OJJ Thanks Administration and Legislature for Advancing Reform Efforts
The Office of Juvenile Justice would like to thank Governor Bobby Jindal, the Legislature, and the members of the Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission for ensuring that juvenile justice reform maintained a priority this legislative session.
Governor Jindal and the legislature moved the state one step closer to regionalization by appropriating $6.2 million and committing another $2 million to begin planning and development of a facility to be located in the Acadiana region. The facility will implement proven treatment models that focus on therapeutic services, accountability, and restorative justice. Services will include assessment of youths’ needs and risks, substance abuse and mental health treatment, educational training, workforce skills based training, among others. These models have proven to reduce recidivism and turn youth around to a path of productive citizenship. Development of the Acadiana facility will expand the continuum of care while extending the state’s efforts to strengthen long-term economic growth and put more Louisiana citizens to work. "One of the most important things we can do as a state is to improve care and outcomes for young people in the juvenile justice system and this facility is a critical step for juvenile justice reform in Louisiana.” - Governor Bobby Jindal
In another giant step for reform, Baton Rouge Senator Sharon Weston Broome, and Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission Member, authored SB 302, which converted the statewide Jetson Center for Youth to a regional facility for East Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes. The Jetson Center for Youth is a secure facility that houses youth who are adjudicated delinquent and is located in East Baton Rouge Parish. "I have worked diligently with OJJ in their progress toward reform. The conversion to a regional facility for Baton Rouge is in the best interests of the youth from this area, is fiscally responsible, and meets the need for public safety. I am looking forward to positive outcomes for youth at the Louis Jetson Center for Youth." - State Senator Sharon Weston Broome
Representative Mack “Bodi” White from Denham Springs, also a member of the Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission, worked to inform his chamber about the importance of juvenile justice reform to Louisiana. "The conversion of Jetson is part of the plan aligned with the legislature’s reform efforts. This was a good step forward and I'm glad we got it done." - State Representative “Bodi” White
OJJ has worked with national partners, including the Missouri Youth Services Institute, to plan for developing smaller, treatment-focused facilities. The smaller, treatment-focused centers provide needed services for local youth. By keeping youth close to home, families and communities have better opportunities for involvement in their treatment, including restorative justice opportunities, which leads to successful rehabilitation of youthful offenders. There is a national trend to regionalize and increase the use of smaller facilities. “This new facility is a step in the right direction for the Office of Juvenile Justice. We have worked with the agency to develop the training curriculum and staffing patterns and fully support the new treatment model that will be implemented at Louis Jetson Center for Youth.” - Mark Steward, Missouri Youth Services Institute Director
The Louis Jetson Center for Youth has the design capacity to house up to 99 youth, with no more than 12 youth in a dorm. This is a dramatic decrease from just early last year, where Jetson housed over 200 youth. “Regional secure care facilities are good public policy. I am extremely proud of the staff for embracing this new model. They have been working extra hard to implement the treatment model that will improve outcomes for youth.” - Dr. Mary Livers, OJJ Deputy Secretary
OJJ will continue to work with our stakeholders and partners, including judges, district attorneys and sheriffs, to ensure that the needs of youth are being met and public safety is protected. “The Louis Jetson Center for Youth will be focused on treatment. This new facility will present the right philosophy, vision and commitment to make it a place where children can improve their lives while ensuring public safety.” - Chief Justice Catherine D. Kimball, member, Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission “The Louisiana District Attorneys Association recognizes that maintaining the adequate capacity of residential placements at the secure, moderate, and community based levels, allows decision makers to provide the most appropriate placement for youth, based on needs.” - Pete Adams, LDAA Executive Director
The Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission is comprised of Chief Justice Catherine D. Kimball, Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu, Commissioner of Administration Angele Davis, Senator Sharon Weston Broome, Representative Bodi White and Pastor Raymond Jetson.