OJJ looks into LCIW correctional facility to possibly house juveniles

Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women (formerly Jetson Youth Center).
Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women (formerly Jetson Youth Center).(WAFB)
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 5:12 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:29 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Juvenile offenders from Jefferson Parish could be placed at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, formerly the Jetson Youth Center.

The 20 inmate prison escapes and riots are just a few incidents that have happened at the outdated Bridge City Center for Youth in Jefferson Parish.

“The facility is not designed to house these types of folks, and the state must do something,” said Sen. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero.

Connick added since meeting with the governor, more guards and staffing have been added but there is a possibility that some of the most violent juveniles in Louisiana could be housed at the LCIW.

“The mid-short-term goal is to renovate a wing of the Jetson facility in Baker, Louisiana, to make it suitable for housing of these inmates,” added Connick.

After the flood of 2016, adult female prisoners moved from the adult prison in St. Gabriel to the Jetson Center. The debate now is whether to place some of the juveniles from Bridge City at the Jetson Center with the female inmates.

“I know it’s a women’s facility but there is a way to segregate the boys from the women inmates. It’s secure, that’s coming from the governor, but I think that needs to be done immediately. The governor promised to get that done in three months,” explained Connick.

However, the Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) said nothing is set in stone. OJJ leaders added they are also looking at other facilities in the state for both long-term and short-term housing of young offenders. Louisiana lawmakers said law enforcement officials have talked in the past about adding more juvenile facilities in the state or updating them. Connick said it is time to see a change.

“We got to fund the Office of Juvenile Justice. We got to make sure that we build facilities that hopefully can rehabilitate them,” he noted.

OJJ said it is moving some of the inmates because of the disturbances that have happened in the facility and there is not an exact time frame of when they will move the inmates.

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