Advocates for jailed juveniles protest possible relocation to Angola
BAKER - A handful of protesters gathered outside the former Jetson Center for Youth in Baker to take a stand against what they consider to be a huge injustice.
In June, after break outs at the juvenile jail in New Orleans, the Office of Juvenile Justice revealed it would transfer some of its most problematic kids to Jetson, but renovations needed to be completed before anyone could be moved.
After another break out in July, the state decided to act faster—with a plan to move the kids to Angola until renovations at Jetson are finished.
"We don't need babies, we don't need young people going to Angola and we certainly don't need to reopen a facility that was closed back in 2014. That sounds like to me that we're going backwards instead of progressing,” said one protester.
The kids would be housed at the state pen in a facility separate from the adult inmates.
However, some of these juvenile offenders are violent criminals. In July, one escapee shot a man while he was out. When asked what should be done with them, these groups say it's all about intervention.
“If we were doing what the juvenile system was supposed to do, we'd have so few kids in the prison we wouldn't have a need for these large prisons that we keep trying to build. And we certainly—if we were really trying to support young people—we wouldn't be housing them at Angola. That's a recipe for disaster,” Gina Womack with Families and Friends of Incarcerated Children said.
So far, no juvenile offenders from Bridge City have been moved.
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