Leaked document hints at governor’s plan to relocate violent juveniles to Angola

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An internal document reveals new details about the state’s plan to temporarily house violent juvenile offenders at Angola.

Civil rights attorneys say it’s not the right move.

“One thing that was very evident is how haphazardly this has been put together,” attorney Ron Haley says.

The leaked document, first obtained by The Lens and shared with FOX 8, gives a tentative look at Governor John Bel Edwards’ plan to transfer a dozen of the most violent juvenile offenders from the Bridge City Center for Youth to the state penitentiary.

“Under no circumstances, in our opinions, should it ever be okay for children to be housed at the Louisiana State Penitentiary or any adult facility,” Haley continued in a press conference following a judge’s order to pause the transfers until mid-September.

The program summary states “the Angola unit is a maximum custody unit for youth described as violent and very aggressive with a documented history of engaging in behavior which incites aggressive responses from others.”

“I think it is a very slippery slope that you are going to hand-select (inmates) without due process,” Haley says. “This is without a due process hearing that you are going to go to Angola. So you just make this decision.”

According to the document, the program will rely on a cognitive behavioral approach and transferred juveniles will be given access to religious, education, medical, and mental health services.


Civil rights attorneys want a more comprehensive plan.

“It’s cruel and unusual punishment,” Haley says.

The governor announced his plan to move the youth offenders after constant trouble at the Bridge City facility, including riots, fights, and five escapes. Bridge City residents say they’ve had enough.

“They threatened to burn my house down,” a Bridge City resident told FOX 8. “I’m in fear, I’m in fear all the time.”

One man is still fighting for his life in the hospital after police say a Bridge City escapee carjacked and shot him.

“You want to act like an adult, you should be treated like one,” the victim’s wife says.

“They will have to find a place that is secure not only to protect the kids but the community,” Haley says. “The answer to that question cannot be to house them in the same campus as adult prisoners.”

The federal judge presiding over the case ordered the state to turn over its comprehensive plan Wednesday. Gov. Edwards has agreed not to transfer any juveniles until Sept. 15, after a hearing scheduled for Sept. 6.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click Here to report it. Please include the headline.