Lt. Gov. Landrieu and Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission Push Further Reform of Juvenile Justice System -- 03/26/2007
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2007
Lt. Gov. Landrieu and Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission Push Further Reform of Juvenile Justice System
(Baton Rouge, LA) - Today at a Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission public hearing held at the State Capitol, Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu called for the Commission to formulate a legislative package for the upcoming legislative session that would sustain momentum on the reformation of the juvenile justice system.
"We need to build on the progress that has been made and communicate to lawmakers what's needed," Lt. Governor Landrieu told the panel. " We need legislation that will secure a steady stream of funding for your programs," he said.
Lt. Governor Landrieu chairs the Juvenile Justice Commission. Its members include State Senator Donald R. Cravins, Jr., Justice Catherine Kimball, Dr. Ralph Slaughter and Commissioner Jerry Luke LeBlanc.
On the agenda for consideration this year are a re-vamp of the probation and parole systems for youth offenders, additional violence prevention programs, post-hurricane mental health programs, and a study of the link between domestic abuse and juvenile delinquency.
The Louisiana Office of Youth Development will hold public meetings in the Fall to hear feedback from stakeholders and the general public on whether the department is pursuing an agenda that has public support. Over 1600 youths were in secured care in 2000; that number has dropped to just over 400 youths in 2007. Department officials expect residential beds will be available in every region of the state after this year.
The Louisiana Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission was created to implement the recommendations contained in the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2003 and HCR 56 or SCR 31 of the 2003 Regular Session, and the continued reform of the state's juvenile justice system by developing, organizing, maintaining and making readily accessible to decision makers and the general public accurate, up-to-date information on the state's juvenile justice system.