Dr. Norman C. Francis 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.
Law Review / Journal Articles
Access Denied: Public Records and Incarcerated People, 19 U. St. Thomas L.J. 220 (2023)(symposium on prison conditions).
Public Health and Prisons: Priorities in the Age of Mass Incarceration, 44 Ann. Rev. of Pub. Health 407 (April 2023)(with David Cloud, Ilana Garcia-Grossman & Brie Williams).
Unconvicted Incarcerated Labor, 57 Harv. J. C.R. & C.L. L. Rev. 1 (2022).
Prison Medical Deaths and Qualified Immunity,112 J. of Crim. L. & Criminology 79 (2022).
Data, Deference, and Non-Disclosure: Shedding Light on Louisiana’s Death Behind Bars from 2015-2019, 23 Loy. J. Pub. Int. L. 105 (2021) (with Meredith Booker & Jenna Grant).
Beyond the 13th- Captive Labor, 82 Ohio St. L.J. 1039 (2021).
The Missing Link: Jail & Prison Conditions in Criminal Justice Reform, 80 LA. L. REV. 1 (2019).
Death Row Conditions Through an Environmental Justice Lens, 70 U. OF ARK. 203 (2017).
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) (excerpt republished in law casebook, INCARCERATION AND THE LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (West, 2020).
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).
Regional Issues in the Reconstruction of Afghanistan, XX WORLD POL’Y J. 31 (2003) (with Barnett R. Rubin).
Louisiana Justice: Pre-trial, Incarceration, & Reentry, Public Welfare Foundation (Oct. 2022)(with Marcus Kondkar).
Opportunities for Philanthropy in Louisiana’s Justice System, Public Welfare Foundation (Oct. 2022)(with Marcus Kondkar).
Louisiana Deaths Behind Bars 2015-2019, Incarceration Transparency Project (June 2021).
Louisiana Legislature Study Brief: Adequacy of Healthcare Provided in Louisiana State Prisons, pursuant to La. H.C.R. 91 (2020), (May 2021) (with Bruce Reilly & Ashley Wennerstrom).
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).
Barriers to Voting, Louisiana State Advisory Committee, U.S. Committee on Civil Rights, (Summer 2018).
The Impact of 300 Years of Jail Conditions, The New Orleans Prosperity Index: Tricentennial Collection, The Data Center (Mar. 2018) (excerpt republished in law casebook, INCARCERATION AND THE LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (West, 2020).
Punished Protesters in Baton Rouge: Conditions in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, The Promise of Justice Initiative (July 2017) (with Erica Navalance).
Commentary, book chapters and other publications
Carceral Secrecy and (In)Security in Race & National Security (Matiangai Sirleaf, ed., forthcoming 2023).
Political Determinants of Contextual Vulnerability to Mass Incarceration & Climate Change in Climate Change & Health Justice: Applying an Equity Approach (Daniel Dawes et al. eds., forthcoming 2023)(with Cynthia Golembeski, Ans Irfan, Michael Méndez, Nicholas Shapiro & Julie Skarha).
Teacher’s Guide, Incarceration Law: Deaths Behind Bars Project (August 2022)
Climate Change and Incarceration, Think Global Health (blog post), Council on Foreign Relations (April 29, 2022) (with Cynthia Golembeski, Ans Irfan, Michael Méndez, Nicholas Shapiro).
Hardwired Against Change: Race, Incarceration, and COVID-19, (blog post) Just Security (Aug. 26, 2020).
COVID-19 infections in the prison system concern us all, (op-ed) Louisiana Illuminator (July 12, 2020).
Essays for “Per(Sister)” on the Incarceration of Women, Tulane's Newcomb Art Museum (January 2019).
A Letter to Jay-Z: Don’t Keep This Promise, The Appeal (April 10, 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).
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).
Being Recognized as Citizens: A Human Security Dilemma in Central Asia and the
Caucasus, (December 2002) (paper commissioned by the Commission on Human Security)