Shreveport, with a population of 199 thousand and a metropolitan population of 441 thousand, is the third largest city in Louisiana. It is also the commercial and cultural center of the Ark-La-Tex region where Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas meet.
Early settlers established Shreveport to place a town at the point where the Red River and the Texas Trail meet. They cleared the Red River made navigable by Henry Shreve who was in charge of the United States Army Corps of Engineers project to clear the river. The river was blocked and unavailable to use for shipping due to a 180 mile long natural log jam. Henry Shreve used a modified riverboat, named the Heliopolis, to remove the log jam and clear the river. They gave the are the name Shreve Town in his honor.
In 1839 Shreve Town was incorporated as Shreveport, a 64 city block area consisting of eight streets running west of the Red River and eight streets running south of Cross Bayou. It soon became the steamboat center of commerce for the area, dealing mostly in cotton and agricultural crops.
During the Civil War, Shreveport was the capital of Louisiana for 2 years having succeeded Baton Rouge and Opelousas after they fell under Union control. Shreveport was a Confederate stronghold throughout the war and was the headquarters for the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate Army.
The Red River once again became unnavigable in 1914 due to lack of use and neglect after railroad lines took over freight traffic. In 1994 the United States Army Corps of Engineers restored navigability to it once more.
Louisiana’s Reformed Juvenile Justice System Problems Under Criticism:
Louisiana's juvenile justice system had one of the worst reputations in the country at one time, with reports of fights among inmates used as entertainment, complete lack of a basic education and even molestation of 14 year old inmates by guards.
But 12 years ago Louisiana Legislature passed reforms that brought down the number of kids locked in facilities from over 2 thousand to about 350. They did this by relying more on community based services to deal with behavioral problems and drug addiction instead of simply locking them all up. Also new rules were implemented that forbid Mace, restraining chairs and excessive solitary confinement time.
On paper everything looked good and was even called the "American juvenile justice ideal" by criminologist Barry Krisberg. It was a well known national story and the state had been considered to have made remarkable progress.
People close to the system feel different though, saying that the efforts have not gone nearly far enough to be considered ideal or to be used as a model for anything. This comes from families members, defense lawyers and criminal justice reform advocates and they still feel that the system is flawed.
Drugs are one of the leading causes in the state for juvenile crime and although some drug addicted children are put into community programs, many are still incarcerated instead of getting help at a drug rehabilitation center and even those that are sent into community based programs are not necessarily sent to rehab centers.
A 2010 legislative audit also shows that prisons cost three times more per person than alternative facilities so the state could actually be saving money while addressing the problem head on. As adolescent abuse of drugs rising throughout the entire nation due to easier access to prescription drugs and new synthetic drugs flooding into schools, using ineffective means to try and battle drug addiction in youth is the wrong way to go.
Meth Lab Found in Apartment and Fugitive Arrested:
A Shreveport man was arrested after being caught for manufacturing meth. He lived in the Haystack Apartments in the 7000 block of Fern Ave. The Shreveport - Caddo narcotic agents served a warrant for the man, who was 63 years old, after agents noticed a meth lab in his apartment.
One resident who lives with her children in the next building said:
“We don't normally have that kind of stuff going on in this part of town, and I was very worried about my kids being here."“They can cause explosions people walking around offering drugs to your kids, you got to be safe with your children.”
Methamphetamine is a chemical compound that comes out in a white powder form that has no odor. Unlike cocaine and marijuana, it is made in a lab from different chemicals and is not plant based. It can also come in colors like pink, orange and brown and can also come in pill form. Crystal meth resembles ice chucks.
It is made by mixing together a stimulant found in cold remedy pills, called amphetamine, with other dangerous chemicals such as battery acid, lantern fuel, antifreeze or drain cleaner. The chemical run off that is produced in the process is highly toxic. This runoff can get into storm drains and into the soil and is very dangerous to the plant, water and foods in an area.
Additionally, the chemicals are highly flammable and explosive. This is why law enforcement and DEA work so hard to stop meth labs as their very existence presents a danger even if the drugs being produced in them never hit the streets.
There has been a decrease in the number of meth labs in the state, although the reason for this is not a drop in demand, but an increase in supply from Mexican meth labs that are importing it into the United States in floods.
Shreveport Treatment Options:
Shreveport has 13 primary treatment centers for alcohol and drug addiction. Six of these are outpatient only care, while the remaining ones all offer some level of inpatient care such as partial residential stay, halfway house support or full inpatient care.
Depending on the center you are looking into, all different types of payment options are available including medicaid, medicare, private medical insurance, military insurance and sliding scale self payment options that can offer lower costs for people who have a lower income level.