LSUHSC Institute for Public Health and Justice receives 2016 NCSL Notable Documents award

A Legislated Study of Raising the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction in Louisiana (2015) by Stephen Phillippi, PhD, Institute director and lead author

August 8, 2016


Louisiana HCR 73 Study: Raising the Age of  Juvenile Jurisdiction

Executive Summary

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.