BAKER, La. (BRPROUD) — Some Baker residents are frustrated after a meeting to address plans to bring in violent juvenile inmates to a nearby youth detention center was postponed.
In June, Governor John Bel Edwards said he planned on transferring some of the most violent juveniles from Bridge City to Angola and then the Jetson Center for Youth in Baker. But those plans may be up in the air.
“We don’t want them to speak tonight, give them a plan and then things changes in result of the trial,” said Councilwoman Chauna Banks.
Councilwoman Chauna Banks and other leaders postponed a community town hall meeting addressing the plans for Jetson. Banks said the meeting was delayed because state leaders are facing a pending lawsuit for their plan to move teens to Angola.
“It’s worth the wait, to get the full implementation,” she said. “We absolutely want to make sure that the residents in or around Jetson feel that this is a community partnership.”
The first meeting scheduled at the beginning of August was postponed because city leaders felt they did not have a plan from the state to pass down to residents. This is the second time the meeting has been postponed, leaving a few residents confused.
“Dangerous things can happen,” said one Baker resident. “Best thing to do is up the security.”
Some residents remember inmates escaping Jetson decades ago. They fear the same thing will happen this time. In response, state leaders have briefly explained renovations will be made to the center. But the residents want their concerns heard now.
“They just need to up everything. Like walls fences, something like that, like take extra measures. But don’t put them in actual prison with adults. Like that’s failure. You’re setting them up for failure,” said one resident.
The public meeting to address Jetson is postponed until Sept. 19th, following the federal trial.