BATON ROUGE (AP) – A last-minute budget adjustment has alleviated worries Louisiana won’t be ready for a law change that will move more teenage offenders from the adult to juvenile prosecution system.
In the final hours of the special session, lawmakers shuffled $4 million more to the Office of Juvenile Justice’s budget.
Agency officials say that’s enough money to handle the influx of youth offenders expected in March when Louisiana’s age of adult prosecution rises.
Louisiana intends to stop automatically routing 17-year-olds through the adult criminal justice system when arrested. The juvenile justice system will start handling 17-year-olds charged with non-violent crimes March 1.
The money routed to the Office of Juvenile Justice was less than requested. It was taken from the corrections department, lessening dollars available for a corrections officer pay raise.