 11/14/17