Youth in the Adult System

Children are different than adults and must be treated differently.

In Louisiana, children as young as 14 can be prosecuted and incarcerated in the adult system for certain serious offenses. While the juvenile system may be flawed, the adult one is completely unequipped to handle children’s unique needs and protect their constitutional rights.  It also puts their very lives at risk: children in adult jails and prisons are more likely to be physically abused and sexually assaulted, and more likely to die by suicide.

We advocate for state and local policies that keep kids from being prosecuted in adult court, incarcerated in adult facilities, and sentenced to extreme prison time, including life without parole.  We educate policy-makers and the public on what makes children unique, and why they must be treated in developmentally appropriate ways.

Current Campaigns:


Getting Kids Out of OPP

New Orleans’ adult jail – historically known as the Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) – is an incredibly dangerous place to be a child. Although the city has committed to ending this practice, kids continue to be locked up in OPP. We’ll keep fighting until every single one is out of the adult jail and safe from all the dangers it poses. Learn more.