Last week the New Orleans City Council introduced the Policing Alternatives for Youth Ordinance, and we need to help get it passed! The proposed policy will provide police officers with a variety of responses to children engaged in minor misbehavior (e.g., possession of marijuana, disturbing the peace, "criminal mischief"). Rather than arrest and transport every child to the youth detention center for booking, officers will have the option to issue a warning or summons depending on the severity of the offense and a child's prior history. This will ensure that fewer New Orleans youth experience the trauma and poor outcomes associated with arrest and prosecution in the juvenile justice system.
You can read more about the Policing Alternatives for Youth Ordinance on a fact sheet prepared by the Louisiana Center for Children's Rights. The fact sheet is in a pdf document that is available for opening, printing, and/or downloading by clicking here.
Although this ordinance was developed through a collaborative effort that included representatives from the Mayor's Office and the NOPD, Mayor Landrieu is hesitant to support it at this time. Please call his office and let him know that you support the ordinance.
WHO TO CALL:
Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Office - New Orleans - (504) 658-4900
Hello, my name is [Your Name] and I'm a citizen of New Orleans. I'm calling to ask the mayor to fully support the Policing Alternatives for Youth Ordinance. This policy will help prevent unnecessary contact with the juvenile justice system, which will improve public safety and result in better outcomes for kids. The ordinance is an investment in our children, our communities, and the future of our city and I urge the mayor to support it.
Thank you for your support for this important issue!