City Council looks for new approach to juvenile crime

Juvenile crime statistics released

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - City Council members are looking at crime numbers to figure out a new approach to juvenile crime.

The Criminal Justice Committee says there’s a better approach to prevent children from coming into the system.

In an effort to find those answers, council members looked at recent crime data. The council’s public safety analyst told the committee the data shows juvenile crime is down based on juvenile arrests.

The numbers show juvenile charges were up. When it comes to vehicle burglaries, which law enforcement has said is committee mostly by juveniles, the crime is up 96 percent across the city and only 10 percent of those cases are being cleared by arrest.

Councilman Jason Williams said recent news reports about juvenile crime is nothing more than fear mongering because he says it’s the low-level crimes the juveniles are committing.

The NOPD though, has said juvenile crime is up when it comes to armed robbery, carjacking as well as auto burglaries.

The District Attorney says juvenile crime is the city’s biggest crime problem this year.

Williams disagrees.

The City Council’s data today showed 66 juveniles were arrested so far this year for auto burglary.

“Roughly 66 kids less than 100 kids in this community are in need of the services provided by a lot of the people in this room and some of the people that aren’t in this room,” says Williams “This is doable and that is manageable. That is not, despite what some might say down the street, the makings of some Charles Bronson movie with kids running rampant. Sixty-six kids is not the Thunderdome. It is a lack of adequate response from adults.”

We should point out that no members of law enforcement testified today before the committee. Still, everyone in the criminal justice system agrees more tools are needed.

The council members are following to find more programs and ways to prevent juveniles from entering the criminal justice system. They say it is about stopping the cycle.

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