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Louisiana Jail Abuse Settlement

Iberia Parish, Louisiana, reached an agreement December 2, 1996, with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to settle a lawsuit alleging prisoner abuse in the parish jail. The suit was filed by the DOJ in June, 1996, against then-sheriff Errol Romero and then jail warden Danny David.

The DOJ alleged that prisoners were routinely tied into "restraining chairs" for prolonged periods or were hog-tied, often with tape over their mouths and a football helmet placed backwards over their heads.

The restraint chair manufacturer's guidelines say that prisoners should never be left in the device for more than four hours. Iberia parish jail prisoners complained of being left in the chair for days and sometimes weeks at a time and were forced to urinate and defecate on themselves.

Under the settlement, all allegations of prisoner abuse are acknowledged to have taken place prior to July 1, 1996, when current sheriff Sid Herbert and warden Ron Nicholas took office and the DOJ will monitor compliance for six months.

Corrections Digest

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