CAMPAIGN NEWS: PRESS COVERAGE
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STATE OF LOUISIANA
ORLEANS PARISH JUVENILE COURT
IN THE INTEREST OF: RC OO-271-03-Q-F (49157)
RD O1-218-05-Q-F (50315)
CF 01-113-09-Q-F (57000)
EM 01-234-01-Q-F (52789)
JR 00-346-02-Q-F (53340)
CS 01-226-13-Q-F (56580)
JUDGMENT OF MODIFICATION OF DISPOSITION
November 12, 2002
The Louisiana Childrenıs Code, through Articles 102, 801, and 901, establishes an affirmative obligation on this Court to act in the best interests of a youth under its jurisdiction, specifically to safeguard the physical and mental health of the youth, and "in those instances when [a youth] is removed from the control of his parents, the court shall secure for him care as nearly as possible equivalent to that which his parents should have given him." Ch.C. Art. 801.
Additionally, this Court is under a continuing obligation pursuant to Ch.C. Art. 909, et seq to monitor the conditions of confinement and rehabilitative treatment of youth placed in the legal and physical custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections for the purposes of secure care.
Therefore, the Court, on its own motion pursuant to its authority under Ch.C. Art. 910 A. and C. to modify a judgment of Disposition, having found unconstitutional conditions of confinement for one youth at the Swanson Correctional Center for Youth -- Madison Parish Unit (historically known as "Tallulah") and having grave concerns for the physical and mental health of all other youth under the Courtıs jurisdiction presently held in secure care at that facility, the Court hereby issues the following order, to wit:
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED, that:
1. No youth placed in the legal custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections by this Court for the purpose of providing secure care shall be incarcerated at a juvenile correctional facility which has been found by this Court to operate unconstitutional conditions of confinement, specifically, the Swanson Correctional Center for Youth -- Madison Parish Unit (hereinafter referred to as Tallulah);
2. Within thirty (30) days of the signing of this judgment, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections shall transfer all youth under the jurisdiction of this
Court presently incarcerated at the Departmentıs Tallulah facility to an alternate secure care facility for the purpose of treatment and rehabilitation;
3. By December 12, 2002, the Department shall notify the Court in writing of its compliance with this order and the new facility to which the youth has been transferred;
4. Once transferred from the Tallulah facility, each youth shall be examined medically and undergo psychological evaluations by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Centerıs Juvenile Justice Project. The results of these evaluations shall be forwarded to the court on or before February 3, 2003, and shall include a recommendation for the least restrictive and most appropriate placement of the youth, taking into consideration the youthıs individual need for rehabilitation and treatment;
5. The Court shall levy a $100.00 fine on the Department for each youth per day that the Department continues to incarcerate any youth under the jurisdiction of this Court at the Tallulah facility after the December 12, 2002 transfer deadline;
6. The Clerk of Court shall serve a certified copy of this judgment by personal service, by certified return-receipt mail, and by regular Over Night U.S. Mail, postage prepaid, on the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, 504 Mayflower Street, Baton Rouge, LA, 70808 and upon Martha Morgan, Esq., DPSandC Legal Counsel, at the same address, and by the same methods.
7. The Clerk of Court shall serve a certified copy of this judgment on Mr. Harold DuCloux, Esq., Public Defender, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, Section "F" representing the youth, by personal service, by certified return-receipt mail, and by regular U.S. Mail, postage-prepaid at his office: 1500 Prytania St.. New Orleans, LA 70130, Ph: (504) 598-4915.
Given at New Orleans in open Court this 12th day of November, 2002.
MARK DOHERTY, JUDGE
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