Transforming Juvenile Justice

Transforming Juvenile Justice

Through policy advocacy, public education, and impact litigation, we are working towards a transformed juvenile justice system.  We believe in a system that is safe, smart, cost-effective, and fair — a system that uses community supports to help children grow and thrive; that prepares them for a future of real opportunity; and that holds them accountable in age-appropriate settings, rather than pushing them into adult jails and criminal courts.

You can read here about our priority issues for 2017 and beyond.  We provide staffing and support for the Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition, which advocates for juvenile justice reform at the state legislature.

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Repealing Mandatory Sentences for Kids

Mandatory minimum sentences for kids – often referred to as “Vitter sentences” – take decisions out of the hands of judges and fail to make our communities safer. Louisiana should give discretion back to our judges by repealing these sentences for children tried in juvenile court.

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Improving Juvenile Expungement Laws

Juvenile court records can prevent young people from succeeding long after they have put the justice system behind them. Louisiana must follow national best practices in its juvenile expungement laws – those governing the permanent destruction of records – to give young people a fighting chance.

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Photo courtesy of Sarah E. Hunt

Raise the Age Louisiana

Louisiana is one of only nine states that still exclude 17-year-olds from the juvenile justice system for all offenses – even for the most minor, nonviolent misdemeanors.

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2016 Legislative Successes

In 2016, the Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition successfully advocated for a legislative agenda that works to make the juvenile justice system safe, smart, cost-effective, and fair.

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