LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet Pledges Agency Support for At-risk Youth Program

Release Date: 01/30/2018

January 30, 2018 – Minutes after touring the AMIKids facility for at-risk youth located in rural Branch, LA, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Jack Montoucet pledged that LDWF would be bringing programs to the boys living there.

 

“We have an obligation to give these young people an opportunity to make changes in their lives. We have the opportunity to do it right now,” Montoucet said, adding that programs are on their way.

 

Montoucet’s comments came after three youth offenders led him and LDWF staff on a tour of the facility. The three boys described the various parts of the facility and gave the visitors a view into their lives and the others at the residential campus. The LDWF staff also met with teachers in classrooms.

 

AMIkids Acadiana, in Acadia Parish, partners with the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice to accept troubled youths assigned to its residential facility. The AMIkids is part of a state and national network of facilities with the goal of empowering kids to overcome their troubled past.

 

AMIkids Acadiana provides services to 36 students between the ages of 12-18 at the Branch facility. The juvenile offenders may be at the facility from several months to more than a year.

 

AMIkids Acadiana Executive Director Issac Williams introduced Montoucet to a number of the boys at the facility as they toured the classrooms, living quarters, cafeteria and recreation area.

 

He explained that the boys occasionally get a chance to fish, but having assistance from LDWF would enhance the outdoor experience. They have a few other activities they can receive for good conduct and work in the classrooms. “I think a partnership with (LDWF) could mean so much more for these boys,” Williams said.

 

Some of the possibilities mentioned by LDWF include archery, hiking, overnight stays at the agency’s research facilities and the establishment of on-campus outreach educational programs.

 

“With some of these things we can plant a memory with them that can stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Montoucet, an avid fisherman and hunter. He committed to Williams that his staff will develop and execute an activity plan for the facility. 

 

Montoucet also said that LDWF would explore the possibility of introducing outreach activities at AMIkids other facilities in the state.

 

Williams said he is “excited” about Montoucet’s pledge and foresees a great working relationship.

 

“I really appreciate Mr. Montoucet recognizing a tremendous opportunity to educate our students on how to enjoy the outdoors in a safe and respectful manner,’’ Williams said. “Furthermore, I truly believe that if our kids can pick up a hobby or take a liking to fishing and wildlife, it may have a positive effect on our recidivism.” 

 

Maggie Gladden, AMIkids Regional Development Officer, said: “Partnering with LDWF here at Acadiana and our other two Louisiana-based programs will be a wonderful benefit to our operations and more importantly the youth we serve. The potential for additional learning activities outside of the classroom will further strengthen our efforts to help at-risk youth find a brighter tomorrow.”

 

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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov .  To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at  www.wlf.la.gov/signup 

 

 

AMIkids is a national nonprofit organization that serves at-risk youth in 44 local programs in nine states throughout the country. Since 1969, AMIkids has empowered more than 135,000 boys and girls from across the nation, helping to transform their lives and guide them towards a bright future. For more information, visit: AMIkids.org