Louisiana officials shelve plans to open new juvenile prison
BATON ROUGE - Plans to open a new juvenile prison in Avoyelles Parish have been put on hold amid a state budget crisis that is expected to squeeze the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice.
State officials are closing dormitories at juvenile detention centers in Jefferson Parish and Monroe ahead of anticipated cuts, even though those facilities are filled to capacity. They also are becoming more selective about which troubled teens will be taken into long-term custody.
Mary Livers, the agency's deputy secretary, wrote in an email to staffers on Monday, only youth who are considered to be the most serious-needs, violent offenders will be moved into secure care until further notice.
The Office of Juvenile Justice intended to open the doors of the Acadiana Center for Youth in coming months, but those plans have been shelved indefinitely.
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