With all the talk about Justice Reinvestment releasing inmates, including violent offenders, too early, Louisiana Department of Corrections seem to be taking things into their own hands.

But the Department of Justice says it's a violation of the 14th Amendment to hold inmates past their release date. Oh, that pesky US Consititution... Baton Rouge Defense Attorney Lindsay Blouin said the pandemic revealed a number of deficiencies in the criminal justice system that needs to be fixed.

“With better funding and modernization of the system so that way someone’s not waiting simply for a computer to update their status,” said Blouin.

DOJ officials said there's an obligation to incarcerated persons and taxpayers to not keep someone confined longer than they should be.  Blouin says those extra days are costly.

“There is a cost to keep people in jail every day, and so those days really do add up when you’re taking into consideration that it is hundreds and thousands of people,” said Blouin.

The Department of Justice claims that for more than a decade the Louisiana Department of Corrections has been on notice for it's over-detention problem and has failed to correct it.  Blouin is optimistic the DOC will finally receive the funding they need to modernize their computer system.

“And I’m hopeful that with the Department of Justice focusing on this as an issue the legislature commits the resources to help the Department of Corrections get these systemic issues fixed,” said Blouin.

In a statement released by the DOC, they are saying they are reviewing the DOJ report and cannot provide a response until the report is reviewed.

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