Youth advocates urge federal judge to remove children from Angola Prison

3 arrested for allegedly trying to bring contraband into Ascension Parish jail
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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Local advocates are requesting a judge to take emergency action to remove children from Angola prison’s death row building after discovering abuse.

In an emergency filing in the Alex v. Edwards lawsuit, new information shows that some Black boys are held in confinement for three days and only released to shower. According to the filing, children are kept in cells with no air conditioning while heat indexes are exceeding 88 degrees every day.

In the filing, the court is asked to remove the kids from the Louisiana State Penitentiary and place them in a more suitable setting.

“Solitary confinement is even worse for children than it is for adults, and even short periods of solitary can do irreparable harm,” said Tammie Gregg, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project. “Children in the juvenile system are legally required to receive rehabilitation, education, and treatment. But in Angola, for almost a year, the state has subjected children to punishment and abuse, depriving them of their rights and further harming already traumatized young people.”

The children were moved to Angola in 2022 from the Bridge City Center for Youth. The youth are held in Angola until proper placement is found. It is estimated that 70-80 children have been taken to Angola. Children reported that as forms of punishment, they were placed into confinement, deprived of their right to education, limited visits with family, and even maced by guards, according to a local activist group.

In September 2022, the Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) stated in a court hearing that the move would only be temporary until Spring 2023 but has surpassed its expiration date as the summer has approached.

“The state’s treatment of kids in Angola has been a series of broken promises,” said David Utter, lead counsel and executive director of the Fair Fight Initiative. “The state promised the Angola facility would close in the spring. The state promised the kids wouldn’t be held in solitary. The state promised the kids would receive their education and treatment. None of this has come to pass. We are asking the judge to take urgent action to put an end to this unprecedented mistreatment.”

OJJ Deputy Secretary said the Angola building might close between October and mid-November, depending on construction.

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About Mary Weyand 12338 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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