Youth held at Angola allege violence from guards, extended lockdown in lawsuit
An incarcerated youth said guards at a controversial juvenile justice facility recently opened on the grounds of Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola have hit young people and used mace multiple times to restrain them. Daniel ,incarcerated youth , said he no longer has access to substance abuse treatment, and Edward complained about the schooling. He said that the building has also gone into lockdown for days at a time, where young people are only let out of their cells for showers. The essential resources owed to kids in their facilities are missing and received at other facilities are missing.  Read the full […]
OJJ seeks to deny attorneys’ push for more access and information on youth conditions in Angola
The state is attempting to deny advocates from seeking information about the conditions and services being provided to the kids held in the Angola facility. This denial of access is a pattern of behavior from OJJ. Aaron Clark Rizzio, LCCR Co-Executive director states “All of our clients and their families understand the message that OJJ intends to send to them, and they feel it deeply. The children in there feel as if they’re being thrown away, being put in the worst place possible, and being given up on.” Read the full article here
Sending children to Angola increases chances of recidivism
New Orleans pediatric physicians join in the recent op-ed by Demario Davis and Malcolm Jenkins to strongly oppose the relocation of our youth from juvenile detention facilities to Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Security issues that led to this decision aren’t the fault of the children; they should be given the opportunity to rehabilitate, not be sent to a maximum-security facility designed for adult incarceration. Read the full op-ed by Maya Jones, a pediatric emergency physician, and Jessica Zagory, a pediatric surgeon here
Statement on the Office of Juvenile Justice’s bed shortage
We appreciate the Office of Juvenile Justice’s decision, as the safety and wellbeing of children should be its top priority. The State should not be taking children from their homes and communities if they cannot keep them safe and provide appropriate services. Louisiana is at a critical moment in youth justice. It is time for the State to recognize and acknowledge that the current systems do not work and, in actuality, cause great harm to children. This is a moment for us as a State to turn away from relying on counter-productive prisons for children, and create community based alternatives. […]
Statement on Rampant Abuses at Ware Youth Center
The New York Times recently released an investigative report on the systemic failures and ignored abuse running rampant within Ware Youth Center – which has led to a surge in suicide attempts amongst incarcerated children. Governor Edwards has since announced he will request an investigation from the State Inspector General. The violence and abuse at Ware are emblematic of a larger youth justice crisis that has become increasingly urgent in recent months. Yet, the state has continued to scapegoat kids and shirk responsibility for a decades-long unfulfilled promise to transform the youth justice system into a holistic model of care […]
Learning Interrupted: A Virtual Panel Discussion About the Educational Crisis in Louisiana’s Secure Care Facilities
Please join LCCR on Thursday, October 20 @ 6pm CST via Zoom for a solutions-oriented panel discussion about our latest report on the educational failures in Louisiana’s juvenile prisons—and where we go from here. RSVP today!
For 25 years, the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights has fought to keep children out of the criminal legal system so they can thrive in their own homes and communities. Our current work began when the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana and Juvenile Regional Services joined forces and resources to continue their policy advocacy and direct representation work collaboratively. In that same light, LCCR is proud to announce we are moving forward with an organizational restructuring that we are certain will help strengthen and ensure the viability of the organization into the future. In a new appointment, JLWOP Legal Representation […]
2022 Louisiana Legislative Session: Impact on Juvenile Justice, Criminal Justice, and Voting Rights
On July 7, LCCR and our friends at the Power Coalition for Equity & Justice are coming together to discuss the 2022 Louisiana legislative session. We'll be sharing key legislative victories in juvenile justice, criminal justice, and voting rights, and how they’ll affect you and your community.
Solitary Confinement and Children: How Reporting on One Louisiana Juvenile Prison Brought to Light this Harmful Practice and Led to a Push for Abolition
In March, a horrifying article was published detailing the deplorable conditions of a secretly-operated juvenile prison in St. Martinville, where children were being kept in round-the-clock solitary. Join us on Monday, April 18 from 5:00-6:00pm CST for a Zoom panel discussion. We'll explore the history and usage of solitary confinement in the United States, how it continues to harm children today, and what's being done to abolish this practice. RSVP today!
What We Can Do Now to Reduce Juvenile Crime
Juvenile Crime is a pressing topic in New Orleans right now. There are two approaches we could adopt right now to help us better respond to and reduce juvenile crime? Join us on Tuesday, March 8 from 5:00-6:15pm CST for a Zoom panel discussion. We'll explore restorative justice and credible messenger mentoring as two means for reducing harm and producing better results--much to the benefit of public safety and our community as a whole.