New facility to provide more efficient juvenile services

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Office of Juvenile Justice Services held a ribbon cutting Thursday morning to officially open the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) in Lake Charles.

The MARC facility will bring different services that were once scattered throughout the lake area to one convenient location on East Prien Lake Road.

The new facility will re-define service offerings of community resources for juveniles and their families.

The "MARC" is partially supported through a grant as part of a joint project with the Calcasieu Parish Children and Youth Planning Board. The new facility is expected to provide a more efficient process for the more than 4,000 juveniles who are in need of assistance in Calcasieu Parish every year.

"We started this process with identifying gaps in services in the community," said Dane Bolin, Director for the Office of Juvenile Justice Services. "At the end of that study, we determined that we needed a multi resource center."

The facility assists juveniles with different issues which include home situations, truancy matters, and felony crimes. The main location will speed up the process for those in need.

"The processes that have always taken place took about 38 to 40 days," said Bolin. "Now we can accomplish that process within two hours. I think that's huge for the tax payers of Calcasieu Parish."

Chief Judge Lilynn Cutrer handles juvenile cases in Calcasieu Parish. Cutrer said more than 400 juveniles are charged with different crimes ever year.

Judge Cutrer added that the department is working to bring the number of delinquents down with the improved services.

"I think it will give the juveniles and the families the opportunities to get services earlier on the front end from all the different agencies that are involved," said Cutrer. "They can be assessed and then the services can be provided earlier and then maybe we won't see as many in delinquency court."

The MARC is open from 8 a. m. to 11 p. m. from Monday through Saturday.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.