After many years of delays due to funding and operational budget issues, a new secure care facility for male juvenile delinquents has opened in Bunkie.
It’s called the Acadiana Center for Youth—a state of the art secure therapeutic treatment center for Louisiana’s violent teenagers.
The 72 bed facility began taking in residents on March 18th and is currently housing about 14 young men.
“We have here from the age of 15 to the age of 21. These kids come here for all types of crimes…murder, rape, armed robbery; we are rehabilitating these young men…our job here is to rehabilitate; we offer welding, we offer carpentry, we offer the young men the opportunity to obtain their HiSET or their high school diploma…” said facility director, James Woods.
To celebrate the opening of the facility, Governor John Bel Edwards traveled to Avoyelles parish for a ribbon cutting ceremony and a tour of the new facility.
There are two other centers like this one—the Swanson Center for Youth in Monroe and the Bridge City Center for Youth—both of which, Edwards would like to replace with facilities similar to the Acadiana Center.
The center has three dormitories, recreation areas, a dining hall, technology area and more.
All together, the cost for the Acadiana Center for Youth totals around 23 million dollars.