When the warden at the 942-bed state prison in DeQuincy called a late-afternoon meeting of top staff, workers thought it was a send-off for an assistant warden who was retiring that day.

The warden's secretary, Carol Lee Fruge, tells the American Press that was when warden Robert Henderson told staffers he had just learned the C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center would be closing.

Closing has been discussed before, but employees say there was no indication it might happen.

Attorneys for Angola 5 defendant David Mathis have persuaded a judge to allow them to use a jailhouse confession they say would show jurors their client had no intent to kill a prison security officer in 1999.

Mathis faces a first-degree murder trial in the stabbing and beating death of Capt. David C. Knapps.

The Advocate reports jury selection is set to begin Sept. 24 in Covington, where juries were chosen last year for three of Mathis' codefendants. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

La. moves ahead with plan to close prisons

Jul 4, 2012

Facing budget constraints and a growing inmate population, state officials are moving ahead with a plan to shut down two prisons, including one with a well-established addictive treatment program.

Loyola University's Institute for Quality and Equity in Education, in conjunction with the Foundation for Louisiana, will host “Louisiana Incarcerated: An Evening with Cindy Chang,” a panel discussion convened to examine the multifaceted issue of the business of incarceration in Louisiana.

A new expose by The Times-Picayune of New Orleans calls Louisiana the "world's prison capital."

The state imprisons more people per capita than any other state or country in the world, with one out of every 86 adults behind bars. Its rate of incarceration is three times higher than Iran's and 10 times higher than Germany's.

How did Louisiana double its prison population in the past 20 years? And what differentiates it from other states?

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Jindal administration, facing strong opposition to the sale of a central Louisiana state prison, is giving up the idea but still pushing to hire a private company to run the facility. The state would lay off employees and pay a flat fee to the company for operating the prison.