The Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) will phase in the resumption of in person visitation at its four secure care facilities for males over the next three weekends. The Swanson Center for Youth in Monroe and the Swanson Center for Youth in Columbia will resume visitation October 23-24. The Acadiana Center for Youth will resume visitation the weekend of October 30-31. And lastly, the Bridge City Center for Youth will resume the weekend of November 6-7.
Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), revised practices will be in place to allow for social distancing and safety standards.
“The decision to resume visitation was made after careful consideration to both youth and staff safety.” said Deputy Secretary William Sommers. “We have been consulting with state and national public health information to assure that the families can come together safely.”
General rules normally applicable for visitation can be found at ojj.la.gov. The following additional rules will also be in place:
- All visitation will take place in visitation areas suited for proper social distancing. All visitors must follow social distance rules put forth by the facility.
- Each youth will be limited to two (2) visitors that must be verified as family members.
- In addition to normal entry checks, all visitors must pass a temperature check and Covid-19 screening.
- Visitors and youth will be provided disposable protective face masks that must be worn at all times.
The Office of Juvenile Justice will continue to work closely with its medical provider, Wellpath to monitor youth in the secure care facilities. The continuation of in person visitation is subject to reevaluation based on active Covid-19 cases in each secure care facility.
The agency will also be reaching out to our contracted residential providers to assess their plans to resume visitation, recognizing the important role that family contact has in facilitating a smooth transition from residential placement back into the community.
OJJ serves youth who have been adjudicated delinquent or Families in Need of Services (FINS). The agency is responsible for youth assigned to its care and custody by the court system, either for probation supervision, or custody in residential placement or secure care.