District Attorney talks crime, overdoses and juvenile detention center crisis at Press Club Monday
BATON ROUGE - District Attorney Hillar Moore took the podium at Monday's Press Club meeting to lay out the statistics about crime in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Moore said there have been 92 homicides this year in the parish. Last year, that number was 114, and 149 in 2021.
"We are actually going in the right direction... albeit, 92 way off the chart for where we should be," Moore said.
As two juvenile offenders remain on the run from the Juvenile Detention Center, a spotlight was cast on the outdated facility. Moore expressed his frustration, emphasizing that the facility was never designed to be secure and efforts to enhance the facility have proven ineffective.
The juvenile jail in East Baton Rouge Parish holds up to 50 teenagers, but can only house 38 due to a lack of employees and resources.
"Of the 38 beds, I believe 20 are there for first degree or second-degree murder. I think our juvenile justice system has to be turned on its head and we have to look at it," he said.
The crux of the problem lies in funding, as Moore acknowledges the difficulty of convincing Baton Rouge residents to accept higher taxes for such a significant overhaul. Until the issue is resolved, Moore warns that Baton Rouge will struggle to attract residents and establish itself as a destination city.
"Until we get rid of this issue and get this behind us, you're not going to make Baton Rouge the destination city for people to come to."
Moore also discussed the fentanyl crisis. He believes by the end of the year, the number of fatal overdoses will surpass 300.
"And that number 300 should be alarming to everyone and we ought to say we really need to do something about it, but its really hard for us to combat it on our own."
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