OPPJ: Reactivates advisory committee to help day to day operation at Green Oaks

Local News

In just one week, Green Oaks Detention Center detainee 17-year-old Kaleb McClain was taken back into custody after escaping and then fleeing from police. Also at the center, 29-year-old Dennis Tatum was arrested after choking a juvenile unconscious and then tossing him in a cell. Causing him to lose some of his teeth.

“It’s just an unfortunate thing that happened but at the same time we’ve got to keep moving forward and get better as we go,” said Director of the Center Kendrick Rochelle.

Monday, the Ouachita Parish Police Jury voted to reactivate a Green Oaks Advisory Committee, one that will help with the decision making and overall maintenance of the facility.
Rochelle believes it will be a good thing for the center, “Being able to have somebody else to go to, when things are going on that we can discuss things and get things going in the right manner,” he said.

Rochelle has been the director of the juvenile center for eight months and he says, like any new business, they’re still working out the kinks. He indicated that training will help smooth some of the center’s current issues, but it won’t happen overnight.

“Let’s just look at us a year later because it takes time. Any team, it takes time to build even a professional team, the coach doesn’t just win the super bowl the first year,” said Rochelle.

Despite the work needing to be done, Rochelle states that he is committed to seeing the success of Green Oaks through.
“I could have been like those kids, that’s what keeps me going. We got to teach.”

Tatum has been let go and is facing one count of cruelty to a juvenile. McClain is facing a charge of attempted second-degree murder of a police officer. 

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