LA Coordinated System of Care
Emergency.Louisiana.gov

Overview

Communications Office


Portions of two movies have been filmed at Bridge City Center for Youth.

Jerel M. Giarrusso, Communications Director
Tel. 225.287.7898, Fax 225.287.7673
email: Jerel.Giarrusso@LA.Gov

The Communications Director is responsible for all public relations and public information activities. The Communications Director serves as agency spokesperson; coordinates media outreach through news releases, video releases, etc.; manages media/public awareness campaigns; advises management on public affairs issues; provides information about agency activities and policies to the news media and the public; tracks media coverage; produces public information materials and facilitates the flow of internal and external information.

OJJ's policy is to provide information that is truthful and accurate to the public, the media and other agencies, consistent with the custody and privacy interests of the agency, staff, and youth. Confidential information will be released in accordance with the law and agency policy. At no time will appropriate information be withheld from the news media and the public regarding emergency or non-emergency situations. Data and information protected by the U. S. Freedom of Information Act or state privacy laws including Public Records statutes will be provided timely to members of the public and the news media when requested.

No information identifying any youth in OJJ custody or in any OJJ program will be released to the public, with the exception that requests for information regarding a specific youth will only be released in accordance with state statutes contained in the Louisiana Children’s Code or at the direction of the courts.

In a non-emergency situation, media access will be allowed to the Central Office and regional offices upon request. In emergency situations, media access may be restricted.

Upon request, media MAY be granted access to most areas of secure facilities, with approval from the Deputy Secretary and the facility director, so long as routine operations are not disrupted and the privacy and confidentiality of youth and staff are not breached. Concern for the safety of youth, staff and visitors is our primary consideration.

In an emergency situation such as an escape from a secure facility, residential group home, or vehicle transporting a youth in custody, physical descriptions only will be released as a public safety measure.

In emergency situations, media access to facilities will be limited and periodic briefings will be held. In certain emergency situations where public safety is of concern, no media visits to secure facilities will be allowed.

Commercial producers seeking access to OJJ facilities must make a written request to the Communications Director.