Louisiana’s juvenile justice system was revamped to deal with violence and negligence. Rather than locking kids up, the state tries to treat underlying behavioral issues. But some say the new facilities, many of which are private, have the same problems as youth prisons.
Orleans Parish Juvenile Court officials pleaded their case to City Council members Friday against the Landrieu administration’s more than $90,000 cut to their personnel funding, and a more than $300,000 cut to support services funding for at-risk youth. The Juvenile Court is beseeching the council for $3.9 million total in funding for next year, nearly the same as this year’s amount.
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.