Attorney files federal lawsuit to prevent juvenile offenders from moving to Angola

There’s a potential roadblock in transporting some of Louisiana’s most violent juvenile offenders to Angola prison.
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2022 at 10:57 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There’s a potential roadblock in transporting some of Louisiana’s most violent juvenile offenders to Angola prison, as a Baton Rouge attorney has put himself between the state and those juveniles.

Attorney Ron Haley is not on board with the idea of sending some juvenile offenders to a special section at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

“Juveniles should never ever, under any circumstance, be housed in the same place as adults,” said Haley. “Listen, there are policies that are put in place to prevent that.”

Because the juvenile detention centers are overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed, the state wants to place some of the most violent inmates who are causing most of the problems in Angola. But Haley says it’s just the state’s way of trying to cover up its shortfalls and mishandlings.

“That they are trying to brush under the rug the failings of OJJ and the ability to foresee these problems from happening,” added Haley.

So, on Friday, Aug. 19, he filed a five-page federal lawsuit to prevent the state from following through with the plan, saying the move is in violation of their constitutional rights.

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Officials will move some of the violent juvenile offenders from Bridge City Center for Youth to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

“I think this is in violation of state law that is on the books as it relates how to assess and to house juvenile offenders. Nowhere in the law allows for a provision for them to be housed with adults,” explained Haley.

The governor’s office and the Department of Corrections were reached out to for comment. Both referred us to the Office of Juvenile Justice. An attempt was made to reach OJJ for comment but the call was not returned.

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