Federal government proposes halfway house near elementary school

by Brandon Richards bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – There is growing opposition to a proposed halfway house that federal officials with the Bureau of Prisons want to build near a Lake Charles elementary.

The halfway house would be located on mostly vacant property, about 500 feet from Johnson Elementary School on Cline Street near Highway 171.

According to Lake Charles City Councilwoman Luvertha August, one of the companies competing for the rights to operate the halfway house contacted her recently, sharing their plans in a letter.

According to the letter, the company, Community Transitional Services, based out of Louisville, KY, says the halfway house would consist off a 32-bed facility that would house both male and female inmates.

No timeline has been given, but the Lake Charles City Council is expected to pass a resolution opposing the halfway house next week. Meanwhile, other officials like Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon have also voiced their concerns. Dixon recently sent a letter to the federal government asking them to reconsider their proposal.

Now, parents of the school children who attend Johnson Elementary are expressing their concerns.

"I don't even want to have to run across people coming out of the halfway house picking up my kid," said Jackie Frank.

"I'm not judging. Everyone deserves a second chance," said parent Summer Young. "But we still have to look out for the safety of our babies."

7 News contacted Community Transitional Services, but our phone calls were not returned. KPLC also reached out to the Bureau of Prisons, but a spokesman said the agency was not commenting on the matter at this time.

Copyright 2010 KPLC-TV.  All Rights Reserved.