I am not against finding ways to handle and house our juvenile criminals. My concern is with the process in which we achieve the result and revolves around the issue of public disclosure and the lack of advanced open communication by those who have conspired to conceal a new jail from the residents of Judice and Ridge.
In this latest episode of "Fool the Public," an out-of-town company has already secured property in the Judice/Ridge community to build a new juvenile jail ("Hard Sell," May 30). They are so far along in the process that plans have been submitted to parish planning for permitting. Their very first public meeting was Friday, May 18, in which they did a grand dog and pony show to convince the locals just how wonderful the world would be once they opened this new juvenile jail. I do not debate the merits of their program; however, I am appalled at the process.
An out of town company, with the full knowledge and endorsement of our sheriff, perpetrated gross concealment and public deception by not informing the local community in advance of its purpose. There were no advance public meetings nor opportunity for prior public input ' only an after-the-fact meeting to extol the project's virtues.
The Judice/Ridge community is comprised of good, moral, family-oriented people who place great pride in their neighborhoods, their schools, their rural lifestyle, and above all, a safe living environment. These residents are very upset and are well justified in their anger. They were kept in the dark until the deal was just about complete.
Would you allow this type of venture in your neighborhood? Could you imagine the outcry if this were happening in River Ranch, Greenbriar, Broadmoor, Oakbourne or on East Bayou Parkway?
With more than 20 years of developing prisons, I know that to gain support for a sensitive venture you must allow the community full and complete access to the process. To have long term success you must allow community input. You must give everyone the opportunity to express their concerns. None of this was done in a fashion that could have created trust or community support.
Maybe the $10 million state contract blinded all those involved. Whatever the reason, the credibility of this new project is diminished, the public's faith and trust in government has been damaged, and residents' rights have been violated. It's unacceptable for our elected officials to participate in public deception and concealment. If you like the way this was handled, just wait until they begin trying to locate a new parish prison.
(LeBlanc is president of LCS Corrections Services Inc. ' Ed.)
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)