BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A team of lawyers are suing Governor John Bel Edwards, the Louisiana Department of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice to stop the transfer of juvenile inmates to Angola Prison.
In July, the governor announced plans to relocate some of the violent juvenile offenders from Bridge City Center for Youth to a separate facility at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. A group of Baton Rouge attorneys is fighting to keep these youths out of the adult prison.
After several escapes and reports of violence from inside the Bridge City Center for Youth, several juveniles will be relocated to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Attorney Ron Haley is among those asking a judge to stop this move.
“We do not believe under any circumstance youth offenders should be housed in the same place as adults,” said Haley.
“With several attorneys and departments around the country, we filed a lawsuit against OJJ the governor’s office and the department of corrections to seek injunctive relief to permanently prevent them from moving juvenile offenders to the Louisiana State Penitentiary.”
Office of Juvenile Justice leaders have explained the juveniles will be in a separate facility from the adults but Haley says that’s not good enough.
“There is a policy already in place that kids are not supposed to be housed with adults. We are going to take kids and not just house them with adults, but we are going to send them to the Louisiana State Penitentiary, the idea on the table is asinine.”
The civil action filed in the Middle District Courthouse was just filed Friday and has not been heard yet but if the judge agrees, it could force OJJ to change its game plan.
“A part of this suit we are asking for injunctive relief immediate from the Middle District of Louisiana, basically putting a temporary restraining order to prevent these kids from being moved.”
BRProud reached out to OJJ, DOJ and the governor’s office, and we are waiting on a response.
“Our client and his mother have gotten notice that any day they could be moved to Angola, that is the reason for this action.”
Investigators are currently in the process of gathering evidence and information to identify the person(s) responsible for this incident, as well as a motive. No additional details are currently available.