Tell us more about this new prison
Earlier this week, most of Jeff Davis Parish’s governement agencies announced their support for an attempt at landing a proposed state juvenile prison in our backyard. According to these officials, this high-tech, state-run prison will not be an eyesore, will be secured by top-notch technology and will specialize in the rehabilitation of juveniles, keeping them out of the criminal justice system in the future.
To be honest, the project sounds intriguing, since we live in a sad world where juveniles sometimes have to be jailed in high-security facilities. The project sounds doubly intriguing considering how much is NOT done to get adult prisoners the same type of help. The point of going to jail should be a process of rehabilitating people who have done wrong and giving them the opportunity to rejoin society as productive members. Obviously, this won’t always be possible, but considering how much we spend on prisons, shouldn’t we get something back from them? Right now, prisons are the government equivalent of placing a truckload of money in a field and setting it all on fire.
A prison that focuses on rehabilitating young adults is not a bad idea, though as usual, no one will want it in their backyard. It’s a tough sell, no matter how “pretty” you design it. Of course, the safety issues of the neighboring areas will always be a concern – one that the state should go out of its way to answer before asking citizens to deal with the idea of placing a new jail here.
There’s no guarantee the prison will come here, since the competition for its presence will be high across South Louisiana. But we think our local officials are right in getting our foot in the door for it. We want to see much more information, and we’d like to see public meetings to explain the project. However, overall, the plan doesn’t sound like a bad deal. We’ll reserve a final judgment for when we have more information at our fingertips. Until then, we should take the necessary steps to compete for it.
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