Dozens of advocates to hold protest over youth transfers to Jetson, Angola

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 10:50 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Dozens of advocates will host a press conference to protest the state’s plans to transfer youth inmates to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola and the Jetson Center for Youth.

“We don’t have to do it this way,” Rev. Alexis Anderson from the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition said.

In July, Gov. Edwards announced plans to move about 25 teenagers from the troubled Bridge City Center for Youth after numerous escapes and riots within the past year.

Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), and several other youth justice groups will protest the state’s plan outside the Jetson prison on Tuesday, Aug. at 11 a.m.

They are demanding for Gov. Edwards and the OJJ to go back to the drawing board and abandon the current plan in place.

“We empathize completely with the victims. Please don’t misunderstand me. Crimes are hideous, and the victims cannot be made whole. But having said that, we cannot turn one crime scene into a second crime scene,” Anderson said.

Advocates believe state leaders should gather more opinions from within the community before making a decision.

“This room and this conversation have to include more than law enforcement. It has to include mental health workers, it has to include educators, it has to include parents, and so there’s a multitude of choices, but almost none of them lead to Angola.”

Gov. Edwards has promised that the young offenders will have absolutely no contact with the older inmates that are currently at Angola.

“I’m a minister and the one thing I believe in is restoration and resurrection, and in a state that pretends to be Pro Life, let’s start with the ones that are walking, talking, and breathing that need our support,” Anderson said.

Speakers from the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition/PREACH, St. Charles Center for Faith + Action, Black Man Rising, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Promise of Justice Initiative will be at the protest.

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