NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - New Orleans City Councilman Jason Williams sent the following in response to District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's statements on how juvenile offenders should be handled:
"The Council has continued to work with the District Attorney in hopes of reforming his acceptance and transfer practices to bring them in line with best practices in safer cities nationwide. For years, DA Cannizzaro has resisted transformative change, relying instead on outdated policies as a means of producing results. His current system is not creating a safer New Orleans.
"The proof is in the results we continue to see throughout our city. More incarceration has not yielded less crime. A higher acceptance rate has not equaled a safer city. Trying so many children in the adult system rather than juvenile court has been proven not to be effective on a national level.
"My position is not, and has never been, that juveniles should never be charged as adults when accused of those most violent offenses, and the DA is aware of this fact. It is easy to look at the present case in a vacuum as justification of the DA's position, but the entire story of the New Orleans criminal justice system does not lie within this case. Fearmongering as a means of validating bad practices serves to keep us in a perpetual state of making the same bad decisions and expecting a better result.
"Although the District Attorney has chosen grandstanding over each criminal case he believes will garner public attention as a way to justify and laud his decisions while in office, the fact remains that his practices have not reduced crime and recidivism and rates of violent crime have remained steady."