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Derrick's Incarceration

TITLE 42 U.S.C. 1983

325. Adult Administrative Remedy Procedures
A. Administrative Remedy Procedure
1. On September 18, 1985, the Department of Public
Safety and Corrections installed in all of its adult institution
a formal grievance mechanism for use by all inmates
committed to the custody of the department. The process
bears the name Administrative Remedy Procedure (ARP).
Inmates are required to use the procedure before they can
proceed with a suit in federal and state courts.
2. Inmates are encouraged to continue to seek
solutions to their concerns through informal means, but in
order to insure their right to use the formal procedure, they
should make their request to the warden in writing within a
90 day period after an incident has occurred. If, after filing
in the formal procedure an inmate receives a satisfactory
response through informal means, the inmate may request
(in writing) that the warden cancel his formal request for an
administrative remedy.
3. All inmates may request information about or
assistance in using the procedure from their classification
officer or from a counsel substitute who services their living
4. Original letters of request to the wardens should be
as brief as possible. Inmates should present as many facts as
possible to answer all questions (who, what, when, where,
and how) concerning the incident. If a request is unclear or
the volume of attached material is too great, it may be
rejected and returned to the inmate with a request for clarity
or summarization on one additional page. The deadline for
this request begins on the date the resubmission is received
in the warden's office.
5. Once an inmate's request procedure, he must use
the manila envelope that is furnished to him with this first
step to continue in the procedure. The flaps on the envelope
may be tucked into the envelope for mailing to the facility's
ARP screening officer.
B. Purpose. Corrections Services has established the
administrative remedy procedure through which an inmate
may seek formal review of a complaint which relates to any
aspect of his incarceration if less formal methods have not
resolved the matter. Such complaints and grievances include,
but are not limited to any and all claims seeking monetary,
injunctive, declaratory, or any other form of relief authorized
by law and by way of illustration includes actions pertaining
to conditions of confinement, personal injuries, medical
malpractice, time computations, even though urged as a writ
of habeas corpus, or challenges to rules, regulations,
policies, or statutes. Through this procedure, inmates shall
receive reasonable responses and where appropriate,
meaningful remedies.
C. Applicability. Inmates may request administrative
remedies to situations arising from policies, conditions, or
events within the institution that affect them personally.
There are procedures already in place within all DPS&C
institutions which are specifically and expressly
incorporated into and made a part of this administrative
remedy procedure. These procedures shall constitute the
administrative remedies for disciplinary matters and lost
property claims. The following matters shall not be
appealable through this administrative remedy procedure:
1. court decisions and pending criminal matters over
which the department has no control or jurisdiction;
2. pardon board and parole board decisions (under
Louisiana law, decisions of these boards are discretionary,
and may not be challenged);
3. Louisiana Risk Review Panel recommendations;
4. lockdown review board decisions (inmates are
furnished written reasons at the time this decision is made as
to why they are not being released from lockdown, if that is
the case. The board's decision may not be challenged. There
are, however, two bases for request for administrative
remedy on lockdown review board hearings):
a. that no reasons were given for the decision of the
b. that a hearing was not held within 90 days from
the offender's original placement in lockdown or from the
last hearing. There will be a 20-day grace period attached
hereto, due to administrative scheduling problems of the
board; therefore, a claim based on this ground will not be
valid until 110 days have passed and no hearing has been
held. As used in this procedure, the following definitions
shall apply.
D. Definitions
ARP Screening Officer―a staff member, designated by
the warden, whose responsibility is to coordinate and
facilitate the administrative remedy procedure process.
Days―calendar days.
Emergency Grievance―a matter in which disposition
within the regular time limits would subject the inmate to a
substantial risk of personal injury, or cause other serious and
irreparable harm to the inmate.
Grievance―a written complaint by an inmate on the
inmate's own behalf regarding a policy applicable within an
institution, a condition within an institution, an action
involving an inmate of an institution, or an incident
occurring within an institution.
E. Policy. All inmates, regardless of their classification,
impairment, or disability, shall be entitled to invoke this
grievance procedure. It shall be the responsibility of the
warden to provide appropriate assistance for inmates with
literacy deficiencies or language barriers. No action shall be
taken against an inmate for the good faith use of or good
faith participation in the procedure. Reprisals of any nature
are prohibited. Inmates are entitled to pursue, through the
grievance procedure, a complaint that a reprisal occurred.
