Lawmaker suggests Lacassine location for halfway house

February 16, 2011 at 1:59 am

A state lawmaker is suggesting an alternate location for a federal halfway house that has been proposed for residential areas in Lake Charles.

Community Transitional Services of Louisville, Ky., which has a contract to build the facility, has faced opposition from residents and city officials in regards to two sites — one at Cline and Emerald streets near J.J. Johnson Elementary School and the other on the 1800 block of Broad Street near Reynaud Middle School.

State Rep. A. B. Franklin is suggesting the Lacassine location of the Academy of Life Skills. In 2006, Jeff Davis Parish officials were opposed to the academy’s location, citing it’s proximity to residences and Lacassine High School.

Lee Mallett with the Academy said he chose Lacassine because he wanted to keep it away from more-heavily populated areas.

“Studies show (the homes) don’t hurt residents, but there is always an uproar,” Mallett said.

Franklin said he made multiple inquiries to the federal government to suggest the Lacassine location and got no response. Mallett said he reached out to the contractor, offering to work with them.

“We have 20 acres, and we’re accredited (by the Department of Corrections and American Correctional Association),” Mallett said.

Repeated calls to Community Transitional Services and the Bureau of Prisons requesting criteria for site selection were not returned.

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