Louisiana Senate backs slight delay to "Raise the Age" law
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's plans to raise the age of adult prosecution would be delayed, under a bill that won unanimous Senate support.
Lawmakers in 2016 agreed to stop automatically routing 17-year-olds through the adult criminal justice system when arrested. The juvenile justice system is supposed to start handling 17-year-olds charged with non-violent crimes July 1.
Offenders charged with more serious or violent crimes join two years later.
Under the proposed changes, those charged with non-violent crimes would move to the juvenile justice system on March 1, 2019 - if the Office of Juvenile Justice says there's money to accommodate the increased caseload. Those charged with more serious crimes would be moved on March 1, 2020.
Senators voted 37-0 for the proposal Tuesday, sending it to the House.