Orleans Parish DA Jason Williams Hopes to Stem Juvenile Crime Through Providing Guidance and Opportunities

New Orleans District Attorney-elect Jason Williams

This week, the Orleans Parish DA tweeted, “Yesterday, DA Williams was back in the community sharing ideas with faith leaders to stem juvenile crime. We heard from a young man who was recently involved in carjackings. It was encouraging to see how faith leaders are mentoring and helping him with employment.”

They followed the tweet with another that stated, “Our office will appropriately hold anyone who violates the law accountable, but as Chief Judge Anderson said, we are not going to incarcerate ourselves to safety. We have to work together to prevent crime, report violence, and provide guidance & opportunities.”

These tweets show that Jason Williams is following through on his campaign promises to try and stem juvenile crime in an actually helpful way. 

Williams thinks it’s critical to support at-risk youths because “It’s so different than someone that’s an adult and there are best practices on restorative justice programs and on other intervention series…and figure out why they are reoffending. A lot of times it’s because of something in the home.” 

In his first week in office, Jason Williams transferred the bulk of major violent crime cases committed by juveniles back to juvenile court. This starkly contrasted with his predecessor Leon Cannizzaro’s efforts to try juveniles as adults who were 15, 16, and 17 and had committed high-profile violent crimes. 

Williams said that he strongly opposes housing children in jail with adults because it’s immoral, stating, “The question is not whether that person is in jail or not in jail. I’m saying they need to be in a facility with other young people so they won’t be preyed upon.” 

To address New Orleans’ juvenile crime issue, Williams wants to put pressure on the City of New Orleans to provide more resources and opportunities to at-risk youths. He said that prosecuting these juveniles as adults in no way actually fixes New Orleans’ juvenile crime problem.

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