Law Visiting Committee Distinguished Professor of Law
J.D., Yale Law School, 2007
M.P.A., Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, 2001
B.A., New York University, 1996
- College of Law
- Civil Rights
- Criminal Justice
Professor Armstrong joined the Loyola University New Orleans, College of Law faculty in 2010. She is a leading national expert on prison and jail conditions and is certified by the U.S. Department of Justice as a Prison Rape Elimination Act auditor. Prof. Armstrong founded IncarcerationTransparency.org, a database/website designed by Prof. Judson Mitchell, that provides facility-level deaths behind bars data and analysis for Louisiana and memorializes lives lost behind bars. Her research has been profiled by New Yorker Magazine and quoted in the New York Times, the Atlantic, National Public Radio, and the Times-Picayune among others. Her scholarship focuses on the constitutional dimensions of prisons and jails, specifically prison labor practices, the intersection of race and conditions of incarceration, and public oversight of detention facilities. She teaches in the related fields of incarceration law and policy, constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, law and poverty, and race and the law.
Prof. Armstrong is an interdisciplinary scholar, integrating incarceration law with history, health policy, and the arts. She is the lead investigator for the Deaths Behind Bars in Louisiana project, supported by Arnold Ventures and in partnership with the Promise of Justice Initiative and Voice of the Experienced. In 2019, she received a three-year Interdisciplinary Research Leader grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shared with the Voice of the Experienced and LSU Center for Healthcare Value and Equity, to examine the effects of incarceration on health service use in Louisiana, currently a global and national leader in incarceration rates. Prof. Armstrong has also served as an appointed member of the Louisiana Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and on several Louisiana legislative study committees on issues related to incarceration practices. She has also worked with museums, local artists, and philanthropic foundations to translate incarceration law and policy into spaces and mediums that are accessible to the general public.
Professor Armstrong is a graduate of Yale Law School (JD), the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (MPA), and New York University (BA). After graduating from law school, Professor Armstrong served as a clerk for the Honorable Helen G. Berrigan of the United States Eastern District of Louisiana. She also litigated prisoners’ rights issues, among others, as a Thomas Emerson fellow with David Rosen and Associates in New Haven, CT. She is admitted to practice in Connecticut (retired), New York (retired) and Louisiana state courts, as well as the U.S. District Court of Connecticut (retired), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (retired) and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Her publications can be found here.
Innocent But Incarcerated Labor, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021/2022)
Prison Medical Deaths and Qualified Immunity, J. of Crim. L. & Criminology (forthcoming 2021/2022)
Beyond the 13th, Ohio State L. J. (forthcoming 2021/2022).
Louisiana Deaths Behind Bars 2015-2019 (June 2021)
Study Brief: Adequacy of Healthcare Provided in Louisiana State Prisons, (May
2021)(with Bruce Reilly & Ashley Wennerstrom) at
Article excerpts republished in law textbook, INCARCERATION AND THE LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (West, 2020)
COVID-19 infections in the prison system concern us all, Louisiana Illuminator (July 12, 2020)
Hardwired Against Change: Race, Incarceration, and COVID-19, Just Security (Aug. 26,
The Missing Link: Jail & Prison Conditions in Criminal Justice Reform, 80 LA. L. REV. 1 (2019).
Essays for “Per(Sister)” on the Incarceration of Women, Tulane's Newcomb Art Museum (January 2019)
Dying in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, The Promise of Justice Initiative (July 2018)(with Shanita Farris).
Medicaid Enrollment in Jails, Baptist Community Ministries (Summer 2018).
Member, Louisiana State Advisory Committee, U.S. Committee on Civil Rights, Barriers to Voting, Summer 2018.
A Letter to Jay-Z: Don’t Keep This Promise, the Appeal (April 10, 2018) at https://injusticetoday.com/a-letter-to-jay-z-dont-keep-this-promise-93bee11e20bd
The Impact of 300 Years of Jail Conditions, The New Orleans Prosperity Index: Tricentennial Collection, The Data Center (2018).
Prison Rape Elimination Act Audit Report, Adult Prisons and Jails (Interim) for Century Regional Detention Facility in L.A. County, Jan. 31, 2018 (one of 9 audit team members),
Death Row Conditions Through an Environmental Justice Lens, 70 U. OF ARK. 203 (2017).
Punished Protesters in Baton Rouge: Conditions in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, The Promise of Justice Initiative (July 2017)(with Erica Navalance).
The Racial Origins of Doctrines Limiting Prisoner Protest, 60 HOWARD L. J. 221 (2016).
Race, Prison Discipline, and the Law, 5 U. OF CA. IRVINE L. REV. 101 (2015).
No Prisoner Left Behind? Enhancing Public Transparency of Penal Institutions, 25 STAN. L. & POL'Y REV. 435 (2014).
Slavery Revisited in Penal Plantation Labor, 35 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 835 (2012).
Claims to Pre-emptive Use of Force: Some Trends and Projections, 100 AM. J. INT’L L. 525 (2006)(with Michael W. Reisman)(peer-reviewed).
The Devil is in the Details: Transitional Justice and African Peace Agreements, 6 AFR. HUM. RTS. L. J. 1 (2006)(with Gloria Ntegeye)(peer-reviewed).
German Reparations to the Jews after World War Two: A Turning Point in the History of Reparations, in THE HANDBOOK ON REPARATIONS 390 (Pablo de Greiff ed., 2006)(with Ariel Colonomos).
Reparations and Microfinance Schemes, in THE HANDBOOK ON REPARATIONS 676 (Pablo de Greiff ed., 2006)(with Hans Dieter Seibel).
The Role of Civil Society Actors in Reparations Legislation, in REDRESSING INJUSTICES THROUGH MASS CLAIMS PROCESSES (Permanent Court of Arbitration ed., 2006).
Bad Neighborhoods: The Great Lakes of Africa and South Central Asia, in MAKING STATES WORK 79 (Simon Chesterman et al. eds., 2005) (with Barnett R. Rubin).
Regional Issues in the Reconstruction of Afghanistan, XX WORLD POL’Y J. 31 (2003) (with Barnett R. Rubin).
Being Recognized as Citizens: A Human Security Dilemma in Central Asia and the
Caucasus, (December 2002) (paper commissioned by the Commission on Human Security)