[StBernard] Governor Blanco, OYD honored for Juvenile Justice reform

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Wed Mar 21 21:55:21 EDT 2007

Governor Blanco, OYD honored for Juvenile Justice reform

BATON ROUGE - Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, along with the Governor's Office of Youth Development (OYD), was honored today for her commitment to the welfare of Louisiana families by reforming the juvenile justice system at a reception hosted by The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF).

"I am honored to be recognized along with the Office of Youth Development for continuing to invest in our young citizens," Gov. Blanco said. "The important steps we have taken to reform our juvenile justice system are receving well deserved national attention as we focus on creating a stronger system for serving our youth."

Through one of her very first acts as in office, Gov. Blanco established the Office of Youth Development and charged it with a critical mission - implement juvenile justice reform while promoting public safety. That mission began by separating juvenile offenders from adult corrections. In a few short years, Gov. Blanco and her OYD team corrected numerous findings and regained the confidence of the federal government in Louisiana's juvenile justice system. They transformed this system from a corrections model to one centered on treating and rehabilitating youth, implementing major reform initiatives and carefully designed community-based programs that support the goal to treat more children in their home communities.

Because of these substantial improvements in youth safety and treatment and progress toward implementing a revolutionary statewide reform strategy, a federal court last year dismissed a 1998 federal lawsuit against Louisiana's juvenile justice system.

"The Annie E. Casey Foundation would like to honor Gov. Blanco, Assistant Simon Gounsoulin, and the entire Office of Youth Development for their continued hard work and dedication to reforming the Louisiana juvenile justice system," Managing Director of the Casey Strategic Group Kathleen Feely said. "Today, with the unwavering support of Governor Blanco, OYD still has work to do, but it is well on its way to meeting its long-term goal of becoming a national model of state juvenile justice systems. The achievements that have been made in the areas of secure care and field services are remarkable, and will be instrumental to improving the lives of Louisiana's most vulnerable children and families."

Today's recognition of the Governor's commitment to juvenile justice came during a reception at the Governor's Mansion today which included remarks from youth from Bridge City Center for Youth and performances from the Jetson Center choir.

Since 1948, AECF has worked to build better futures for disadvantaged children and their families in the United States. The primary mission of the Foundation is to foster public policies, human service reforms, and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today's vulnerable children and families.


The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation
Louisiana's Fund for Louisiana's People

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