BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — Family and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC) with youth justice allies rallied on the steps of the State Capitol to demand Gov. Edwards to pause the transfer of juvenile inmates to Angola.

According to FFLIC, Angola is one of the ‘most horrific prisons in the country’.

Gina Womack, the co-founder of FFLIC, says this transfer will not help the ongoing issues within the Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ). She recalls back in 2003, a blueprint was passed for the creation of a holistic model that would aid in the overall care for the juveniles, but instead the state ‘continues to invest in failing systems.”

“What our kids need is therapy, education, community, and healing,” said Womack.

Attorney Ron Haley says the issues at Bridge City has been going on for years and constantly ignored. He says the OJJ needs to fix their problems and Angola should not be the answer.

“Angola can never be the answer for our children,” said Haley.

Haley says attorney’s from all over the country have joined forces to fight against this transfer.

Sean, a former inmate at Angola for 26 years recalls the traumatic experiences he saw firsthand while incarcerated. He says the state should try to fix the program to help educate the juveniles instead of locking them up.

“Sending those kids to Angola will not help,” said Sean.