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Louisiana Children in National News

Given the conditions of Louisiana’s children, it cannot be a surprise that Louisiana is mentioned in national news regarding the well-being of our children. The perspective of others in the states that have better child well-being can be jarring, but the information we can gain from the experiences of states that have been more successful is helpful.

DateNews Report
11/04/2022‘Dying Inside’: Chaos and Cruelty in Louisiana Juvenile Detention – by Megan Shutzer and Rachel Lauren Mueller, The New York Times

Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced he will launch a second state investigation – one that includes the Department of Children and Family Services and the Office of Juvenile Justice – into Ware Youth Center, a large juvenile detention facility in Coushatta.

Ware’s staff allegedly engaged in sexual abuse, choking and other physical violence against incarcerated youth in its care over a period of 25 years, according to a report from a href=””>The New York Times.

05/11/2022Why Louisiana counseling centers are seeing a rise in kids with grief – Roby Chavez, NPR News Hour

Dr. Denese Shervington, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Tulane University’s School of Medicine, said her fear “is that children’s sadness will look like badness,” and they won’t get the kind of support they need, Shervington said. “Unfortunately, for Black and brown children, that puts them at higher risk for being in the juvenile justice system. Unfortunately, we misdiagnose those kids and mislabel these grieving kids as having a conduct disorder.

03/10/2022No Light. No Nothing.” Inside Louisiana’s Harshest Juvenile Lockup – Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project; Erin Einhorn and Annie Waldman; NBC News and ProPublica

Louisiana holds about 350 youths, more than 80% of whom are Black, in secure facilities; it has promised for decades to move its lockups toward a more therapeutic model. But like many states, it has failed to fully fund or commit to the new approach. That, combined with a debilitating staff turnover caused by low pay and dangerous conditions, has meant staff members haven’t been properly trained to prevent the violence and chaos that has erupted.

05/10/2020Sen. Bill Cassidy On Reopening Schools: Children Are Paying A High Price At Home – James Doubek, NPR
07/05/2019In La., new youth prisons to replace outdated ones – by Grace Toohey, Daily Comet
03/21/2017Plan to End Children’s Mental Health Program Faces Pushback – by Melinda Deslatte, U.S. News and World Reports
10/03/2016Floods threaten the mental health of children – by Juanita Constible, National Resources Defense Council
09/07/2016Judge’s Football Team Loses, Juvenile Sentences Go Up: No, Seriously. – by Emily DeRuy, The Atlantic

That’s the gist of a new working paper by a pair of economists at Louisiana State University. It sounds almost comical, like an Onion headline, at first glance: “Judge Sentences Teen to Two Years After Louisiana Tigers Fall to Wisconsin Badgers.” But, insists Naci Mocan, an economics professor at LSU and a co-author (with a fellow professor, Ozkan Eren) of “Emotional Judges and Unlucky Juveniles,” it’s not far off.

05/10/2016The foster care system is pushing college students into homelessness: When your 18th birthday is like walking the plank – by Andre Perry, The Hechinger Report
07/03/2014In New Orleans, a case study in how school, health care decentralization affect neediest children – by Sarah Carr, The Hechinger Report
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