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JUVENILE JUSTICE DAY at the CAPITOL

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

We need as many folks as possible to come out to show our legislators that WE NEED major Juvenile Justice Reform THIS SESSION!  We'll arrange lunch and can possibly coordinate transportation.

Join us in Baton Rouge this Monday for a VERY IMPORTANT DAY of action that will determine the future of Louisiana’s Juvenile Justice System.  Come to the Kick-off of a new coalition dedicated to juvenile justice reform, and have your voice heard (or support other community members who will testify) at two important Senate Hearings.

Here are the details:

9 a.m.

Press Conference on the steps of the capitol building to officially launch the statewide Coalition for Effective Juvenile Justice Reform.  Afterwards, members will distribute letters to the state legislature. 

followed by:

Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2003 hits Senate Finance Committee.

This bill, SB 957, sets overall juvenile justice policy for the state of Louisiana with education, rehabilitation and treatment as the top priorities.

followed by:

Senate Judiciary B Committee Votes on "the Close Tallulah bill"

This bill, SB 963, will create the financial means to pay for the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2003 by safely closing the most violent and ineffective of the state’s 4 juvenile correctional facilities, SCCY-MPU (a.k.a. Tallulah), by January 1, 2004, creating funding for community based alternatives-to-incarceration for Louisiana’s youth.

 

Lunch will be provided
RSVP to Gina Womack (504) 522-5437x242
Call for more information or to find out about carpools/bus from your area.

 

Organized by
-Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children
-The Coalition for Effective Juvenile Justice Reform
-The Justice for Youth Campaign

click here to download the flyer for Juvenile Justice Day
--Flyer your neighbors and community!!
--

 


URGENT ACTION ALERT 4/9/03

THIS WEEK: Call to have legislators co-sponsor the Juvenile Justice Act of 2003:

The Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2003 (HB 1683/SB 957/SB 960). Identical bills - by Rep. Mitch Landrieu (HB 1683), Sen. Donald Cravins (SB 957) and Sen. Diana Bajoie (SB 960) -- have been introduced. This legislation will set overall juvenile justice policy for the state of Louisiana with rehabilitation and treatment as the top priority and requires the implementation of many of the major recommendations supported by the Juvenile Justice Commission.

To Contact legislators:

1) Call the switchboard and ask for your Representative or Senators:
Representatives: (225) 342-6945 / Senators: (225) 342-2040

2) Fax a letter:

Representatives: (225) 342-8336

Senators: (225) 342-0617

3) Mail a letter:           Representative _______          Senator ______

                                    State Capitol                           State Capitol

                                    P.O. Box 44486             P.O. Box 94183

                                    Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4486   Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4183

Suggested Tips for Contacting Legislators this Week (4/6-4/11):

If calling:

  • If calling, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, contact legislators during business hours (9am -- 5pm) at the legislature. On Thursday and Friday, the legislators will be in their home districts and you should call them there.
  • If you cannot talk directly to the legislator, leave a message with their staff person
  • Ask for the staff person's name, and write it down with the date and time you called
  • Give the staff your name and address and ask for a written response to your call
  • Let your legislators know you are from their area
  • Tell them you'll be contacting them again to find out what specific steps they've taken to address your concerns

If faxing/writing -- send your letter asking them to co-sponsor the legislation to the fax and addresses listed above, being sure to tell them who you are and asking for a response.

Talking Points for contacting legislators:

     This is (your name) and I'm calling to urge you to make Louisiana's children and youth a priority this session!

     Our juvenile justice system is broken and Louisiana is wasting millions of dollars of dollars on ineffective and needless incarceration of non-violent offenders.

     Please take action now to end human rights abuses against children and youth in Louisiana's notorious youth prisons by cosponsoring and voting for comprehensive juvenile justice reform.

     Co-sponsor the bills authored by Rep. Landrieu (HB 1683), Sen. Cravins (SB 957) and Sen. Bajoie (SB 960) -- The Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2003. The bills need your support IN THEIR ENTIRIETY. This legislation sets overall juvenile justice policy for the state of Louisiana with rehabilitation and treatment as the top priority and requires the implementation of many of the major recommendations supported by the Juvenile Justice Commission.

     Louisiana's children and youth are counting on your votes this session reforming Louisiana's broken juvenile justice system.

     I would like a written response on how you will be supporting reform efforts to help Louisiana's children and youth.


Facts Your Legislator Should Know:

      Louisiana is spends almost $90 million a year incarcerating youth in violent and harmful facilities. It costs over $55,000 a year to incarcerate a youth in Tallulah -- more than tuition for a year at Harvard - compared to less than $6000 we spend to educate a child in Louisiana.

      We are first in the nation in locking up youth -- over 50% higher than the national average, and we are nearly last in education.

      We are making these wasteful investments in incarceration despite the fact that juvenile crime in Louisiana has dropped!

      Compared to other states, we have higher incarceration rates and higher crime rates, while states that locked up less kids (per capita) and invested in community-based alternatives to incarceration experienced a bigger drop in juvenile crime!

      We don't need to lock up all these kids! Over 75% of Louisiana's incarcerated youth are locked up for non-violent and drug offenses.

      We could address public safety and rehabilitate youth at a fraction of the cost, according to national juvenile justice experts.

      Our current system, with delinquent youth under the adult Department of Corrections, results in less, not more public safety -- it is critical that we remove responsibility and funding for youth from the DOC!


Sample letter

Dear Senator/Representative,

I am writing to urge you to make Louisiana's children and youth a priority this session!

Our juvenile justice system is broken and Louisiana is wasting millions of dollars of dollars on ineffective and needless incarceration of non-violent offenders.

Please take action now to end human rights abuses against children and youth in Louisiana's notorious youth prisons by cosponsoring The Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2003 - HB 1683, SB 957 and SB 960. This legislation sets overall juvenile justice policy for the state of Louisiana with rehabilitation and treatment as the top priority and requires the implementation of many of the major recommendations supported by the Juvenile Justice Commission.

Louisiana's children and youth are counting on your votes this session to close Tallulah and take a major step in reforming a broken juvenile justice system.

I would like a written response on how you will be supporting reform efforts to help Louisiana's children and youth.

Sincerely,

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