New Iberia sends its juvenile offenders to the Lafayette detention center and the Terrebonne juvenile detention center.
Those facilities are often overcrowded so now, New Iberia Mayor Freddie Decourt is looking for other options.
“What I’m trying to do now is contract with other agencies just in case these new changes book up these facilities. I have to find a place for our kids to go,” Decourt said.
The changes Mayor Freddie Decourt is referring to are changes to the state’s juvenile justice law. Under the new law, non-violent offenders who are 17-years-old stay in the juvenile justice system.
That means the juvenile centers New Iberia uses now, The Lafayette and Terrebonne facilities are getting crowded.
“(Terrebonne) They felt they would be booked up for the most part with kids from their parish. I know Monroe is far… that’s why I’m hoping to hold on to Lafayette, and I think I will be able to. I’m looking for other agencies close, but there just aren’t any,” Decourt said.
Mayor Decourt has signed a contract with “Green Oaks Juvenile Facility” in Monroe.
Residents we spoke to say the new arrangement could be hard on the families of those offenders. Mary Davis a mother of three said fours hours to too far.
“If you going way up to Monroe or not here they can’t afford it and they won’t be able to see them as much. Maybe once a month. If it was mine, I rather them be here or close so I could try and help,” Davis said.
The agreement with “Green Oaks” will take effect immediately.
Decourt also added he hopes nearby parishes will partner up to open a nearby facility.