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Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana

Added Jun 2, 2009

1600 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70113

Phone (504) 522-5437

Fax (504) 522-5430

The mission of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana is to transform the juvenile justice system throughout the state into one that builds on the strengths of young people, families, and communities in order to ensure that children are given the greatest opportunities to grow and to thrive.  Created in 1997 in response to the growing number of youth incarcerated in Louisiana and the brutal conditions of juvenile prisons, JJPL has achieved significant success in reforming Louisiana’s juvenile justice system, helping to significantly reduce the number of incarcerated youth in secure care facilities.  

JJPL brings diverse methods together in strategic, coordinated campaigns.  Specifically, JJPL employs litigation on behalf of youth, policy advocacy with legislators, organizing of parents and community members to ensure visibility and participation in the process, and strategic media work targeting public opinion on juvenile justice reform issues.

Project Focus

JJPL’s project work supports two of the Louisiana Models for Change Targeted Areas of Improvement.

JJPL will launch a public education and advocacy campaign to reduce the number of FINS referrals and status offenders in the juvenile justice system, to spotlight best practice programs and diversion models, and to highlight recommendations for reform.  Working with Models for Change partners, including the Vera Institute for Justice, the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, and the National Juvenile Defender Center, JJPL will release a white paper on the number of FINS cases entering the juvenile justice system, including data that is both state-wide and parish specific, as well as an examination of the disproportionate impact, if any, on youth of color.

Likewise, JJPL will carry out a multi-strategy campaign dedicated to increasing funding and development of evidence-based alternatives to incarceration throughout Louisiana.  Working closely with Dr. Stephen Phillippi of Louisiana State University, JJPL will release a whitepaper to educate legislators and stakeholders about the long-term savings and public safety benefits of evidence-based practices.  Both projects will include training of family members, youth, and community members in reform efforts.

Site Leadership

For more information about the Models for Change JJPL grant, contact Sarah Covert at 504.522.5437 or at

Reform areas: Community-based alternatives, Evidence-based practices

States: Louisiana

Created Jun 02, 2009