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Another effort underway to establish new juvenile detention center

3 months 6 days 2 hours ago Sunday, March 27 2022 Mar 27, 2022 March 27, 2022 10:31 AM March 27, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Rene' Thibodeaux is eyeing the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in Baker for a new juvenile detention center.

"We have no place to put a juvenile when they commit a crime," Thibodeaux said.

The sheriff says it's very expensive and a long distance to house juvenile offenders.

"Sometimes our only other choice is out of state," Thibodeaux explained. "Mississippi, Alabama, other places which could cost $400-600 per day."

Thibodeaux and several other sheriffs in rural parishes are looking at the women's prison because plans are to eventually move the inmates to a new facility that's not built yet.

"So we got a bunch of legislators, senators to get them to understand we have a serious problem in the state of Louisiana," Thibodeaux said.

The sheriff says after recently arresting a teenager who was behind a rash of car break-ins, they took him straight home to his parents. No facility would take him in.

"We caught a juvenile one evening, who already had an ankle bracelet on them. The very next night, he was breaking into cars again," Thibodeaux said.

It will be at least another year until the inmates are transferred, and there's no guarantee that the place can be used to house juveniles when, or if, it becomes available.

"It seems that as of right now, that's our only option right now," Thibodeaux said.

Thibodeaux is planning more meetings with the other sheriffs and lawmakers before presenting a formal proposal to the state to use the women's prison as a juvenile detention center.

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