NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined Orleans Parish Juvenile Court Judges, City officials and FEMA to celebrate the opening of the new $47 million New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center. This new 59,000 square foot facility serves as the home of Orleans Parish Juvenile Court and includes spaces for juvenile-related services from the Orleans Parish District Attorney and Public Defender’s office. Additional spaces include a New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) juvenile reception center, which will serve as the central port for new detained juvenile and current detainees to move between their facilities into the court system.
The New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center campus also includes the New Orleans Youth Study Center, the City’s secure detention facility for juveniles awaiting trial. The New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center campus is located at 1100 Milton St. in the St. Bernard neighborhood.
“The New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center is a sign that we are bringing our juvenile justice system into the 21st century and moving our city forward,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “This state-of-the-art facility follows national best practices and brings all elements of our juvenile justice system into one campus. As one of my administration’s committed capital projects, the New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center exemplifies the hard work put in by so many to ensure that our justice-involved youth have every opportunity to turn their lives around in a safe environment and put them back on a pathway to prosperity.”
U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond said, “The first step to successful reentry for youth is to make sure they are housed in a facility that meets their specific needs. The Juvenile Justice Center will provide a safer environment and allow these young people to take full advantage of the types of services that should lead to more positive outcomes once they are released. I am happy to see that this project is completed and am hopeful that it will make a real impact in the city.”
City Council President Jason Rogers Williams said, "Our juvenile justice system is an important tool for preventing crime, and giving children the resources they need. The new Juvenile Justice Center is a testament to the City's commitment to improve our juvenile justice system, and ensure better outcomes for our children and community.”
District A Councilmember Susan G. Guidry said, "As Chair of the City Council's Criminal Justice Committee, I have come to understand all too well that simply warehousing children who commit crimes does not work. It is time for a different approach, a holistic approach with a targeted delivery of wraparound services to end the cycle of crime and violence in our City. The official opening of our new Juvenile Justice Center is an important step in that direction, with centralized access to services and the juvenile justice system."
District C Councilmember Nadine M. Ramsey said, “This is an important step toward providing juveniles with a cohesive system that affords all those involved with their discipline and care, readily available access to each other, thereby creating a more comprehensive approach to determining the best course of action for our youth involved in the criminal justice system.”
District D Councilmember Jared C. Brossett said, “The opening of the Juvenile Justice Center is an important step towards creating a juvenile justice system that focuses on accountability, public safety, treatment, and education. This state-of-the-art facility is a reform that advocates passionately fought for and is the most visible sign of the City’s changed approach to rehabilitative juvenile justice.”
New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center
The Orleans Parish Juvenile Court has relocated to the New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center and is conducting all hearings and legal proceedings there. The Orleans Parish Juvenile Court System provides courtroom and judges’ offices along with court administrative spaces. The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) juvenile reception center, housed in the New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center, is the central port for new detained juvenile and current detainees to move between their facilities into the court system.
The New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center supports operations 24 hours a day, provides detention housing, kitchens, dining space, indoor and outdoor recreational spaces, education spaces, an open courtyard, and administrative and training spaces. The New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center also provides spaces on the three-building campus for the District Attorney’s office, Public Defender’s office, and various juvenile-related services and programs.
Honorable Chief Judge Candice Bates-Anderson said, “What an honor and a blessing to be a part of history for our great city. The new juvenile justice center ushers our city in the direction of better services and care for the youth and families of New Orleans. The Judges and staff of juvenile court are grateful to be a part of this new era.”
Honorable Judge Ernestine S. Gray said, “This is a beautiful and functional facility that has been long overdue. It is important to the people who work here and most important to the children and families who come through these doors. It is evidence of how much we value them and is an important investment in our children, “our greatest natural resource.”
Chief District Defender for Orleans Parish Derwyn Bunton said, “‘New Orleans is ground zero for criminal justice and social justice reform in Louisiana and the Juvenile Justice Center is a critical and important step forward for juvenile justice. All children, but certainly our most vulnerable, deserve fairness and dignity, safety and support. We look forward to working alongside the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights and other stakeholders to ensure the futures of all of New Orleans’ children.”
