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Federal judge won’t block plan to transfer young offenders to Angola


BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – A federal judge will not block plans to relocate two dozen incarcerated teenagers from Angola, according to a ruling released Friday, Sept. 23.

In the 64-page ruling, US District Judge Shelly Dick said she was not a fan of seeing young detainees transferred to Angola. However, she concluded that there was no better alternative.

“The prospect of putting a teenager to bed at night in a locked cell behind barbed wire surrounded by swamps in Angola is worrying,” Dick wrote. “Some of the children in OJJ’s care are so traumatized and emotionally and psychologically disturbed that OJJ is virtually unable to provide a safe care environment.

Inmates would be housed over a mile from any adult prisoners and separated from them at all times.

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Friday’s ruling was in response to a civil lawsuit filed in Baton Rouge on behalf of an underage detainee identified as Alex A. The lawsuit against Edwards, OJJ Deputy Secretary Bill Sommers, and Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, James LeBlanc, have requested a temporary restraining order. against the plan and an injunction to block it definitively.

Youth justice advocates hold a press conference on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol to demand more than just a halt to the transfer of violent youths

Gov. John Bel Edwards introduced the transfer plan in July in a bid to end violence at the Bridge City Detention Center.

At the moment, there is no fixed date when the moves could take place.

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