Design contract approved for Juvenile Justice Services complex

By By John Guidroz / American Press

Crews could break ground sometime next summer on a new complex for the Calcasieu Parish Office of Juvenile Justice Services,

director Dane Bolin said Friday.

Police jurors on Thursday approved a contract with the New Jersey-based Justice Solution Group to help design the facility.

The new complex will be built next to the existing one on East Prien Lake Road.

Bolin said the current facility is outdated and is too expensive to maintain.

“We do a good job with what we have, but it’s run its course,” he said. “We want to build something totally unique. We don’t

want it to look like a prison or a correctional facility.”

Bolin said the juvenile justice department has saved “anywhere from $7 million to $10 million” over the last decade to help

pay for a new complex.

“This is really a special project,” he said. “There are not many facilities like this being built. We want something that

will be modeled throughout the country.”

In addition to Justice Solution Group, Bolin said the department will seek design input from local law enforcement, judges

and education officials. He said the Police Jury will select a local architect once the intial design work is finished.

Bolin said the new complex will be

built according to the standards approved by state lawmakers in 2010.

The Calcasieu office

— along with all 15 juvenile detention centers in Louisiana — were

licensed in July, requiring them to follow quality standards

like mental health, security and medical screenings.

“The impact is going to be tremendous,” he said of the new facility. “We will have a place that will be more conducive to

make an impact on the kids.”

Bolin said the complex will include a

new detention center, probation department, a medical office, recreation

areas and administrative

offices. He said the complex will have about 36-40 beds, the same

amount in the existing facility.