100 signatures reached
To: Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and the Office of Juvenile Justice
Children Held in Prison in Louisiana are in Danger
In light of the national health crisis, racial justice uprisings, and ongoing escapes and violence in Louisiana's youth prisons, we urge you to immediately take the following actions:
1. Release incarcerated youth due to heightened dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic in OJJ facilities.
2. Stop new youth prison construction at Swanson-Monroe and establish a moratorium on the construction of new youth prisons.
3. Work with youth and community leaders to create a plan to close the remaining youth prisons in the state.
4. End contract with Ware Youth Center girls facility.
5. Redirect resources from incarceration to investments in youth in their communities.
6. Center youth in discussions around alternatives towards the Criminal Justice system.
Please let us know if you have questions or need additional information. As representative of the LA HOOP Coalition, you can reach us at lahoopcoalition @ gmail.com
Why is this important?
Despite data that shows new facilities do not reduce recidivism or prevent crime, and that most of Louisiana’s youth prisons are under capacity, Governor John Bel Edwards and the Office of Juvenile Justice have pushed forward on breaking ground on Swanson’s $26 million rebuild, without input from community members, youth justice organizations, and the young people who will be most impacted.
Louisiana spends millions of dollars on incarcerating our youth, but incarceration has proven to be ineffective. 73% of Louisianans across the political spectrum support the reinvestment of dollars spent on incarcerating youth into front-end supports in youth’s homes and communities.