Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice
Added Jun 2, 2009
7919 Independence Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Phone (225) 287-7900
Fax (225) 287-7969
The Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) is one of the primary state agencies charged with implementing the juvenile justice reform plan overseen by the Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission. OJJ’s work with the Models for Change initiative is organized around two of the targeted areas for improvement – alternatives to formal processing and evidence-based community services.
The Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2003 (Act 1225) recognized that “…the lack of available alternatives within local communities is a significant factor in the over-incarceration of juveniles in such large correctional facilities.” Act 1225 charged the state with the task of assisting in the “development and establishment of a community-based, school-based and regionally-based system” while providing an opportunity for local involvement in planning such interventions. In 2004, Act 555 established the Children and Youth Planning Boards to assist in this effort.
In support of these reforms, a liaison between the local planning boards and the OJJ is working with the Governor’s Office of Community Programs and the Louisiana Children’s Cabinet to assist boards in implementing plans that will produce results. OJJ is committed to a reform model that recognizes the importance of offering programs and services that are scientifically supported with demonstrated effectiveness in improving the behaviors or skills of juvenile offenders. OJJ is coordinating the statewide dissemination of information related to evidence-based programs through the Children and Youth Planning Boards.
Progress to Date
To further these initiatives:
OJJ made available $20,000 in grant funding to each planning board for capacity building and technical assistance. The grants will incentivize the development and sustainability of the statewide system of Children and Youth Planning boards as intended by Act 555.
OJJ held a two-day statewide conference for Youth Planning boards. The conference provided an opportunity for boards to network and share new organizational models, data sharing and assessment tools.
OJJ continues working with the Children’s Cabinet and the National Resource Bank partners to refine a Children and Youth Planning Boards Toolkit. The toolkit is a step-by-step guide to assist in the development of effective local planning boards and also contains information relative to board design, from inception and drafting a board resolution to sample organizational charts and details of a working board retreat.
OJJ continues revision of a Request for Proposals process to ensure that providers of community based programs meet the OJJ standard of providing evidence-based programs and services.
OJJ is developing an evidence-based model of assessment for all youth post-adjudication and predisposition in order to accurately assess risk level and needs of youth.
OJJ is developing, in collaboration with the Vera Institute, a set of key indicators that will be useful for local jurisdictions and planning boards.