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The third Models for Change state, Louisiana made significant strides in improving its juvenile justice system since the 1990s, and political leadership has shown interest in building on that progress.


Models for Change-supported reform efforts in Louisiana focus primarily on bringing about change in three areas. A more detailed description is available in the Louisiana Models for Change Work Plan:

  1. expanding alternatives to formal processing and incarceration;
  2. increasing access to evidence-based services;
  3. reducing disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system.

Local sites and partners

In Louisiana, local Models for Change work is taking place in five locations encompassing seven parishes: Caddo, Calcasieu, Jefferson, Rapides and 16th Judicial District (St. Martin, Iberia, St. Mary), and includes collaboration with university, professional and state partners.Learn more

Work highlights

Examples of reform progress made possible through Models for Change include the following.  Read more

Adoption of risk and needs assessment tools

The Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) will guide and inform decision-making in an objective manner that accounts for young people’s actual levels of risks and individual needs.

Expansion of treatment alternatives to incarceration

All parishes have developed local Functional Family Therapy teams that can provide proven treatment alternatives to the incarceration of parish youth.

The development of a “data group” that guides reform planning

An innovative “data group” led by the University of New Orleans ensures that the work is structured and documented in such a way that results can be tracked and assessed.

For more information

Louisiana Models for Change work is coordinated by the LSU Health Sciences Center - School of Public Health. To learn more about Models for Change work in Louisiana, or how to support juvenile justice reform work in the state, contact Beth Touchet-Morgan at: