Article in WDSU 6 News
For teens who get in trouble with the law in Orleans Parish and are accused of violent offenses, there is about an 80 percent chance they will be charged as an adult.
The findings are from a Southern Poverty Law Center study on how juveniles are prosecuted in New Orleans. For 15 to 16 year olds the District Attorney has the sole discretion to transfer that case to adult court.
"More than 83 percent of juvenile cases are transferred to adult court. That's out of step with other parishes in Louisiana, said Meredith Angelson with the Southern Poverty Center. That's compared to 22 percent in neighboring Jefferson Parish, and 5-7 cases a year in Baton Rouge.
The advocacy group believes trying juveniles as adults causes more harm than good. They are appealing to District Attorney, Leon Cannizzaro, to consider special circumstances.