Primary Contact Name: Gina Womack
The Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition is a network of organizations and individuals who support a legislative and policy agenda for common-sense juvenile justice reform that will curb crime, use taxpayer resources responsibly, and get better outcomes for children.
Bill Number: HB 241
Type of Reform
Raise the Age Reform - This bill was a technical amendment/clean-up bill to make sure all statutory language recognizes that the definition of "juvenile" included seventeen-year-olds.
Bill Number: SB 324
Type of Reform
Raise the Age Reform - Raised the age from 17 to 18. Development of alternative programs by a council created by the bill. Children are not to be automatically held in adult jail no matter the crime.
Bill Number: HCR 73
Type of Reform
Raise the Age Study - Requested the Institute on Public Health and Justice to study raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 17.
More Harm than Good: How Children are Unjustly Tried as Adults in New Orleans (2016)
The Orleans Parish district attorney is prosecuting children as adults in unprecedented numbers. Although nothing in the law requires Louisiana prosecutors to charge children as adults, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro chooses to transfer children to adult court in almost every possible instance. He transfers children who have no prior delinquency record or played a minor role in the alleged crime. He transfers children who have a mental illness or developmental disability. He even transfers children accused of nonviolent offenses. Some of the children he transfers are found innocent of any crime – but only after enduring the stress and danger of the adult system. Prosecuting children as adults is, in fact, Cannizzaro’s default practice.
Raise the Age - A Common-Sense Plan for Safer Communities: include 17-Year-Olds in Juvenile Court (2016)
This report from the Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition argues that Louisiana should join 41 other states – including its neighbors in Mississippi and Alabama – in raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18. Including 17-year-olds in its juvenile justice system is safe, smart, cost-effective, and fair.
A Legislated Study of Raising the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction in Louisiana: The future of 17-year-olds in the Louisiana Justice System (2016)
This report was commissioned by the Louisiana state legislature and analyzes the implications, ins, and outs of a raise the age reform in Louisiana. Based on scientific, factual and financial evidence, the document strongly recommends that the state raises the age of juvenile court jurisdiction in order to benefit public safety, promote youth rehabilitation and create long-term savings. Additionally, the report suggests Louisiana adopts a comprehensive five-year strategic plan for juvenile justice, including the transition of 17-year-olds. This recommended plan should focus on the use of the latest evidence-based practices and the development of a comprehensive data infrastructure to inform policy, practice, and decision making at all stages in the juvenile justice system.
Keep Children out of Orleans Parish Prison (2015)
This report focuses on children who are transferred into the adult justice system and put into the Orleans Parish Prison in New Orleans, Louisiana. This prison lacks sufficient services for youth and there are high rates of sexual and physical assault, suicide, isolation, and the deprivation of adequate education.
Pushed Out: Harsh Discipline in Louisiana Schools Denies the Right to Education (2010)
This report exposes the conditions in Louisiana’s school system that not only deprive children of a good education but also create the school-to-prison pipeline.
What’s Really Up Doc?: A Call For Reform of the Office of Juvenile Justice (2012)
This report denounces the failures of Louisiana’s juvenile justice reforms and calls for new leadership in finally moving the state back towards a model of juvenile justice based on rehabilitation, cost-effectiveness, a continuum of services for youth, and respect for youth and families.