Acadiana Center for Youth Opens
Bunkie, LABunkie has become the home of the first juvenile secure care facility in the Central/Southwestern part of the state. In the last week, the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) began populating the secure care facility for delinquent juvenile males.
The Acadiana Center for Youth (ACY) is built upon a therapeutic rather than punitive model. ACY will provide a secure setting where youth will receive treatment services and rehabilitation, utilizing the Louisiana model of therapeutic secure care. An on-site, state-approved alternative school, will provide educational opportunities for the resident youth, including academic instruction and life skills training. Daily therapeutic groups will address identified needs, such as anger management and substance abuse. Director James Woods will be responsible for daily operations of the facility.
The ACY has the capacity to house 72 youth in six dormitories. At this time the facility has the budget to operate 3 of its 6 dormitories. Beginning in late 2018, 80 employees were hired and trained to deliver the LAMOD therapeutic model to the young people in the facility. Once full funding is secured for the facility, a total of 124 employees will be working at ACY.
“The Acadiana Center for Youth represents a huge step in the systemic juvenile justice reform which began over 15 years ago in Louisiana,” said OJJ Deputy Secretary Dr. James Bueche. “The end result of establishing small, regional facilities for our adjudicated youth population, rather than large, institutionalized corrections environments will yield more success for the young men receiving these services closer to their homes and families allowing them a smoother transition back to their communities.”
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.