1. Reviewers. If an inmate registers a complaint
against a staff member, that employee shall not play a part in
making a decision on the request. However, this shall not
prevent the employee from participating at the step one
level, since the employee complained about may be the best
source from which to begin collecting information on an
alleged incident. If the inmate is not satisfied with the
decision rendered at the first step, he should pursue his
grievance to the assistant secretary of Adult Services via the
second step.
2. Communications. Inmates must be made aware of
the system by oral explanation at orientation and should
have the opportunity to ask questions and receive oral
answers. The procedures shall be posted in writing in areas
readily accessible to all inmates.
3. Written Responses. At each stage of decision and
review, inmates will be provided written answers that
explain the information gathered or the reason for the
decision reached along with simple directions for obtaining
further review.
F. Procedure
1. Screening. The ARP screening officer will screen
all requests prior to assignment to the first step. The
screening process should not unreasonably restrain the
inmate's opportunity to seek a remedy.
a. If a request is rejected, it must be for one of the
following reasons, which shall be noted on Form ARP.
i. This matter is not appealable through this
process, such as:
(a). court decisions;
(b). parole board/pardon board decisions;
(c). Louisiana Risk Review Panel
(d). lockdown review board (refer to Subsection
C, "Applicability").
ii. There are specialized administrative remedy
procedures in place for this specific type of complaint, such
(a). disciplinary matters;
(b). lost property claims.
iii. It is a duplicate request.
iv. In cases where a number of inmates have filed
similar or identical requests seeking administrative remedy,
it is appropriate to respond only to the inmate who filed the
initial request. Copies of the decision sent to other inmates
who filed requests simultaneously regarding the same issue
will constitute a completed action. All such requests will be
v. The complaint concerns an action not yet taken
or a decision which has not yet been made.
vi. The inmate has requested a remedy for another
vii. The inmate has requested a remedy for more
than one incident (a multiple complaint).
viii. Established rules and procedures were not
ix. If an inmate refuses to cooperate with the
inquiry into his allegation, the request may be denied due to
lack of cooperation.
x. There has been a time lapse of more than 30
days between the event and the initial request, unless waived
by the warden.
b. Notice of the initial acceptance or rejection of the
request will be furnished to the inmate.
2. Initiation of Process. Inmates should always try to
resolve their problems within the institution informally,
before initiating the formal process. This informal resolution
may be accomplished through discussions with staff
members, etc. If the inmate is unable to resolve his problems
or obtain relief in this fashion, he may initiate the formal
a. The method by which this process is initiated is
by a letter from the inmate to the warden. For purposes of
this process, a letter is:
i. any form of written communication which
contains this phrase:
"This is a request for administrative remedy;" or
ii. Form ARP-1 at those institutions that wish to
furnish forms for commencement of this process.
b. No request for administrative remedy shall be
denied acceptance into the administrative remedy procedure
because it is or is not on a form; however, no letter as set
forth above shall be accepted into the process unless it
contains the phrase:
"This is a request for administrative remedy."
c. Nothing in this procedure should serve to prevent
or discourage an inmate from communicating with the
warden or anyone else in the Department of Public Safety
and Corrections. The requirements set forth in this document
for acceptance into the administrative remedy procedure are
solely to assure that incidents which may give rise to a cause
of action will be handled through this two step system of
review. All forms of communication to the warden will be
handled, investigated, and responded to as the warden deems
d. If an inmate refuses to cooperate with the inquiry
into his allegation, the request may be denied by noting the
lack of cooperation on the appropriate step response and
returning it to the inmate.
3. Multiple Requests. If an inmate submits multiple
requests during the review of a previous request, they will be
logged and set aside for handling at such time as the request
currently in the system has been exhausted at the second step
or until time limits to proceed from the first step to the
second step have lapsed. The warden may determine
whether a letter of instruction to the inmate is in order.
