By Kendra Smith-Parks| January 9, 2020 at 1:52 PM CST - Updated January 9 at 4:10 PM
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A new policy is now in effect at Orleans Juvenile Court. Any juvenile that is arrested and has an open court case won’t be released from custody until they see a judge.
It is a new measure that is aimed at increasing public safety in a time when many residents are frustrated about juvenile crime.
The Juvenile Court Judges say it is time to act and they hope to work with all members of the criminal justice center to make this happen.
They say the juvenile crime has created a climate of fear in our schools and communities.
The judges met yesterday and decided to implement the policy that imposes an automatic hold on a juvenile that is arrested if that juvenile already has an open case against them.
Several judges say the new policy is aimed at stopping crimes from being committed by young repeat offenders.
They are aware of the frustration among the community who have become victims over and over again. They also say this is also important to make sure they have a chance to intervene in a child’s life before it is too late.
“So, sometimes some of the kids may have been arrested but they may not have gone in front of a judge and that’s what we are trying to stop. At least some of the kids that we know have been arrested that have current open cases that we will have the ability to see what’s going on,” says Chief Judge Candice Anderson.
“To look at what’s going on in their lives and as the other judges have indicated to look a family life, and to look at what other opportunities are available to them,” says Judge Tammy Stewart. “We can get a better idea of how we can treat this kid and put them in a place where they can be stressful.”
The judges all said there are programs available but not enough. So much more is needed and they say too often the decision is to either detain or release.
The new policy will go into effect immediately.