BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Legislative Session continued Tuesday afternoon with public testimony in front of the House Appropriations Committee.
A woman from New Orleans asked legislators not to give $3.5 million or appointing 124 new jobs to the Office of Juvenile Justice. Her group, the Juvenile Justice Program of Louisiana believes incarcerating minors is not the best path to rehabilitation. The group wants the young people to be placed in community service or group homes.
"We do not need to add the juvenile justice prison," said Rachel Gassert with the Juvenile Justice Program of Louisiana. "[It's] an enormous expense when all the data suggests we could effectively serve these youth in the community."
Gassert was joined by Theo Shaw, 26, who spent six months in jail a decade ago for his role in the highly publicized "Jena 6" case.
"I understand to a significant extent the attitudes of youth what they feel that they need in order to grow to become healthy and productive adults," Shaw said.
He is now a youth advocate with Southern Poverty Law Centers.
Many other public groups will be speaking to legislators Tuesday.