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Appeals court sides with state, temporarily halts juveniles' removal from Angola facility

10 months 47 minutes 47 seconds ago Wednesday, September 13 2023 Sep 13, 2023 September 13, 2023 11:00 PM September 13, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - An appeals court has issued a judgment halting a federal judge's order that would have forced the state to immediately relocate juvenile offenders being held on the Angola prison grounds. 

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Governor John Bel Edwards, as well as Louisiana's Office of Juvenile Justice and Department of Corrections. The ruling will temporarily pause the order handed down by federal Judge Shelly Dick last week, which would have forced the state to remove the teenage inmates from the penitentiary's grounds by the end of Friday, Sept. 15. 

Judge Dick came to that ruling last week after a series of hearings detailing the poor conditions at the temporary Angola facility, which was created to hold the state's most violent juvenile offenders after a rash of breakouts across the state. 

The judge harshly criticized how the facility was run as she handed down her order last week.  

"The facility screams 'prison,'" Judge Dick said, adding that the unit was "decidedly punitive and not rehabilitative."

The move is now indefinitely on hold to allow "sufficient time" to consider the emergency motion, according to the decision from the appellate court.

Attorneys representing the ACLU and the families of teenagers being held at the facility have until noon Friday to file a response. 

Just one day after the hold on the order was approved, the Office of Juvenile Justice removed the teenagers from the facility. Read more details here

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