Fighting for Survivors of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Detention Centers or Residential Treatment Facilities in Louisiana

With multiple accounts of abuse, neglect, and subpar treatment for the youth placed in its care, the juvenile justice system in Louisiana has long been the focus of criticism. Investigations, lawsuits, criminal charges, and testimonies from victims have shown that youth held at Louisiana juvenile detention centers or residential treatment facilities were sexually abused or assaulted by staff and fellow inmates.

LK is investigating Louisiana juvenile detention center and residential treatment facility lawsuits amid reports of apparent sexual abuse within these centers. The legal team at Levy Konigsberg can help you seek justice and compensation if you or someone you care about has experienced sexual assault in any of these facilities. Our Louisiana sexual abuse attorneys have gained national recognition for their efforts to defend victims of sexual abuse. 

FREE Consultations for Victims of Louisiana Juvenile Detention and Residential Treatment Center Sexual Abuse

Contact us today at (318) 319-9004 or email to discuss your case with our experienced legal team.

History of Sexual Abuse at Louisiana Youth Facilities

In 1996, an investigation of conditions at juvenile correctional institutions that are owned by the state or operated on behalf of a state was carried out by the Civil Rights Department of the US Department of Justice. Findings revealed that many conditions in the four Louisiana correctional facilities for juveniles investigated violate the constitutional and statutory rights of the minors confined therein. 

Although the state responded with its Project Zero Tolerance initiative, further investigation revealed the unsafe environment in these centers. At all facilities, little attention has been paid to sexual activities between juveniles and sexual activities between officers and juveniles.

The following reports provide a glimpse into the extent of sexual abuse, and conditions likely to lead to sexual abuse, going on in Louisiana juvenile detention centers or residential treatment facilities.

Acadiana Center for Youth at St. Martinville

In October 2021, a juvenile court in East Baton Rouge learned that a 15-year-old joyrider was held in solitary confinement at the Acadiana Center for Youth at St. Martinville. This facility, unbeknownst to the court, kept teens in round-the-clock isolation without education or counseling, violating state and federal laws. Teens, some mentally ill, were confined 23 hours a day, shackled for showers, and only received meals through door slots. 

Brentwood Hospital 

In 2018, a news station obtained a large number of internal records that demonstrate Brentwood hospital’s numerous problems, including patient escapes, assaults, and prescription errors. A former director attributed the problems to low human resource budget allocation. 

In October 2015, Jeffie Coleman, a hospital staff, was detained and subsequently entered a guilty plea to a charge of misdemeanor sexual battery for inappropriately touching a female patient who was fifteen years old. He was terminated from his job.

Jackson Parish Jail

Children moved from Louisiana State Penitentiary to Jackson Parish Jail faced more abusive conditions according to a federal court document filed in 2024. They slept on floors, endured pepper ball shootings, and were housed with adults, contrary to federal rules. Reports detailed overcrowded cells, limited showers, and unsafe conditions, including fights and stabbings witnessed by young inmates.

Jetson Correctional Center for Youth

A January 2010 report by the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that 8% of youth at Jetson Correctional Center were sexually abused by staff. Due to severe abuse and frequent fights, the Legislature closed the facility in 2008. An incarcerated teen recounted beatings and rapes. The 2022 reopening of the notorious prison caused concern in Baker, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Louisiana Bernard Parish Prison

In 2000, a civil rights action claiming that Eddie Williams, 69, a guard at St. Bernard Parish Jail, who repeatedly sexually abused a 15-year-old detainee from June 2015 to January 2016 was settled for $200,000. 

Tallulah Correctional Center for Youth

A 1998 news report exposed dire conditions at the Tallulah Correctional Center for Youth, where teen inmates endured overcrowding, sweltering barracks, frequent physical altercations, inadequate meals and clothing, and minimal educational and mental health support. These harsh conditions, detailed in public records and firsthand accounts, highlight Louisiana’s troubled prison system and raise concerns about potential sexual abuse amidst such neglect.

