Our Juvenile Justice System Should Be Safe, Smart, Cost-Effective, and Fair

2017 Legislative Campaign

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Allowing Youth a Chance at Redemption

United States is the only country in the world that condemns children to die in prison - and Louisiana tops the list of states that dole out life without parole sentences for kids. We need common-sense reforms that hold children accountable while still recognizing their capacity for redemption.

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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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Who We Are

The Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition is a network of organizations and individuals who support common-sense juvenile justice reform that will curb crime, use taxpayer resources responsibly, and get better outcomes for children. We believe that:

Juvenile Justice should be SAFE

Our juvenile justice system should curb crime and keep our neighborhoods safe.

Juvenile Justice should be SMART

Our state can’t be prosperous unless we ensure that our most vulnerable young people are educated and ready for the workforce.

Juvenile Justice should be COST-EFFECTIVE

Louisiana must spend taxpayer funds responsibly. We should use the right tools that will really help young people behave in positive ways – and we shouldn’t waste money on interventions that just don’t work.

Juvenile Justice should be FAIR

We want a juvenile justice system that is fair to young people and their families – a system that holds kids accountable while embodying our deepest values about how all people should be treated.