Caddo Parish Juvenile Judge Paul Young talks with 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright and Erin McCarty about the implementation - beginning today (March 1) - of legislation mandating that 17-year-olds accused of non-violent crimes will go through the juvenile justice system.

The judge tells KEEL listeners that, while he favors the legislation, the current Caddo Juvenile Justice Complex is not large enough to handle the influx of additional prisoners.


"Lawmakers unanimously agreed to pass the legislation, known as “Raise the Age” in 2016 to raise the age of adult prosecution from 17 to 18 years of age, but Friday marks its official start. In 2020, the second phase of the law will go into effect and include 17-year-olds accused of violent crimes.'

"Prior to the law’s implementation, 17-year-olds arrested in connection to nonviolent crimes in Louisiana went to adult jails and prisons, where there are safety issues and fewer opportunities for education, said Rachel Gassert, Policy Director for the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, a nonprofit law office that serves as the public defender for juveniles in New Orleans."

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