In 2019 Louisiana’s Acadiana Center for Youth opened. The $21 million facility was designed for “therapeutic rehabilitation.”
It was supposed to be a modern, humane, state-of-the-art facility. Instead, it’s a hotbed of abuse.
It was recently revealed Acadiana keeps children in round-the-clock solitary confinement, with little food and no education, socialization, or counseling.
Guards reportedly slammed children’s hands in doors and pepper-sprayed their cells, making children sick. But they fought back!
Some children hurled feces at guards, while others made holes in the wall in attempts to escape. Sadly, some chose to self-harm as a means to receive medical assistance outside their cell. 80% of Louisiana’s juvenile detention facilities are populated by Black children.
The U.S. Department of Justice even sued Louisiana for their abusive facilities, but the state promised “reform.” It hasn’t worked.
Historically, Black children weren’t permitted within American juvenile centers. Officials supported “placing out programs,” which sent Black youth “back to Africa” – abandoning them in foreign environments without financial or familial support.
Acadiana has been recognized by some Louisiana officials as an “upgrade” from other detention centers, whereas other legal officials reported to have NEVER even heard of the facility! Something isn’t adding up – and thoughts of “secret” detention centers are sickening.
The entire criminal legal system dehumanizes and abuses Black people – including youth. Our children deserve better!