The Louisiana Legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution No. 120 in the 2011 Regular Session. This resolution commissioned the Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission (JJIC) to submit a report to the legislature no later than 30 days prior to the 2013 legislative session. The report would assess the current state of Louisiana’s juvenile justice system, evaluate improvements made over the preceding five years, and issue recommendations for a five year plan for future reform.
To meet this mandate, the JJIC formally requested the Institute for Public Health and Justice (IPHJ) at LSUHSC – New Orleans (lead for the Louisiana Models for Change Program for Juvenile Justice System Reform) to manage and perform the study and develop a report on behalf of the JJIC. IPHJ requested and received grant and technical support from the MacArthur Foundation in order to fund the study. As part of this support, the Foundation provided the services of the Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Youth Justice (CYJ) and the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ).
To create the areas of study and proposed roadmap, IPHJ sought input and guidance from JJIC members and staff, and state and local juvenile justice administrators and leaders. This report focuses on juvenile justice youth (rather than the broader “at risk” youth”). The report focuses on four critical areas over the past five years (2007-2011) that represent where youth and families are in the system, highlighting recent reforms, as well as outlining areas of need and related recommendations.
A particular challenge for this study was the lack of organized data and information on the “JJ System”. Therefore data was gathered from a number of sources, interviews, and available data on a local, state and national level.
In addition, separate from the report development process, IPHJ was funded to hold three regional consensus building meetings which provided regional forums to discuss areas of consensus and priorities. (A report on the consensus meeting can be found in the appendices of the JJIC report or can be downloaded here: Consensus Report.pdf)
The report “Sustaining Juvenile Justice System Reform” includes an executive summary, full
report and appendices, which can be downloaded below.