2018 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:708 - Labor by prisoners permitted; workday release program; indemnification

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 15:708 (2018)

§708. Labor by prisoners permitted; workday release program; indemnification

            A.(1) Whenever a prisoner sentenced to a parish prison of any parish of the state, by any court of competent jurisdiction, or a prisoner in a parish prison awaiting transfer to a state correctional facility shall be willing of his own free will to perform manual labor upon any of the public roads, levees, streets, or public buildings, works, or improvements inside or outside of the prison, or in or upon the buildings, other improvements, or property of any organization which has qualified for tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3), 501(c)(19), or 501(c)(23), the sheriff may set the prisoner to work. Work authorized pursuant to this Paragraph also specifically includes participation in litter abatement or collection programs to police and remove litter on public grounds, rights-of-way, lakes, streams, the shores of lakes and streams, public roads, levees, or streets.

            (2)(a) Whenever a prisoner sentenced to the parish prison of any parish of this state, by any court of competent jurisdiction, or a prisoner in a parish prison awaiting transfer to a state correctional facility shall be willing of his own free will to perform manual labor upon any religious building, cemetery, or graveyard or work in a solid waste recycling program administered by a state agency or political subdivision and approved by the sheriff, the criminal sheriff may set the prisoner to work upon labor determined by the governing authority of the parishes and the municipal authorities of the towns and cities.

            (b) For purposes of this Paragraph, "religious building" means a church, synagogue, mosque, or other building or structure used primarily for religious worship.

            (3)(a) Whenever a prisoner sentenced to a parish prison of any parish of the state, by any court of competent jurisdiction, or a prisoner in a parish prison awaiting transfer to a state correctional facility shall be willing of his own free will to perform manual labor by assisting the governing authority of any municipality to maintain the municipality in a safe and sanitary condition by cutting, destroying, or removing noxious weeds or grass or other deleterious, unhealthful, or noxious growths on any sidewalks or banquettes and on any lot, place, or area within the municipality and the sheriff has approved the work, the sheriff may set the prisoner to work upon labor determined by the governing authority of the municipality to effectuate this purpose. The governing authority of any municipality shall comply with the provisions of R.S. 33:5062 and all other relevant provisions of law. R.S. 33:815 and 4766 are not affected by the provisions of this Paragraph. The Department of Transportation and Development is excluded from this Paragraph and is subject to the requirements of R.S. 48:261(B), (C), and (D) and all other relevant provisions of law.

            (b) The use of prison labor shall in no way reduce the work force of any highway maintenance gang or cause the layoff of any classified employee.

            (c) Repealed by Acts 2006, No. 336, §2, eff. June 13, 2006.

            (4) Any prisoner in a parish prison awaiting transfer to a state correctional facility who is willing of his own free will to perform manual labor may be allowed to provide such services for work projects located within that parish which are performed by Prison Enterprises in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 15:1151 et seq. Any inmate performing work for Prison Enterprises pursuant to the provisions of this Paragraph shall be compensated in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 15:873. Such compensation shall be deposited in the same manner and in the appropriate accounts as provided in R.S. 15:874.

            (5) Whenever any local governing authority is notified by the Corps of Engineers of the United States of the possible closure of a floodgate or lock and a prisoner sentenced to the parish prison of any parish of this state, by any court of competent jurisdiction, or a prisoner in a parish prison awaiting transfer to a state correctional facility shall be willing of his own free will to perform manual labor upon such floodgate or lock situated on a waterway within the parish which is operated by or under the control or jurisdiction of the United States government or any agency thereof and such labor is approved by the sheriff, the criminal sheriff may set the prisoner to work upon such labor as contracted to between the sheriff and the United States government or any agency thereof. Nothing contained in this Section shall authorize the criminal sheriff of Orleans Parish to contract for any inmate to perform manual labor upon any floodgate or lock situated on the Industrial Canal.

