#FreeOurYouth from Louisiana's Juvenile Prisons During the COVID-19 Crisis

Basics: Orleans Parish Prison (O.P.P), New Orleans, Louisiana. This is the juvenile wing of the Orleans Parish Prison. The air conditioning is not working. There was a fight there the night before, so they have taken away privileges of TVs, cards, and dominos. It currently houses about 23 juvenile boys, two per cell. The cell at its narrowest portion measures about 6 feet wide. OPP is controlled by Sheriff Marlin Gusman. It is a minimal supervision facility.More than 200 kids are currently being held in Louisiana’s juvenile prisons, separated from loved ones. Over 80% of these kids are Black.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to worsen throughout the country, prison facilities have proved especially vulnerable to outbreak. Louisiana’s Office of Juvenile Justice, in particular, has been failing the children in its care, needlessly putting their health and safety at risk. Thus far, it’s response to the pandemic has been to:

  • Stop testing kids in its care
  • Stop letting families visit their children
  • Stop letting kids out on furloughs
  • Limit rehabilitative programming, like school

What has it started to do?

  • Use solitary confinement for kids who are suspected of having the virus. Wait, what?!?

The situation has gotten so out of hand that OJJ’s own staff have begun quitting due to their own concerns about the virus.

This cannot continue. Not while the virus is surging once again in Louisiana. The safety of our kids in OJJ’s facilities is just too important.

Join us in our campaign to #FreeOurYouth from Louisiana’s juvenile prisons before COVID’s second wave gets any worse.

Donate today to help us raise $10,000 to support litigation seeking the return, via furlough or outright release, of individual children being held in these dangerous facilities during this time of crisis. Your support could make a major difference in our efforts to return these kids safely home.

Together, let’s #FreeOurYouth.

Posted by decubingon July 20, 2020and categorized as Client Story, Featured, News, Uncategorized