Children in Confinement in Louisiana

In March and May 1995, the Human Rights Watch Children=s Rights Project conducted an investigation in Louisiana into the conditions in which children are confined in that state, examining the human rights aspects of their incarceration.We found that substantial numbers of children in the state training institutions are regularly physically abused by guards, are kept in isolation for long periods of time, and are improperly restrained by handcuffs. Large numbers of children, especially black children, are suspended from school each year, sometimes for the whole year. Louisiana also has one of the highest rates of incarceration among U.S. states.4 Approximately 1,500 children are confined in secure correctional facilities each year. The circumstances which lead to their incarceration are not within the scope of this report, nor are due process problems, such as adequate representation of the children. Human Rights Watch confined its investigation to the conditions in which children are confined in the Louisiana institutions.

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