A controversial Louisiana juvenile prison would shut its gates while lawmakers try to devise a better system to rehabilitate delinquents under a bill passed Thursday by the Senate.
The proposal creates a legislative commission to develop a plan for a new agency to oversee juvenile offenders, stripping that authority from the Department of Corrections. The new agency also could absorb parts of other departments that oversee troubled young people. Various state boards would help devise plans for a juvenile system focused on rehabilitation in residential and day-treatment programs, which experts say are more effective at helping nonviolent offenders.
The proposed legislation would close the Tallulah prison in rural northeast Louisiana, a facility critics say has demonstrated a pattern of inmate abuse.