Basic services, 2017

  • Overall

    Mostly state operated

  • Detention

    Locally operated

  • Probation

    Mostly state operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

Louisiana's delinquency services are organized at both the state and local level. All but 1 of the 18 secure detention centers in Louisiana are administered locally by judicial agencies. The one private location is locally administered by an executive agency. 

Community supervision in Louisiana is administered two ways. A state independent juvenile justice corrections agency, the Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ), administers most community supervision services. Nine juvenile courts administer their own local supervision services (Caddo Parish, Calcasieu Parish, Charles Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish, Houma City Court, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, Rapides Parish, and St. John the Baptist Parish).

The OJJ also administers commitments to state public facilities and reentry services for those youth leaving state facilities.

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities and reentry services for those youth leaving state facilities.

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is allowed in Louisiana's juvenile correctional facilities. Confinement is limited to 5 days, but can be extended with proper authorization. The superintendent reviews time exceeding 24 hours.  (Adapted from 51 Jurisdiction Survey of Juvenile Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems, 2016. Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest at Lowenstein Sandler LLP)

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

Release decisions from Louisiana's Office of Juvenile Justice are made by the committing courts. The committing court is required to set a maximum term or duration for a public or private placement and has final authority for release decisions for both public and private commitments. Caseworkers re-evaluate the youth’s need for secure custody every three months and make recommendations to the court of jurisdiction. The court approves or denies motions to parole youth, relocate youth assigned to secure institutions, or to discharge youth from custody. The SAVRY assessment tool is used to inform OJJ's release recommendation to the court.

Risk assessment, 2020

Organization 2013 2017 2020
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

In Louisiana, juvenile probation is mostly administered by the Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) however, some parishes have locally administered juvenile court service offices. The state OJJ and the locally administered departments uniformly adopted the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) instrument and were involved in initial training and deployment of the instrument. Therefore, all probation services in the state have adopted and are applying the tool.

Administration of the SAVRY is governed by OJJ policies and is used to develop/inform pre-disposition investigation reports, develop probation disposition recommendations, assign probation supervision level, develop probation case plans, and determine custody level for committed youth. OJJ uses aggregate SAVRY data to support reliability and validity testing to assist probation administration and organizational planning and for ongoing policy research. The independent juvenile court services departments applying the SAVRY vary in this regard.

Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY)

Mental health screening, 2014

Requires a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

Mental health screening tool used
Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument –Version 2 (MAYSI-2)

Louisiana supports the use of research-based mental health screening in juvenile residential placement through the Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ). The policy is online and provides specific definitions and outlines the mental health screening process for all youth admitted to OJJ custody. Part of the screening process is the administration of the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument, 2nd Edition, (MAYSI-2). The cost of the administering the MAYSI-2 is absorbed in the OJJ operations budget.

While the MAYSI-2 is used for youth committed to the custody of OJJ, locally run community supervision in 5 independent jurisdictions with locally administered court services varies as does locally operated juvenile detention. Some have adopted the MAYSI-2.

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

    Or collaboration dedicated to coordinating activities around implementing, evaluating, and sustaining EBPs

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

Louisiana supports the implementation and proliferation of evidence-based programs and practices (EBPs) in the juvenile justice system through policy, and ongoing commitment to planning continuous system improvement and specifically funding EBP resource centers, training and technical assistance.

State legislation created an Institute for Public Health and Justice (IPHJ) in 2012 and placed it as part of the Louisiana State University system, which is governed by a Board of Regents appointed by the Governor. IPHJ defines EBPs for Louisiana juvenile justice based on the external research they have published, replications, cost-effectiveness and sustainability. The IPHJ also has compiled point-in-time statewide listings of juvenile justice EBPs cross-referenced on reliable lists reported to juvenile justice agencies and contractors. However, an ongoing, exhaustive directory is currently not supported.

Additionally, over a decade of investment in juvenile justice reform has transformed the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) into an agency that advances EBPs in its screening and assessment practices and programming through a Continuous Quality Improvement cycle and a  juvenile justice data warehouse.

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Study populations

The group(s) of youth being studied in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Re-offense events

Events that are used to measure recidivism in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Follow-up periods

Details regarding the length of time and frequency that youth are tracked in states that publicly report recidivism data.

36 months with interval and adult systems reporting


Additional levels of analysis provided in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • County

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Race/ethn.

  • Risk level

  • Initial offense

  • Re-offense

  • Prior history

The Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) publishes recidivism data for youth under OJJ supervision. This includes both secure and non-secure youth as well as those being supervised. OJJ defines a recidivist as a youth who is discharged from juvenile justice custody and later placed back into the care of juvenile justice as a result of a subsequent adjudication or placed into custody with the Adult Corrections System. Recidivism rates are presented at 12 month intervals, with a maximum follow up period of 36 months.

Data sources

2015 Recidivism Report
Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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