4. Reprisals. No action shall be taken against anyone
for the good faith use of or good faith participation in the
a. The prohibition against reprisals should not be
construed to prohibit discipline of inmates who do not use
the system in good faith. Those who file requests that are
frivolous or deliberately malicious may be disciplined under
the appropriate rule violation described in the DPS&C
"Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Adult Inmate."
G. Process
1. First Step (Time Limit 40 days)
a. The inmate commences the process by writing a
letter to the warden, in which he briefly sets out the basis for
his claim, and the relief sought (refer to Subection F,
"Procedure-Initiation of Process" for the requirements of the
letter). The inmate should make a copy of his letter of
complaint and retain it for his own records. The original
letter will become a part of the process, and will not be
returned to the inmate. The institution is not responsible for
furnishing the inmate with copies of his letter of complaint.
This letter should be written to the warden within 90 days of
an alleged event. (This requirement may be waived when
circumstances warrant. The warden, or his designee, will use
reasonable judgment in such matters.) The requests shall be
screened by the ARP screening officer and a notice will be
sent to the inmate advising that his request is being
processed or is being rejected. The warden may assign
another staff person to conduct further fact-finding and/or
information gathering prior to rendering his response. The
warden shall respond to the inmate within 40 days from the
date the request is received at the first step.
b. For inmates wishing to continue to the second
step, sufficient space will be allowed on the response to give
a reason for requesting review at the next level. There is no
need to rewrite the original letter of request as it will be
available to all reviewers at each step of the process.
2. Second Step (Time Limit 45 days)
a. An inmate who is dissatisfied with the first step
response may appeal to the secretary of the Department of
Public Safety and Corrections by so indicating that he is not
satisfied in the appropriate space on the response form and
forwarding it to the ARP screening officer within 5 days of
receipt of the decision. A final decision will be made by the
secretary and the inmate will be notified within 45 days of
receipt. A copy of the secretary's decision will be sent to the
b. If an inmate is not satisfied with the second step
response, he may file suit in district court. The inmate must
furnish the administrative remedy procedure number on the
court forms.
3. Monetary Damages
a. Department of Public Safety and Corrections
based upon credible facts within a grievance or complaint
filed by an inmate, may determine that such an inmate is
entitled to monetary damages where monetary damages are
deemed by the department as appropriate to render a fair and
just remedy.
b. Upon a determination that monetary damages
should be awarded, the remaining question is quantum, or
the determination as to the dollar amount of the monetary
damages to be awarded. The matter of determining quantum
shall be transferred to the Office of Risk Management of the
Division of Administration which shall then have the
discretionary power to determine quantum. The
determination reached by the Office of Risk Management
shall be returned to the Department of Public Safety and
Corrections for a final decision. If a settlement is reached, a
copy of the signed release shall be given to the warden on
that same date.
4. Deadlines and Time Limits
a. No more than 90 days from the initiation to
completion of the process shall elapse, unless an extension
has been granted. Absent such an extension, expiration of
response time limits shall entitle the inmate to move on to
the next step in the process. Time limits begin on the date the
request is assigned to a staff member for the first step
b. An inmate may request an extension in writing of
up to five days in which to file at stage of the process. This
request shall be made to the ARP screening officer for an
extension to initiate a request; to the warden for the first step
and to the assistant secretary of Adult Services for the
second step. The inmate must certify valid reasons for the
delay, which reasons must accompany his untimely request.
The issue of sufficiency of valid reasons for delay shall be
addressed at each step, along with the substantive issue of
the complaint.
c. The warden may request permission for an
extension of not more than five days from the assistant
secretary of Adult Services for the step one review/response.
The inmate must be notified in writing of such an extension.
d. In no case may the cumulative extensions exceed
25 days.
5. Problems of an Emergency Nature
a. If an inmate feels he is subjected to emergency
conditions, he must send an emergency request to the shift
supervisor. The shift supervisor shall immediately review the
request and forward the request to the level at which
corrective action can be taken. All emergency requests shall
be documented on an unusual occurrence report.
b. Abuse of the emergency review process by an
inmate shall be treated as a frivolous or malicious request
and the inmate shall be disciplined accordingly. Particularly,
but not exclusively, matters relating to administrative
transfers and time computation disputes are not to be treated
as emergencies for purposes of this procedure, but shall be
expeditiously handled by the shift supervisor, when
6. Sensitive Issues
a. If the inmate believes the complaint is sensitive
and would be adversely affected if the complaint became
known at the institution, he may file the complaint directly
with the assistant secretary of Adult Services (second step
level). The inmate must explain, in writing, his reason for
not filing the complaint at the institution.