Josh Perry, Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, said, “The new Juvenile Justice Center is an important symbol of New Orleans’ commitment to our most vulnerable children. Our justice system needs both to project and to embody fairness and dignity for our kids. But we need to remember that healthy kids don’t grow up in courthouses; they grow up in strong communities. As a city, we have to make good on our commitment to our kids every day -- by redoubling our investments in youth services and by supporting smart juvenile justice policies that keep our neighborhoods safe and help our young people to thrive.”
New Orleans Youth Study Center
The new state-of-the-art campus also consists of the New Orleans Youth Study Center, which replaced the temporary Youth Study Center that opened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This administration worked with FEMA and GOHSEP to increase funding to more than $26 million. The City opened the new Youth Study Center facility in the spring of 2014. Under Mayor Landrieu’s leadership, conditions of detained youth have dramatically improved.
The New Orleans Youth Study Center is a holding facility for pre-adjudicated youth and is designed to provide all staff, visitors and detained youth with a safe environment that prioritizes the particular needs of youth. All youth at the New Orleans Youth Study Center have individual rooms for sleeping, access to classroom-based education, access to recreation and family visits as well as access to quality medical care, including mental health.
Beginning in December 2014, the City began a pilot program at the New Orleans Youth Study Center where 12 beds were set aside for youth transferred from Orleans Parish Prison. This program has been successful. The City is committed to allocating additional funding to house all minors under 18. This expansion is expected to be completed in 2018.
Glenn D. Holt, Superintendent of the New Orleans Youth Study Center, said, “The new facility allows us to provide quality evidence-based programming in a secure and safe environment. Each youth receives quality services from a highly professional and committed staff. The New Orleans Youth Study Center provides the highest quality of care and programming to at-risk youth in our community.”
Youth Study Center Consent Decree
In 2013, the City broke ground on the New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Landrieu announced that the City of New Orleans had met the terms of the Federal Consent Decree concerning structural and operational conditions at the temporary Youth Study Center. In 2007, the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana brought federal class action against the City alleging deprivation of constitutional rights due to the conditions of confinement from a physical and programmatic perspective.
In February 2010, the City agreed to come into compliance with a number of reforms at the temporary Youth Study Center including: policies and procedures revisions, staff training procedures, governance structure reforms, inclusion of professional services including social workers, recreational specialists and capacity limits. A Court Monitor was appointed to ensure compliance with the terms of the settlement. In January 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle of the Eastern District of Louisiana certified that the City is in compliance and has met and sustained all of the reforms and changes agreed to by the Consent Decree.
CONSTRUCTION AND FUNDING
The New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center and Youth Study Center were designed by Mathes Brierre Architects, APC and built by McDonnel Group Construction Services. Local DBE firms that worked on the new facilities include: Strategic Planning Associates, Diverse Building Enterprises, Balthazar Electrics, Jones Brothers, Perle Construction, Rufino’s Painting, Gulley’s Welding & Steel, Dillon Bros. Concrete, O&C Manhole, Sparkle Enterprises, Joffary Window Coverings and Twin Shores Landscaping.
Funding for this $47 million project came from FEMA recovery dollars, insurance, City bonds and Law Enforcement District bonds.
Cedric Grant, Executive Director of Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, said, “Working with our partners in the juvenile justice community and FEMA, we have designed the New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center to be a facility that meets the needs of our youth and helps put them back on a path towards prosperity. Through individual care and attention and educational services available, the campus is a place where they can rededicate themselves to their future.”
Mike Womack, Director of the FEMA Louisiana Recovery Office, said, “Congratulations to the City of New Orleans for achieving another milestone in the city’s continued recover from Hurricane Katrina. The new justice complex will provide a safe and secure juvenile detention facility as well as a state-of-the-art building for those who work in the juvenile court system.”
Hours of Operation
Orleans Parish Juvenile Court hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Business hours for the New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center is located at 1100 Milton St. in the St. Bernard Area neighborhood and is serviced by RTA bus line 51. The closest bus stop to the facility is located at St. Bernard Ave. and Milton St. Service operates every 40 minutes on this route daily between Canal Street and the University of New Orleans.
St. Bernard Area Road Improvements
The City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) will begin a series of improvements and repairs to streets surrounding the New Orleans campus this summer. Those streets will include, Encampment, Cadillac, Milton and Davey. More than $1.3 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding will be used for street repairs in this area.
Completed construction includes repaved streets on St. Denis St. from Encampment to St. Bernard Ave. and Senate St. from Davey to St. Bernard Ave. American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps were installed at the intersections.
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