Crime victim’s family concerned about DA Williams’ new juvenile crime policies

Victim's family worries about Orleans DA's new juvenile crime policies

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Life will never be the same for crime victim, Darrelle Scott and his family. A juvenile shot Darrelle three years ago, paralyzing him for life.

“I’m suffering every day. I’m in pain 24/7. I take about 12 different medications a day and I’m in therapy,” says Scott.

“Darrelle is my son, and I have experienced so much from the night we received the call until now, and it hurts,” says Latrell Forbes.

Right now, the juvenile who shot Darrelle, Lynell Reynolds, is serving time in a detention center. Darrelle and his family say they want to be a part of all future court hearings, but they say they’ve lost trust in the Orleans D.A.’s office.

“I’ve had to hire an attorney because I just don’t feel that there is fairness, and that Darrelle is going to be represented,” says Dorothy White.

The family hired that attorney just before D.A. Jason Williams announced the new Juvenile Division Chief, Tenee Felix. She previously worked as an attorney for the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, defending juveniles accused of crimes.

“I know that is a conflict of interest. This is no way that you can represent someone who has done wrong and then go on the other side and represent a victim,” says White.

“If a case were to come up, we will make sure we will abide by every rule or law that exist,” says D.A. Jason Williams.

Williams says if there’s a case Felix was previously involved in someone else will handle it to eliminate a conflict.

The victim’s grandmother says their concerns go beyond the new hire. She worries about the D.A.’s new juvenile crime policies.

“Darrelle has been forgotten about. We keep hearing about how we want to reform and what we want to do for juveniles, but I haven’t heard anything about how we are going to help the victims,” says White.

“When a young person is arrested, we have to make sure that rehabilitation is all of our top priority,” says Williams.

Williams says his office is working on creating more intervention programs for juvenile offenders, actively and aggressively looking for more money on the state and federal level, to rehabilitate and prevent repeat offenders.

“This team is committed every single day to hold our young people accountable, but in appropriate ways. We know that prosecution is not enough. The idea that you can go to jail, or you can go back to the streets with the same tools you had before, this is not fixing anything,” says Williams.

Williams says he will no longer prosecute children as adults, no matter what crime they’re accused of committing.

“You have juveniles that are doing very heinous crimes out there. When you have them being arrested multiple times, what do you do with them? What about the victim?,” says White.

“A continuum of services means we have to use everything in our wheelhouse, and there are going to be times when detention is necessary. I don’t think I ran on a platform to abolish prisons or abolish jails,” says Williams.

At the same time, Williams says not every juvenile offender belongs in jail.

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