            B. The sheriffs of the parishes shall establish regulations which they may deem necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this Section and for the discipline, working, and employment of the prisoners.

            C. This Section shall not apply to persons convicted of crimes of first or second degree murder, attempted first or second degree murder, aggravated or first degree rape, attempted aggravated or first degree rape, forcible or second degree rape, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated arson, armed robbery, or attempted armed robbery, or persons sentenced as habitual offenders under R.S. 15:529.1, except during the last six months of their terms.

            D.(1)(a) Whenever a person is convicted of a misdemeanor for violation of any state law or any parish or municipal ordinance and is sentenced to imprisonment, the sentencing court may order the person so sentenced to report, during the term of imprisonment, to the sheriff to participate in a court-approved workday release program as established and administered by the sheriff.

            (b) The person so sentenced shall pay the sum of fifty dollars to the sheriff to defray the cost of participation in the program. The payment of the costs shall be based upon the defendant's ability to pay.

            (2) Each sheriff shall establish written rules for the administration of the workday release program. However, each participant shall be required to report for work for a period of time during daylight hours for not less than eight nor more than ten hours to be determined by the sheriff. Upon release each participant shall not be confined to jail, but shall return to his place of residence. The sheriff may determine that an inmate shall not participate in the program if such participation may result in harm to the community or to the participant.

            (3) If any participant violates the rules of the workday release program prescribed by the sheriff, or if the sheriff determines that a person shall not participate in the program, the inmate shall be imprisoned for the remainder of his sentence. Failure to report to or return from the scheduled workday program shall be considered an escape under the provisions of R.S. 14:110.

            E. The political subdivision which administers the solid waste recycling program or any other public work or nonprofit program shall indemnify and hold the sheriff, the state, and the state agency harmless for any injury caused by the inmate, unless the gross negligence or intentional act of the sheriff or the state or the state agency was a substantial factor in causing the injury.

            F. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no prisoner sentenced to a parish prison and no prisoner in a parish prison awaiting transfer to a state correctional facility shall perform any labor for a private contractor.

            G. Prisoners participating in any of the inmate labor programs authorized by this Section shall always remain in the custody and under the control of the sheriff, except when parish or municipal authorities assume the responsibility for the custody and control of participating prisoners for particular parish or municipal projects while the prisoners are outside of prison facilities administered by the sheriff.

            H. A prisoner participating in any of the inmate labor programs authorized by this Section shall have no cause of action for damages against the sheriff or any parish or municipal authority conducting the program or supervising his participation therein, nor against any deputy, employee, or agent of such sheriff or parish or municipal authority, for any injury or loss suffered by him during or arising out of his participation in the program, unless the injury or loss was caused by the intentional or grossly negligent act or omission of the sheriff or the parish or municipal authority or the deputy, employee, or agent of the sheriff or parish or municipal authority. Nor shall liability be imposed on the sheriff or the parish or municipal authority or the deputies, employees, or agents of the sheriff or the parish or municipal authority for any injury caused by a prisoner participating in any of the inmate labor programs authorized by this Section unless the gross negligence or intentional act of the sheriff or any parish or municipal authority or the deputy, employee, or agent of the sheriff or the parish or municipal authority was a substantial factor in causing the injury. No provision hereof shall negate the requirement to provide a prisoner with necessary medical treatment as statutorily required.

            Amended by Acts 1954, No. 387, §1; Acts 1983, No. 615, §1; Acts 1985, No. 786, §1; Acts 1986, No. 704, §2; Acts 1990, No. 416, §1; Acts 1992, No. 402, §1; Acts 1995, No. 908, §1; Acts 1997, No. 509, §1; Acts 1997, No. 656, §1; Acts 1999, No. 992, §1; Acts 2003, No. 630, §1; Acts 2004, No. 38, §1; Acts 2006, No. 336, §§1, 2, eff. June 13, 2006; Acts 2013, No. 52, §1, eff. May 29, 2013; Acts 2015, No. 184, §2.

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