LOUISIANA (KLFY) – Multiple civil rights groups sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Education to investigate Louisiana’s decision to move children to Angola Prison.

The letter details how placing children in Angola has affected their mental health and will have negative consequences for their education opportunities.

The letter was signed by “lawyers and advocates for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Louisiana Center for Children`s Rights (LCCR), ACLU National Prison Project, ACLU of Louisiana, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, and Families and Friends of Louisiana`s Incarcerated Children,” according to the release.

The release also explained how “Two youths who are involved in a lawsuit challenging the state`s decision to transfer them to Angola said they have faced prolonged isolation in windowless, filthy jail cells. They also report having only one teacher who splits their time between two classrooms and provides the same work to all students regardless of grade level or ability. One student who has several disabilities and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) said they have not received any services or support required by their IEP while in OJJ custody.”

In 2022, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said that some children would be transferred to Angola who were previously held at Bridge City Center for Youth to “address the severe failings of the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ)  the state agency responsible for the care of youth in the juvenile system.”

Due to the anticipated transfer last year, the SPLC, LCCR and Loyola University sent a letter to state agencies “charged with providing education and rehabilitative services to detained youth requesting a detailed, written plan about how they will deliver education and rehabilitative services to youth housed at Angola,” the release said.