Lawmakers reflect on Louisiana's youth justice system 20 years after the passing of ACT 1225
BATON ROUGE - This year marks the 20th anniversary of ACT 1225, a bill meant to transform Louisiana's youth justice system into a model of holistic support and coordinated care that will prevent crime and provide community support and rehabilitative treatment to the youth.
20 years later, ACT 1225 has not fulfilled its promise, and with the recent escape of the teens from the juvenile center, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act Implementation Committee has gathered together for their last quarterly meeting to discuss this issue.
“I said 20 years ago, if we do not fully fund that program, and implement every aspect of it, there's going to be a knee-jerk reaction at some point by a legislature that has no historical knowledge,” said Donald Cravins Sr., a former mayor and senator. “That's going to put us in a far worse position than when we started. I'm afraid we might be at those crossroads right now".
Along with the JJRAIC, the Office of Juvenile Justice has also been working to provide better support for the youth, with a 34% increase in graduation rates, and 32 students getting a high school diploma or better.
Now that Governor Edwards' administration is leaving, their goal remains the same: giving the youth the best chance to succeed in this society.
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