The Detention Center
The mission of the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center is to provide a safe and restrictive environment for juveniles requiring secure residential detention and to insure that those detained will be available for scheduled court hearings. The youth’s medical, dental and mental health needs will be handled as necessary on an emergency or immediate care basis. The detention program shall facilitate a continuum of care by providing necessary referrals for follow-up services.
In 1986 the Florida Parishes Juvenile Justice District was established by La. R.S. 15:1094, as a political subdivision of the state, with a territorial jurisdiction throughout the Twenty-First and Twenty-Second Judicial Districts, including the parishes of Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington.
La. R.S. 15:1094.1 created the Florida Parishes Juvenile Justice Commission, which is composed of eight commissioners who develop, administer and manage the affairs of the district. Its members serve without salary or per diem and meet once per month in the conference room of the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center (FPJDC).
The FPJDC was first occupied in October of 1992, by a superintendent and two staff members. Lack of funding from the state delayed the opening of the center for over a year. The center officially opened with a 31 bed capacity on January 3, 1994 and accepted its first juvenile on January 18, 1994.
In September 1995, the FPJDC underwent an accreditation audit with the American Correctional Association (ACA), and was found in compliance with 100% of standards, both mandatory and non-mandatory. In the following month of October, voters within the 5 parish area approved a 10 year/3 mill property tax, for the purposes of continuing the center’s operations and subsequent expansion.
The first expansion, completed in 1999 added an additional 74 beds, 4 classrooms and a multi-purpose area/gym.
Not long after 2005, the Florida Parishes Juvenile Justice District began realizing the effects of the influx in population from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The judicial need for an increased capacity at the detention center materialized and increased in the immediate years that followed. In response to this need, the FPJDC underwent its most recent expansion in March of 2010 and the new building was completed in 2011, containing additional classrooms, dayrooms, and staff offices. This brought the capacity to the current 133 beds.
Prior to the last expansion, the FPJDC became a member of and began participating in Performance Based Standards (PbS); through the PbS Learning Institute. This move from the ACA accreditation process was in search of a more performance driven accreditation model. Herein, the performance and effectiveness of every component of programming and operations is measured through the collection of data and regular Facility Improvement Plan outcomes. The goal is for the outcomes to reflect excellence in operations, safety, health,
education, and other areas of programming; scoring the center against similar sized detention facilities nationwide.
Today the FPJDC operates as a nationally recognized and awarded detention facility, utilizing a best-practice and research-based approach to juvenile detention.