Acadia Youth Council Hears Advice
Acadia Youth Council hears advice
By Howell Dennis
NEWS EDITOR, The Crowley Post Signal
Members of the Acadia Youth Council gathered at the Sheriff’s Department Thursday afternoon for a very informative presentation from two members of the Jefferson Children and Youth Planning Board, Roy L. Junker and Dr. John Ryals. The men were in town to discuss the success that their group has had as well as to discuss ways for Acadia’s Youth Council to help to develop and protect the youth of Acadia Parish.
Juncker, a former Westwego Police Officer was the first to speak.
“Our goal is to get what we’re doing in Jefferson Parish out to the rest of the state,” he said.
Juncker spoke of how one out of every three children arrested are picked up at a public school. He also has some ideas as to how to alleviate this number because some of these children were being arrested for simple assault, disturbing the peace, and interfering with a public institution.
“When I was young I had a few brushes with the law myself,” said Juncker. “If I had been arrested every time I got into a fight in the school yard or cut up in class I’d be in Angola right now. The issue is that if we keep putting these children into the judicial system as opposed to a different type of program which can address their specific needs we can help most of these kids as opposed to introducing them to the court system.”
He then discussed prevention programs.
“If you ask any kindergarten teacher she can tell you which of her students are going to get into trouble,” he continued. “If you could have a program to send that children to to begin addressing his needs then many problems may be alleviated.”
Following Juncker’s speech, Dr. John Ryals discussed several programs and detailed how some were effective and some were not.
“Who is your youth council focused on?,” he asked the group.
“All kids,” was the response.
“That’s right and I want to congratulate you on your focus,” he replied. “Its for all kids not just the juvenile justice kids. You want to look at your children and know they are in a safe environment.”
Dr. Ryals then detailed many programs and issues and gave the group some pointers on how to best get the Acadia Youth Council started.
“This council is the foundation for the way children are treated in your parish.”
Among the parish officials in attendance were Judge M’elise Trahan, Sheriff Wayne Melancon, Church Point Police Chief Albert Venable, and Crowley Police Officer Jimmy Broussard.