We stand against shipping container prisons for Louisiana’s children. Certainly, Louisiana lacks sufficient space for detained and incarcerated children. Based on experiences worldwide, converting shipping containers into prison cells is not a reasonable answer.

For some time, the State of Louisiana and many of its parishes and municipalities have struggled with a shortage of properly maintained, permanently constructed spaces for children who are detained or incarcerated.

Still, it seems surreal that Louisiana would allow the unregulated use of converted shipping containers as detention, secure care, or prison cells for children. The safety and well-being of Louisiana’s children now require that Louisiana promulgate Minimum Licensing Standards controlling the use of shipping containers converted into prison cells for children.

If shipping container prisons for juveniles become recognized as an unregulated, cost-effective method of housing children, their use may spread throughout Louisiana’s juvenile detention and incarceration facilities.

As an encouragement to draft Minimum Licensing Standards for converted shipping container cells in juvenile detention centers and jails, Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services is sharing a brief paper titled, Louisiana Lacks Standards to Protect Children Held in Converted Shipping Containers: An Advocacy Paper on Behalf of Louisiana’s Children.

The paper is available on our Louisiana Child Advocacy website at:


It is also available directly from:


With a recent public report of a Louisiana facility already converting containers, Louisiana must promulgate Minimum Licensing Standards for shipping container conversions as soon as possible.


Rick Wheat
President and CEO
Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services

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