BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The "Raise the Age" bill received final passage from the Senate Sunday afternoon.
As the law stands now, 17-year-olds are tried in adult courts and sent to adult jails regardless of the crime. The "Raise the Age" bill would include 17-year-olds in the juvenile system but a District Attorney could still try them as adults for capital crimes.
Representative J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, the author of the bill, says that it will limit the number of repeat offenders and save the state money in the long term.
"The recidivism of a juvenile in an adult facility is almost 90 percent," says Morrell. "So simply taking them out of the adult facilities, putting them in the juvenile facilities, means they don't go to the adult facility and begins that process of lowering how much we depend on incarceration as a mechanism of fighting crime."
Lawmakers have just over 24 hours left to pass a budget before the end of the regular session on Monday.