Juvenile jail — a.k.a. 'Youth Study Center' — draws fire in studies by advocacy groups

By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer |

Recent disciplinary actions at the city’s juvenile prison, along with a pair of damning new reports, raise fresh questions about the safety of juvenile detention centers in New Orleans and across the state and country. Documents released in response to a public-records request from The Lens show that in May the City of New Orleans fired an employee at the Youth Study Center in Gentilly, after the worker admitted threatening to “knock the f— out of” a youth, and for sleeping  on duty.

Judge approves pact requiring city, School Board improve juvenile hall

A federal judge gave final approval Friday to two agreements for broad reform at the New Orleans juvenile detention center. Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle’s approval of the consent decrees legally obligates the city and Orleans Parish School Board to improve conditions and increase educational resources at the jail-like facility, a holding center for juvenile offenders euphemistically named the Youth Study Center.