More than 16 percent of youth incarcerated in Louisiana’s largest juvenile jail told federal officials that they were sexually abused while imprisoned, according to a report issued Thursday by a New Orleans nonprofit.

The rate of abuse reported at the Swanson Center for Youth in Monroe is higher than the national average of 12 percent, according to the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana report.  Disproportionately targeted for abuse are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, which account for roughly 15 percent of the 450 juveniles incarcerated annually in Louisiana, according to the report.

The report (click here) relies on statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice’s statistics bureau as well as first-person accounts of rampant sexual abuse and homophobia within the state juvenile justice system.