Latest Weather Blog
Judge: Lack of beds in rural parishes has system failing violent offenders
BATON ROUGE- A lack of beds available when juveniles commit violent crimes is causing concern among one local sheriff and a local juvenile court judge.
Sheriff Brett Stassi sounded the alarm last week when a 14-year-old hit a 15-year-old with a bat, giving him a head injury that resulted in a concussion and the need for staples. That 14-year-old had been in trouble before, but there was no bed space anywhere around the state to house him.
Juvenile Court Judge Adam Haney in Baton Rouge is familiar with the problem. It's a problem that predominantly affects rural parishes and not East Baton Rouge.
"When you have situations where a youth should be detained pretrial, there is no place for them to go and other parishes are forced to look to those parishes that operate detention centers and go begging," Haney said.
But, all the begging didn't work for the 14-year old. Sheriff Stassi said a bed was not made available until almost one week after the incident. The child was sent home with an ankle monitor instead.
"In general, there is obviously an issue if there's a youth that has committed a new offense while on probation," Haney said. "That's a failure. The point of probation is to stay at home, allow you to rehabilitate without having to go into custody."
The Office of Juvenile Justice tells WBRZ, there is no formal plan as of now to address the problem across the state. But, there have been meetings and discussions about it. Until something is done, juveniles who commit violent crimes in rural parishes will be at the mercy of available bed space, and if there isn't any they're set free.
"It affects other parishes, but affects us too," Haney said. "There are situations where it's incredibly frustrating to me that we'll have youth come in the parish and they show up at a detention center because they've been arrested and they have an ankle monitor put on for an offense they committed somewhere else."
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Metro Council member loses property dispute case, ordered to pay $57K in...
INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Air traffic control tower was unmanned at time of deadly...
Contentious tax proposal backed by Livingston Parish schools fails in weekend election
Two BRPD officers dead after police helicopter crashed in Erwinville while pursuing...
Non-profit 'It Takes A Village' serves community one last time; closing after...
Lady Tigers celebrate as they punch their ticket to the Final Four
LSU women's basketball, prepping for Elite 8, has a unique fan watching...
Channel 2's Best Bet$: Sweet 16
LSU women's basketball looking to fight Michigan's height with speed
LSU Baseball opens SEC play - WBRZ Sports Takeover