Per the request of the Louisiana Legislature, the IPHJ examined the impact of raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction in Louisiana to include 17-year-olds. The study entitled, “A LEGISLATED STUDY OF RAISING THE AGE OF JUVENILE JURISDICTION IN LOUISIANA: THE FUTURE OF 17-YEAR-OLDS IN THE LOUISIANA JUSTICE SYSTEM” is available HERE. This was the first in many steps towards the passage of Act 501 in 2016.
In June 2016 – SB 324, signed into law as Act 501, raised the age of juvenile court jurisdiction so that 17-year-olds will no longer be automatically treated as adults in Louisiana. To prepare for these changes, the Juvenile Jurisdiction Planning and Implementation Act was signed into law June 2016 and the Louisiana Jurisdiction Planning & Implementation Council was created. In April 2017, that council released its first implementation report to the legislature. The report, “Recommendations for the Implementation of Raising the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction to Include 17-Year-Olds in Louisiana,” can be found HERE. The council continues to meet several times per year to problem solve implementation issues, make recommendations, and continue to educate the state regarding the law that goes into effect March 1, 2019.
EFFECTIVE MARCH 1 – Louisiana’s raise the age law goes into effect in two phases. On March 1, 2019, all 17-year-olds charged with non-violent offenses as defined in R.S. 14:2 will enter the juvenile justice system (not the adult, criminal justice system). On July 1, 2020, all 17-year-olds charged with delinquent acts of violence will also enter the juvenile justice system. An overview of changes can be found HERE.
“Pocket Cards” have been disseminated to law enforcement to assist in translating these changes. A copy of the information on these cards is available HERE.