Visitation

Visitation During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) will resume in person visitation at its four secure care facilities for males on Saturday, March 20, 2021.

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 in line with Louisiana’s Phase 3 Covid-19 guidelines.

Unlike visitation, prior to the pandemic, all families must preschedule a 45-minute timeslot for visiting with youth. Extended visitation hours will be held on Saturdays and Sundays between 10:00am and 4:00pm. Staff will be on hand to sanitize visitation areas in between visits. Hand sanitizer stations will be accessible at all sites.

General rules normally applicable for visitation can be found below. The following additional rules will also be in place:

  1. 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.
  2. Each youth will be limited to two (2) visitors that must be verified as family members.
  3. In addition to normal entry checks, all visitors must pass a temperature check and Covid-19 screening.
  4. Visitors and youth will be provided disposable protective face masks that must be worn at all times.

Families must contact the secure care facility they wish to visit by Thursday, March 18, 2021 at noon to schedule a time slot for visitation on the weekend of March 20-21, 2021.

  • Bridge City Center for Youth, (225) 394-9623
  • Swanson Center for Youth in Monroe and Columbia, (318) 953-4445
  • Acadiana Center for Youth in Bunkie, (318) 346-0134

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.

Visiting Youth in Secure Care

Support from family members is very important to the treatment process. Visits from family motivate and inspire youth to participate in programming and meet the goals of his treatment plan, which may result in an earlier release date. Visitation times have been set by each facility. Special visits and videoconferences due to transportation or other issues can be arranged through the facility or regional office.

Youth in secure care create a visitor list with help from his case manager or counselor. To ensure safety at visitation, potential visitors must provide basic information and submit to a criminal history check and be granted visitation rights prior to visiting youth. More information on this process can be obtained from the secure care facilities.

Visitation Hours

OJJ’s Policy C.2.8 Youth Visitation in Secure Facilities provides information on visitation for families. Approved visitors may include a spouse, parent, guardian, custodian of the youth, grandparent, sister/brother (includes step siblings and half siblings), biological child or any member of the immediate family. A youth may have only 3 visitors at a time; infants are included as a visitor. Siblings and biological children under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult on the approved visiting list. Permission to visit may be denied to any individual and visitation suspended in the event of an emergency at the facility

There are some general rules applicable to all visitors when visiting a secure facility. If a visitor has not received a copy of these rules/procedures prior to visiting a copy should be requested from a facility employee and reviewed prior to entering onto the facility grounds to visit a youth.

  1. A Picture Identification is required for ALL visitors 14 years of age and older.
  2. Visitors should arrive at least 15 minutes in advance of the visiting schedule to allow for processing by Security and Case Management.
  3. Must be dressed appropriately per the information provided by the facility in the parent information packet.
  4. Park in the designated visitors’ parking area.
  5. Leave all belongings in the car except for the visitor’s picture identification and the car key/remote to unlock the car.
  6. Lock the vehicle after parking.
  7. Report to the Visitors’ Entrance.
  8. Visitors will provide OJJ staff with picture identification and the name of the youth being visited.
  9. OJJ staff will record the visit in accordance with the rules and procedures set forth by the facility’s administration.
  10. Visitors will then be escorted to the designated area to receive a pat down search.
  11.  Proceed to the visitation area.

 

CONTRABAND

VISITORS WHO VIOLATE THE FOLLOWING RULES REGARDING CONTRABAND MAY BE PROSECUTED UNDER LA. R.S. 14:402 OF THE LOUISIANA CRIMINAL CODE.

Possession of Contraband is not allowed. A visitor to a secure facility shall not  introduce or possess the following on facility grounds: unauthorized currency or cash, food, toiletries or clothing not authorized by the Facility Director, intoxicating liquors, tobacco products, weapons, drug paraphernalia, pornographic material, explosives, unauthorized telecommunications equipment, electronics, tape recorders, cameras or camcorders and substances defined in the Uniform Control Dangerous Substance Law.

Visitors are not allowed to give money directly to youth during visitation. Money for a youth must be given to a designated OJJ facility staff to be recorded and processed. OJJ staff will process the money into the youth’s personal account. Money is not to exceed $100.00. Money orders are not accepted during visitation.

 

ATTORNEY VISITS

Youth shall be provided reasonable and confidential access to their attorneys and/or authorized legal representatives. Procedures for setting up such visits are outlined in C.1.4 Attorney Visits.