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Search is on for two escaped juveniles

Posted at 2:48 PM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-17 22:14:17-04

Two teenagers escaped from the Acadiana Center for Youth at St. Martinville Wednesday afternoon, state officials say.

The facility is on Terrace Highway in St. Martinville.

The escapees are described as a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, both from Calcasieu Parish.

"Following the incident, OJJ immediately ceased all movement at the facility and made official notifications to law enforcement. As of 3:30 pm, May 17, 2023, the escapees remain at large. The campus is secure at this time," a release from OJJ states. "The juveniles were entered into the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) database."

The release asks that anyone with information to call local law enforcement immediately, or the Command Center at 225.963.2753.

We asked what the juveniles had been accused of, and if they are considered dangerous, but OJJ said that "due to the confidential nature of juvenile records, OJJ cannot release information pertaining to youth to the media. OJJ has released full information to law enforcement to aid in their apprehension."

We have a crew en route and will post updates as we receive them.

This is not the first escape in recent years. In January 2022, two juveniles escaped from that facility. In May 2022, another two juveniles escaped from the facility. Earlier that year, five juveniles, some of whom were described as "violent," escaped from another OJJ facility. Last fall, the OJJ's facilities were the target of an investigation by the New York Times. After the piece was published, the governor called for an investigation into one of the OJJ's operations.

The Marshall Project, a non-profit journalism organization, also did a study of the St. Martin facility in particular. You can read it here.