A long-awaited, 72-bed home for youthful offenders convicted of serious crimes is complete and ready to open in Avoyelles Parish. A key feature of Louisiana's 15-year-old effort to overhaul its juvenile justice system, the Acadiana Center for Youth is intended to provide a therapeutic environment for kids in southwest Louisiana.
For the foreseeable future, though, the center is more likely to be used as an emergency shelter in a disaster, if anything at all, according to a spokesman for the Division of Administration.
That’s because Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposed budget contains no money to operate the center, and the Office of Juvenile Justice, which is facing an 11 percent funding cut, has other pressing concerns.