Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
After more than two years of wrestling over standards, Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services (DFCS) announced Monday it had completed inspecting and licensing the state’s 15 juvenile detention facilities.
“Before today, Louisiana did not have quality standards for these facilities to meet in order to ensure the well-being of the children in these facilities,” DFCS Secretary Suzy Sonnier said in a press release. “We are correcting that today.”
State lawmakers approved in 2010 the inspection and licensing requirements, which updated procedures and standards for several juvenile detention policies and processes, including personnel training, educational programming and visitor protocols.
Office of Juvenile Justice Deputy Secretary Mary Livers praised the state’s new licensing requirements, referring to the new measures as a “win-win situation” for the state’s at-risk youth.
“Standards for care and services developed for juvenile detention centers will ensure that youth remain safe and receive needed programming during their stay,” she said in the DFCS release. “We applaud the good work done by DCFS and the detention centers themselves, in developing and implementing the standards and ensuring that all detention centers in Louisiana meet and comply with them.”
Under DFCS, the state’s juvenile detention facilities must be inspected annually, at a fee that, depending on occupants, fluctuates from $400 to $600.