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Jetson property could be sold, smaller facility planned

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Posted: Mar 24, 2014 3:15 PM by Trey Schmaltz
Updated: Mar 24, 2014 3:15 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Jetson, baton rouge, crime, teens, louisiana

BATON ROUGE- State juvenile justice leaders pledged to return a juvenile justice facility to the state's largest parish Monday afternoon during a House Appropriations committee hearing at the capitol.

The goal could be to sell all but fifty acres of the property north of the airport and use the rest for an all-new building, the Deputy Secretary of LA Office of Juvenile Justice, Dr. Mary L. Livers, said.

Jetson closed at the end of January, abruptly, overnight one weekend. Sixteen teenage offenders from the area were bussed to Monroe, where there is a similar facility. In all, 76 were moved in a caravan of buses that night.

About the 400 acre site in East Baton Rouge, Livers said "what is going to happen with that, is up to the legislature, but we will continue to keep the keys."

A new facility could house as many as 72 offenders and would cost about $27 million. Until that is finalized, the property would be used as an evacuation site for Bridge City, another juvenile justice compound in the New Orleans area.

Lawmakers asked about transportation for parents who want to see their kids and now have to travel to North Louisiana. Livers said her department arranges and drives parents from Baton Rouge to Monroe on Saturdays and also has video conferencing available.

The committee meeting ended when the session began, and lawmakers who still had questions about why the facility was closed and what will happen next were told to write them down.
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