NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A team of lawyers announced on Friday their plan to sue Governor Edwards, the Louisiana Department of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice to stop the transfer of juvenile inmates to Angola Prison.
Back in July, Gov. Edwards announced the plan to transfer the youth from the Bridge City Center to the new location. The plan comes after the numerous breakouts from the Bridge City Center for Youth facility located on River Road in Jefferson Parish.
The lawsuit argued that by moving the youth to an adult prison violated the youth’s constitutional rights and federal law. On Tuesday, August 23, the same lawyers held a press conference to give an update on the status of the lawsuit. At the press conference, the lawyers announced that it was a good day.
“Today was a good day, today was the first step in our collective goals in preventing children from begin transported to a juvenile facility to the Louisiana State Penitentiary,” said Ron Haley an attorney from Haley & Associates.
Earlier in the morning, a conference call was held with attorneys from the plaintiffs, attorneys from the Government’s Office, attorneys from the OJJ, and the Department of Corrections to discuss the situation. “On Friday we sought to have a temporary restraining order put into place, today that restraining order was not put into place.”
Although the restraining order was not put into place, the Governor’s Office agreed that no child will be transferred to Angola Prison before September 15. The judge set a trial dates for September 6 and September 7. Ron Haley said, “If we are successful in our endeavors we won’t have to worry about that date on September 15.”
The attorneys representing Louisiana youth and their families said that they issued public records request asking for a plan on how the children’s needs will be met. “All we got was crickets,” said Haley. “In no circumstance in our opinions that it should ever be okay for children to be housed in the Louisiana State Penitentiary.”