Though four 17-year-olds recently have been raped in adult jails, a Louisiana Senate committee accepted arguments Tuesday that the state simply couldn’t afford to start the two-year-old law that would put offenders that age into juvenile facilities.
The Louisiana Senate Judiciary A Committee voted 4-2 to delay the “Raise the Age” Act, which was supposed to go into effect July 1. The first stage of the transition would involve nonviolent offenders.
Senate Bill 248 now goes to the full Senate, which overwhelming adopted Raise the Age in 2016. Raise the Age would stop treating 17-year-olds as adults, as 18-year-olds are, and instead adjudicate their offenses through the juvenile justice system.