St. Bernard Parish Juvenile Detention Center

A 16-year-old boy, who according to his parents has mental impairments, was allegedly sexually assaulted in 2008 at the St. Bernard Parish Juvenile Detention Center

State Penitentiary at Angola

On September 15, 2023, Louisiana removed several teenagers from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola following months of public criticism. The notorious prison, usually for adults on death row, housed minors due to violence and escapes at juvenile centers. Despite a US Court of Appeals halting the removal on September 13, public pressure led to the teens’ relocation.

The situation highlights the severe issues in the state’s juvenile justice system. A federal judge found Angola’s conditions violated the teens’ rights, citing issues like handcuffing during meals, lack of medical care and restricted family visits.

Swanson Center for Youth 

In 2020,  Jumishia Baker, a staff member at the Swanson Center for Youth, was taken into custody after she confessed to having multiple sexual encounters with a 17-year-old prisoner. Baker was charged with one count of felony misconduct in office and was taken to the Ouachita Correctional Center. 

According to a US Department of Justice study released January 2010, youth at the Swanson Center reported experiencing sexual abuse by staff at rates more than double the average for juvenile detention centers nationwide.

We specialize in sexual abuse lawsuits against powerful institutions, including prisons, clergy, and juvenile detention centers.

We work on contingency, which means there’s no cost to hire and no fee unless we win.

Investigating Sexual Abuse at Louisiana Juvenile Detention or Youth Residential Treatment Facilities

Levy Konigsberg is actively investigating claims from current and former youth inmates who were sexually abused by staff at youth detention or residential treatment facilities across Louisiana. The list of facilities, including those already mentioned in a prior section of this page, is extensive but not exhaustive and includes:

  • Acadiana Center for Youth 
  • Bernard Parish Juvenile Detention Center 
  • Brentwood Hospital
  • Bridge City Center for Youth 
  • Covington Behavioral Health Hospital
  • Jackson Parish Correctional Center 
  • Jetson Correctional Center for Youth
  • Longleaf Hospital
  • River Oaks Hospital
  • River Place Behavioral Health
  • Swanson Correctional Center for Youth
  • St. James Youth Center 
  • Tallulah Youth Prison
  • Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems
  • Ware Detention Center

Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuits In Louisiana

A statute of limitations is a legal time limit for starting legal proceedings after an alleged offense. In Louisiana, victims of child sex abuse could previously only file claims against their abusers and those who enabled the abuse before they turned 28 years old.

In 2021, Louisiana lawmakers passed a “lookback window” bill allowing abuse survivors to file civil lawsuits against their abusers regardless of when the abuse occurred, within three years (ending June 2024). Recently, they extended this period until June 14, 2027.

The extension of the lookback window is crucial for  Louisiana juvenile detention and youth residential treatment center sex abuse survivors, offering them a chance to seek justice that would otherwise have been denied. 

Levy Konigsberg is helping survivors of Louisiana juvenile center sexual abuse learn about filing claims within the current time limits. If you were abused as a child and want to understand how the Lookback Window extension can assist you as an adult, we’re here to provide guidance.

After June 14, 2027, older abuse claims might be subject to the previous statute’s cutoff at 28 years of age, meaning you could lose the opportunity to file a claim. 

Trust Levy Konigsberg's Legal Team for Proven Results in Sexual Abuse and Negligence Cases

Levy Konigsberg LLP, a nationally recognized law firm, has built a legacy over three decades, recovering over $3 billion in sexual abuse compensation for clients. Led by award-winning sexual abuse lawyers, we specialize in representing survivors in sexual abuse across the country, taking on powerful institutions. Our top-rated trial practice handles all types of sexual abuse or negligence cases, showcasing numerous testimonials and successful case results. You can learn more about our latest sexual abuse work on our blog.

FREE Consultations for Victims of Louisiana Juvenile Detention and Residential Treatment Center Sexual Abuse

Contact us today at (318) 319-9004 or email to discuss your case with our experienced legal team.


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