August 8, 2016
This study, authorized by the Louisiana State Legislature in House Concurrent Resolution No. 73 of the 2015 Regular session, was
completed at an expedited pace over a six-month period to meet the deadlines established in the resolution. With the involvement of
key stakeholders in the justice system from across Louisiana and input from national partners who have worked to study raising the
age of juvenile jurisdiction in other states, three key findings of this study ar
e summarized below.
- There is a growing consensus, based on a large body of scientific evidence, that 17-year-olds are developmentally
different than adults and should be treated as such. They have a far greater potential for rehabilitation and are
particularly influenced – for good or ill – by the environments in which they are placed.
- The last several years of reform in the Louisiana juvenile justice system have created a capacity to accept, manage, and
rehabilitate these youth in a manner that will predictably generate better outcomes than the adult system.
- The initial impact projections are generally lower than states that have recently gone before Louisiana in raising the age
of juvenile jurisdiction, and those states found that the impact on the system was substantially less than first predicted.
In fact, states have reported substantial fiscal savings. We have reason to suspect this will be the same for Louisiana.