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Federal judge calls plan to house teens at Angola 'disturbing,' but legal

The legal battle over this case may still be far from over.

JEFFERSON PARISH, La. — A federal judge called Louisiana's plan to move around two-dozen teenage inmates to the Angola State Penitentiary "disturbing," but ultimately ruled that the plan is legal.

In her 64 page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Shelly Dick said that "while locking children in cells at night at Angola is untenable, the threat of harm there youngsters present to themselves, and others, is intolerable. The untenable must yield to the intolerable."

The Bridge City Youth Center is in Louisiana Sen. Pat Connick's district, where residents have called for the prison to be closed after several inmate escapes this year -- including one instance where an inmate shot and carjacked Scott Toups in New Orleans.

Months later, Toups is still fighting for his life in the hospital.

"This is going to separate the good from the bad, so to speak, and send a message to those who just have no regard for the health and safety of anybody else saying 'if you have if you do hurt someone, if you do destroy, you're gonna go to Angola,'" Connick said.

Activists, families of the incarcerated teenagers and attorneys have all pushed back against the plan, saying the trauma of being housed at one of the nation's toughest prisons will be irreversible.

One attorney told WWL-TV that the judge's decision is "disappointing," but that they will continue to look for ways to keep these teenagers out of Angola.

The legal battle over this case may still be far from over.

As of this weekend, no date has been set for when the inmates will be moved to Angola.

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