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Zoning board rules Shreveport parole center must move away from - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Zoning board rules Shreveport parole center must move away from school

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -

Too close for comfort, that's what parents and a neighborhood association are saying because they are outraged that a parole center is in their community and right across the street from The Montessori School of Shreveport in Stoner Hill. In Wednesday's zoning meeting, city officials heard both sides of the issue and the zoning board ruled in the parent and neighborhood's favor saying the parole reporting center has to move.

Mark Patty has a student at the Montessori School and said, "I think our major concern is the off chance that something doesn't go right at the facility. We applaud what they're doing. We applaud the people on probation or parole that are bettering themselves. I'm simply worried about the possibility that somebody makes a mistake."

BI Incorporated is a day reporting facility for parolee's. The company's web site says their clients are on the cusp of being sent back to jail. That's why school parents and members of the community spoke out at the zoning meeting to get BI's occupancy approval revoked asking that the company to be forced to move. Donald Wiener is a parent and a member of the board of directors for the school. Wiener said, "The city employee who reviews these certificates dropped the ball and this fell through the cracks and that's why there's an appeal process."

Officials with BI Incorporated, a company based out of Colorado, didn't want to speak on camera, told city officials that participants aren't forced to go to the center but it is a condition of their parole.

Rosalind Lensey spent time in prison and has since rebuilt her life.  She's a graduate of BI and says the program is the reason she's thriving today. "If we didn't have the help of the school, where are we to turn. As long as you put forth the effort, no matter where the building is, you're going to make it."

Mark Patty concludes, "We want them to be a success. We just think it should happen in a different location."

BI Incorporated has 10 days to file an appeal. They had a 27 month lease on the building on C. E. Gallo way, and have been located in the facility for at least 2 months. BI teaches anger management and job training skills to get participants re acclimated to society. Currently the center has 20 clients but can assist up to 50. They have 4 employees in the facility. To date, none of the participants in the program at this location are sex offenders.

 

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