Senators want Bridge City Center for Youth shut down.

One juvenile is still on the run tonight after five escaped the Bridge City Center for Youth on the Westbank this morning. The media is reporting that at least 20 juveniles have escaped since April 2021. Senators Marrero and Connick say the facility should be shut down.

Bridge City Center for Youth (photo WWLTV)

It is no secret that juveniles run away from state placements often. Most children just want to go home, even when home is not perfect. The sad part is that juveniles in detention facilities most likely do come from less than perfect families, and once the children are in the system, they don’t seem to learn how to make it in life there either. Louisiana is ready to throw the key away and lock them up forever.

There is no way out unless by some miracle from above someone steps in to teach the juveniles how to live happy productive lives. Louisiana ties with California as the incarceration capitol of the world. “Come on vacation, leave on probation,” they say. Sadly, many of the juveniles that do get out of the system end up being sex trafficked or used for labor. Many others end up living their lives in and out of jails.

Authorities say that the teenagers cut a hole in the bathroom ceiling to escape. Where were the guards? Senator Connick told WVUE, “There was a staffing issue, Someone was not paying attention…. They got out of the gate, got out of the facility”. Senator Marrero told WVUE that “some think the security at Bridge City Center for Youth is a joke,” and he wants to see it shut down.

WWLTV reports that authorities found three of the escapees within three hours: a 16-year-old boy from Jefferson Davis Parish, a 15-year-old boy, and a 17-year-old boy from New Orleans Parish, NOLA reported. According to NOLA, another escapee, a 17-year-old from East Baton Rouge Parish, was found around 1:15 p.m. Officials are still searching for a 16-year-old boy from Tangipahoa Parish.

Connick told WVUE that some of the teenagers at the facility are “the worst of the worst,” and “It needs to be shut down. Bill Sommers, the director of the Office of Juvenile Justice, told WVUE, “At night time, youth are in a dorm, but they are free to move around to go and do what they do. They end up ganging up on other kids, and other staff, and when that happens, that’s when you have the issues”. Sadly, it sounds as if the teens may be running for their lives from this place.

Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state.  The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.

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