Justice Department today announced that defendant Roderick Douglas, a
former supervisor at the Richwood Correctional Center, pleaded guilty in
federal court yesterday for his role in a conspiracy to violate the
civil rights of five inmates. Douglas, 38, of Monroe, Louisiana, pleaded
guilty to conspiring with five other officers to violate the
Constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division
and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana David C. Joseph
made the announcement.
“Correctional officers who abuse their power and inflict cruel and
unusual punishment against the inmates under their care, violate the
Constitution,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “The
Justice Department will continue to investigate and prosecute unlawful
misconduct by correctional officers to protect victims of these abuses
and to ensure the integrity of our civil rights laws.”
“The men and women who work in our prison system have a difficult and
dangerous job,” U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph stated. “However, we
expect our correctional facility employees to be professional and
respectful of others’ rights. Those who fail to do so will be held
According to his guilty plea, Douglas worked as a Captain at the
Richwood Correctional Center in Richwood, Louisiana, where on Oct. 30,
2016 he and other officers conspired to inflict cruel and unusual
punishment upon five inmates by spraying a chemical agent in their face
and eyes while the inmates were handcuffed, compliant, kneeling on the
floor, and not posing a physical threat to anyone. Douglas admitted that
he and the other officers attempted to hide their conduct by submitting
a false story in their official reports concerning the incident.
The count of conviction carries a maximum penalty of five years in
prison and a criminal fine of up to $250,000. Douglas is scheduled to be
sentenced on June 10, 2019 by U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty of
the Western District of Louisiana, who accepted the plea.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Mudrick
of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Louisiana, and
Trial Attorney Anita Channapati of the Civil Rights Division, Criminal
Section, U.S. Department of Justice. The case was investigated by the
Monroe Division of the FBI.