Why is Louisiana Shipping Kids to Out of State Detention Centers?
Louisiana currently has 111 jails and 18 juvenile detention centers spread out across the state. Seems like there's plenty of space to lock up folks who run afoul of the law, but sometimes things don't work like that. For example: If you're under 18 and get arrested in Plaquemine Parish Louisiana, you could get shipped 400 miles away to Dothan, Alabama to serve your time.
That kind of move isn't easy on families trying to stay in touch with an incarcerated son or daughter. Just imagine having to drive 800 miles round-trip to check in on your kid. If they are going to be behind bars for any significant amount of time, the cost for fuel alone will be astronomical. Unfortunately, this kind of thing is already happening.
According to records obtained by The Lens, Louisiana has already paid out at least $25,000 to Southeast Alabama Youth Services this year for housing troubled minors from our state. Reportedly, this was to hold a kid for trial in Dothan - but it is unclear just how many underage prisoners have been shipped and held there.
Altogether, more than a dozen Louisiana cities have been sending juvenile offenders to either the Dothan facility or another one in Mississippi - and it may be against the law. Reportedly, state law states underage inmates can only be held in a facility licensed by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Currently, the DCFS does not license out-of-state facilities.