It took three days to evacuate over 6,000 inmates from the lockup after the storm hit on Aug. 29, prison authorities have said. The prisoners are now being held at 38 state and local lockups around Louisiana.
The American Civil Liberties Union's court filings demand information about where each prisoner is locked up. The group also wants the sheriff's office to halt any clean up at the jail because it could destroy evidence that prisoners were left standing in bacteria- and petroleum-laden floodwater.
A spokeswoman for Sheriff Marlin Gusman said in an e-mail that the sheriff had not yet been served with the papers.
Gusman has acknowledged previously that a loss of electricity plunged the jail into darkness, with no electricity or working toilets, creating an oppressive, foul-smelling atmosphere.
But he denied inmates' most shocking accusations: that corpses were floating through the facility and some prisoners went for days without food and water. He said prisoners, his staff and their families had food from the prison, plus MREs supplied by the military.
The ACLU was named counsel for all of the jail's inmates under a 1994 federal consent decree mandating heath and environmental standards.