NEW ORLEANS – Despite the weather threat due to Tropical Storm Beta, about 75 members from the New Orleans community joined together to rally Tuesday morning. After $14.8 million was recently invested into a local juvenile center, many are asking City leaders to invest more into New Orleans children.
“We are here today to make it clear that black children matter,” New Orleans Reverend, Gregory T. Manny shared at the rally. “We are going to show up for black children! And we believe that this community should show up for black children!”
More than 28 organizations stood in solitude outside of the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center as an effort to encourage potential district attorneys and juvenile judges to leave behind incarceration policies for minors.
“A lot of these kids are being raised by parents that are broken! So how can we support them if we don’t understand their parents,” creator of Daughters Beyond Incarceration, Dominique ones Johnson said. “You need to understand the difference between adolescent behavior and criminal behavior!”
Grandparents and parents of children serving time at the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center were also among the crowd at the rally.
“Children who are detained are at a significantly higher risk for becoming victims of assault, thefts, sexual abuse,” the grandmother of an incarcerated child, Sherolyn Brown stated.
Brown says incarceration will also increase their likelihood to experience mental and physical health problems as adults. But with continued effort, she and members of the community are hopeful change is coming.
“Black children should be treated as kids! There is no scenario in which black children should be treated as adults! Treat kids as kids,” Manning said.
WGNO reached out to the City for a response on this matter. However, we have not received a statement yet.