2018 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:1422 - Legislative findings and declaration
§1422. Legislative findings and declaration
The legislature recognizes that, despite the large investment of resources committed to address the needs of the criminal justice system of this state, the crime rate continues to increase, overcrowding the state's juvenile detention centers, jails, and prisons and placing the state in jeopardy of being unable to effectively manage these facilities. The economic cost of crime to the state continues to drain existing resources, and the cost to victims, both economic and psychological, is traumatic and tragic. The legislature further recognizes that many adults in the criminal justice system were once delinquents in the juvenile justice system. The legislature also recognizes that the most effective juvenile delinquency programs are programs that not only prevent children from entering the juvenile justice system, but also meet local community needs and have substantial community involvement and support. Therefore, it is the belief of the legislature that one of the best investments of the scarce resources available to combat crime is in the prevention of delinquency with special emphasis on youth and street gang prevention. Juvenile involvement in gang activity is becoming more prevalent in certain areas of this state and continues to break down family and community support systems. The legislature recognizes that youth and street gangs may best be viewed as a symptom of underlying social and economic problems that reach far beyond the usual alienation found in youth subcultures in urban areas. The existence of an urban underclass, with its attendant socially disorganized and fragmented living conditions, gives rise to many social pathologies, of which the gang problem is just one. Youth and street gangs are symptomatic of many of the same social and economic problems as adult crime: substance abuse, alcoholism, mental illness, homelessness, unemployment, and multigeneration "welfare families" living in hopelessness and despair. The lure of juveniles into gangs stems from many factors, including extensive geographic mobility, rapid urbanization and population growth, substantial pockets of poverty, unemployment, increasing rates of dropouts and expulsions, a rich racial and ethnic mix, and a transient population of youth. Consequently, it is the intent of the legislature to authorize in each of the eight law enforcement planning districts the development of a comprehensive delinquency prevention plan, to be included in the state juvenile justice and delinquency prevention plan, including gang prevention where appropriate. It is further the intent of the legislature that cooperative agreements be developed among parishes within and between those districts and public and private agencies to implement such plans through effective local programs aimed at reducing juvenile crime and gangs and increasing the number of juveniles engaged in positive alternatives to crime.
Acts 1993, No. 461, §1.