State funding promises change for juvenile system

Story by Fred Childers SHREVEPORT, LA - KSLA -  There are some changes in the state juvenile system that may help change the lives of young folks


they turn to a life of crime. Tracey Gipson says her sixteen year old son, Roy is out of control. "He has a very bad attitude," says Gipson. After incidents of skipping school, and running away, Tracey placed Roy in the Johnny Gray Jones juvenile detention center, where he has escaped twice. "The second time was June 1st, and he hasn't been caught yet," says Tracey. She's not sure his detention helps, but she worries for his safety and the safety of others. "The system comes in they want to hold me responsible, I don't feel that's right," says Tracey. "This is a kid coming into the system, so he's probably feeling like this is my life for the rest of my life, and we need to reach that young person," says Deputy Secretary of the Office of Youth Development. Thompson spoke to city, parish and school leaders today about proposed legislation aimed at youth. "Under Senate Bill 749, which we're supporting, which will bring additional reform to the juvenile system in Louisiana," says Thompson. Reform that puts more of an emphasis on youth programs, and includes housing facilities and alternative educational programs. "We're going to ask people in the community and within the faith based communities to become very involved in these local facilities," says Thompson. Local educational, and preventative helpt hat promises to help Tracy's kid switch paths, before it's too late.