Federal judge won’t block plan to transfer juvenile offenders to Angola

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – A federal judge will not block a plan to transfer two dozen detained teenagers to Angola, according to a ruling issued on Friday, September 23.

In her 64-page ruling, US Judge Shelly Dick said she was not one to enjoy seeing young prisoners being transferred to Angola. However, she concluded there was no better alternative.

“The prospect of putting a teenager to bed at night in a cell locked behind razor wire surrounded by swamps in Angola is unsettling,” Dick wrote. “Some children in the care of OJJ are so traumatized and disturbed that they are so psychologically and emotionally disturbed that OJJ is barely able to provide a safe care environment.

Inmates will be kept more than a mile away from any adult inmates and isolated from them at all times.


Friday’s ruling was in response to a civil lawsuit filed in Baton Rouge on behalf of a juvenile inmate identified as Alex A. The case against Edwards, OJJ Deputy Secretary Bill Sommers and the letter Signing James LeBlanc of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections requested a temporary restraining order against the plan and a permanent injunction against it.

Youth justice advocates are holding a news conference on Louisiana State Capitol steps to demand more than just halting youth violence transfers

Governor John Bel Edwards launched the transfer plan in July as an effort to stop violence at the Bridge City Detention Center.

At this time, no date has been set as to when the move might occur.

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