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Louisiana Children and OJJ

News reports about Louisiana Children and the role of the Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) in their lives and well-being.

datenews article
10/02/2022Jim Beam column: Juvenile Justice making news/" Jim Beam, The American Press

OK, what did Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick say in her 64-page ruling? She said the plan is “untenable” and “disturbing,” but doesn’t appear to violate federal law.

“Some of the children in OJJ’s care are so traumatized and emotionally and psychologically disturbed that OJJ is virtually unable to provide a secure environment,” the judge said.

“While locking children in cells at night at Angola is untenable, the threat of harm these youngsters present to themselves, and others, is intolerable,” she wrote. “The untenable must yield to the intolerable.”
09/26/2022Federal judge denies request to halt transfer of violent youth to infamous Louisiana prison - Victor Skinner, The Center Square

A federal judge denied a request to halt plans to transfer violent, troubled youth to Louisiana’s Angola penitentiary, arguing "the untenable must yield to the intolerable."
09/20/2022Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights official blasts plan to house youth at Angola - Staff Report, Plaquemine Post South

The plan to imprison children in Angola is part of a pattern of doubling down on failed approaches, according to Aaron Clark-Rizzio, co-Executive Director of the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights and a public defender for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office.

The Office of Juvenile Justice needs to consider a smaller, more humane system for addressing youth offenders, he said during an address to the Press Club of Baton Rouge.
09/19/2022Youth advocate says juveniles fearful as they 'live under the threat' of being sent to Angola - Jacquiline DeRobertis, The Advocate

Moving youths to Angola would lead to "children … enduring more violence and probably [make] them more willing to inflict violence at the end of the day," Clark-Rizzio said. A doctor specializing in juvenile mental health testified at a hearing over the Angola plan that the move could have long-term consequences for the youths’ psychological wellbeing.
09/13/2022Louisiana could face staffing shortage in moving incarcerated teens to Angola - Julie O'Donoghue, Louisiana Illuminator

Louisiana will likely face challenges in hiring the guards, medical personnel, teachers and therapists and it needs for a new, controversial juvenile justice secure care facility it plans to open later this year at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.

Officials have said inadequate staffing has contributed to riots, escapes and violence at the state’s other secure care facilities for incarcerated teens, and critics believe the identical problems could surface at the new location, in part because it will be difficult to find workers.
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