Louisiana Juvenile Justice Officials Call for System Improvements

In response to juvenile facilities being at full capacity and a labor shortage that worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisiana juvenile justice system administrators are urging officials to take a closer look at policies to address youth criminal trends, in addition to curbing persistent violence and escapes at state correctional centers, Greg Larose reports for the Louisiana Illuminator. Louisiana currently has 693 juveniles in state custody, all of which are nearly evenly split between high security facilities (349) and non-secure sites (344) such as group homes and individual residences. Technically, the state could be held in contempt of court if a youth offender isn’t moved from a local or regional detention center to an OJJ facility within 14 days of their conviction. But because juvenile court judges are aware there’s no room at state youth centers, such complaints are seldom fielded.

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