Across the country, 18 is usually considered the age of adulthood: 17-year-olds can’t vote, join the military, or even buy a lottery ticket. But if they are arrested in Louisiana, they are automatically prosecuted and incarcerated as adults
In 2016, state legislators overwhelmingly approved the Raise the Age Act to include 17-year-olds in the juvenile justice system rather than automatically prosecuting them as adults, as the vast majority of states do. Governor Edwards signed the bill into law mid-June of last year. (Read the Office of Juvenile Justice post here.)
Now this long overdue change which is set to go into partial effect in July of this year, is under threat: Senate Bill 248 (currently in committee) seeks to delay Raise the Age for another two years. Kids can’t wait any longer. Please urge the senators on the Judiciary A Committee to keep their word to raise the age in 2018 by voting NO on Senate Bill 248.
Join the Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition in supporting not delaying the implementation of the 'Raise The Age Act.' You can visit their website here, which contains a Fact Sheet, and a Report that details how raising the age of adulthood is safe, smart, fair, and cost-effective.
WHO TO CALL: Senators on the Judiciary A Committee
- Senator Rick Ward III (Chairman) -- (225) 246-8838
- Senator Jay Luneau (Vice-Chairman) -- (318) 484-2288
- Senator Wesley Bishop -- (504) 242-4198
- Senator Jack Donahue -- (985) 727-7949
- Senator Ryan Gatti -- (318) 746-0861
- Senator Daniel "Danny" Martiny -- (504) 834-7676
- Senator John Milkovich -- (318) 676-7877
Hi, my name is [Your Name] and I'm an active voter from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling to oppose delaying the implementation of the 'Raise the Age Act.' This bill was signed into law last year to start taking partial effect this July. Every day that we delay, a child continues to be locked in a dangerous adult facility, denied access to services and education, and barred from future opportunities. This law is smart and cost-effective, and brings Louisiana in step with the rest of the country.
I expect the senators to keep their word to enact this law by voting NO on SB-248.
This Call of the Day is based on Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition and Office of Juvenile Justice System information.