Prisoners at the Bienville Parish Jail filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against representatives of the parish in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by inadequacies in the areas of living quarters, hygiene, food, security, medical and dental care, disciplinary procedures, communications, mail and visitation, access to courts, law library, recreation, and religion.
On May 24, 1985, the parties entered into a consent decree addressing each of the aforementioned issues, but on August 1, 1986, the plaintiffs asked the court to hold the defendants in contempt for failure to comply with the decree. On August 15, 1986, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Judge Thomas E. Stagg, Jr.) held the defendants in contempt of court for failure to comply with the terms of the consent decree, assessing fines and requiring the defendants to pay the attorneys' fees of the plaintiffs. Jackson v. Whitman, 642 F.Supp. 816 (W.D.La. 1986). We have no further record of the proceedings in this case.Kristen Sagar - 03/14/2006