b. If the assistant secretary of Adult Services agrees
that the complaint is sensitive, he shall accept and respond to
the complaint. If he does not agree that the complaint is
sensitive, he shall so advise the inmate in writing, and return
the complaint to the warden's office. The inmate shall then
have five days from the date the rejection memo is received
in the warden's office to submit his request through regular
channels (beginning with the first step if his complaint is
acceptable for processing in the administrative remedy
7. Records
a. Administrative remedy procedure records are
confidential. Employees who are participating in the
disposition of a request may have access to records essential
to the resolution of requests. Otherwise, release of these
records is governed by R.S. 15:574.12.
b. All reports, investigations, etc., other than the
inmate's original letter and responses, are prepared in
anticipation of litigation, and are prepared to become part of
the attorney's work product for the attorney handling the
anticipated eventual litigation of this matter and are
therefore confidential and not subject to discovery.
c. Records will be maintained as follows.
i. A computerized log will be maintained which
will document the nature of each request, all relevant dates,
and disposition at each step. Each institution will submit
reports on administrative remedy procedure activity in
accordance with Department Regulation No. C-05-001
"Activity Reports/Unusual Occurrence Reports-Operations
ii. Individual requests and disposition, and all
responses and pertinent documents shall be kept on file at
the institution or at headquarters.
iii. Records shall be kept at least three years
following final disposition of the request.
8. Transferred Inmates. When an inmate has filed a
request at one institution and is transferred prior to the
review, or if he files a request after transfer on an action
taken by the sending institution, the sending institution will
complete the processing through the first step. The warden
of the receiving institution will assist in communication with
the inmate.
9. Discharged Inmates. If an inmate is discharged
before the review of an issue that affects the inmate after
discharge is completed, or if he files a request after
discharge on such an issue, the institution will complete the
processing and will notify the inmate at his last known
address. All other requests shall be considered moot when
the inmate discharges, and shall not complete the process.
10. Annual Review. The warden shall annually solicit
comments and suggestions on the processing, the efficiency
and the credibility of the administrative remedy procedure
from inmates and staff. A report with the results of such
review shall be provided to the assistant secretary of Adult
H. Effective Date. Only ARP requests filed on or after
the effective date of this regulation, as adopted pursuant to
the Administrative Procedure Act, shall be governed by this
procedure. All ARP requests filed prior to the effective dated
will be administered in accordance with the provisions of
LAC 22:I.324, formerly LAC 22:I.325, Administrative
Remedy Procedure.
I. Request for Administrative Remedy Form (ARP-1)
___________________________ _______________________
Inmate's Name DOC # Date of Incident/Complaint
Place and Time of Incident/Complaint
Describe Nature of Complaint (i.e. WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE,
and HOW)
____________________________ __________________
Inmate's Signature DOC # Date
Inmate's Name and DOC #
( ) ACCEPTED: Please respond to the inmate within 40 days.
( ) REJECTED: Your request has been rejected for the following
Date ARP Screening Officer
J. First Step Response Form (ARP-2)
TO: ___________________________________________________
Inmate's Name DOC # Living Unit
First Step Respondent Title
Response to Request Dated________ Received by Inmate___________
Instructions to Inmate: If you are not satisfied with this response, you may
go to Step Two by checking below and forwarding to the ARP Screening
Officer within 5 days of your receipt of this decision.
( ) I am not satisfied with this response and wish to proceed to Step Two.
______________ _____________________ _____________
Date Inmate's Signature DOC #
K. Second Response Form (ARP-3)
TO: _________________________________________________________
Inmate's Name DOC # Living Unit
Response to Request Dated___________, Received in this office on _______
________________________ __________________________
Date Secretary
AUTHORITY NOTE: Promulgated in accordance with R.S.
1171, et seq.
HISTORICAL NOTE: Promulgated by the Department of
Corrections, Office of Adult Services, LR 28:857 (April 2002),
amended LR 28:1993 (September 2002).