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Louisiana among 5 states lauded for improving juvenile incarceration rate

Louisiana was among the five states recently cited in a report by the Justice Policy Institute as having made exemplary reductions in juvenile incarceration rates.

The other four states were Minnesota, Arizona, Connecticut and Tennessee. Each of them saw a drop of 50 percent or greater in the number of young people under 18 who were confined in some way as the result of committing a crime.

In 2001, Louisiana had about 505 young people incarcerated for every 100,000 young people. In 2010, that rate was just 239 per 100,000. That is a drop of 53 percent.

One judge credited an increase in the number of diversion programs. He said these efforts reduce state money spent imprisoning kids - the state saves $150 per day for every child it doesn't incarcerate -- and also offer them a chance at reformation. The judge said these programs "get to kids earlier" and in many cases prevent them from going on to commit more serious crimes.

We are pleased to see that Louisiana is being recognized for taking important steps in improving and tailoring its criminal justice system.

As criminal defense attorneys, we certainly understand that people who have done wrong ought to atone for those wrongs. However, we also believe that the system that metes out this punishment cannot be anachronistic, unfair or inefficient. Our society has an obligation to check from time to time whether things are functioning as smoothly as they should and, if they are not, make any necessary changes.

Source: The Lafayette Advertiser, "Reports cites La. as example in reducing juvenile incarceration," Feb. 27, 2013

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Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

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