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Ex-state lawmaker blasts the La. Office of Juvenile Justice

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BATON ROUGE- Former lawmaker Don Cravins, Sr, says there needs to be a shakeup in the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice.

Cravins, who is currently the mayor of Opelousas, helped fight for a legislative package known the the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2003.  A team of professionals, including district attorneys and judges, helped create a juvenile system similar to one in Missouri.

Cravins says plans were approved and the U.S. Justice Department returned control of the system to the state.  Ten years later, the former state senator says few of the improvements have been implemented.

Cravins says the lack of change is probably the reason for recent escapes and complaints about the Jetson Center for Youth.  He says a lack of support from both the Blanco and Jindal administrations are to blame.  Cravins says it may be time for a change at the top of the Office of Juvenile Justice.  He says there is no need to create new reform laws because plans are already available.

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