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.)
Struggling to preserve their Senate majority, Democrats are attacking Republicans over Medicare and Social Security in Louisiana, spending cuts in Arkansas, off-shore jobs in New Hampshire and women's issues in Colorado.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.