A Louisiana correctional facility is trying to get around a recent decision by the state’s highest court to bar inmates from using the Internet to contact relatives.
A judge ordered the state to provide inmates with Internet access by Dec. 31, citing privacy concerns.
The order was announced Wednesday by Judge Joseph Marquez.
He wrote that a decision to bar internet access is an “important step in the right direction” but that the order must remain in effect for at least another six months to give inmates time to get online.
He also noted that the Internet “can have tremendous emotional and psychological consequences for inmates, especially in the early stages of incarceration, where there is a high probability of violence.”
Marquez also ordered the Louisiana Corrections Department to provide Internet access to inmates at other facilities and “to make reasonable efforts to provide this service to those inmates who may otherwise be without access to it.”
The court also ordered that Internet access be made available to all inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, including those in the medium of cellphones.
A spokeswoman for the corrections department, Tiffany Anderson, said Wednesday that the department will provide inmates Internet access.
The Department of Corrections said in a statement that “we are reviewing the order and are working closely with our legal counsel.”