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Linda Franks blows into a plastic noisemaker at the perimeter of Louisiana’s East Baton Rouge Parish Prison during a protest with other members of the reform coalition. Her son, Lamar Johnson, died while in custody at the prison in 2015. Photos: for LEVEL

Why Do Detainees Keep Dying in This Baton Rouge Jail?

In one decade, 45 people died in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. Most were charged with nonviolent misdemeanors. Most didn’t have their day in court. Most were Black. How did the system fail them?




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Renée Bacher

Renée Bacher

Renée Bacher is a Louisiana-based journalist who has written for the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine and many other publications.

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