Society is strange. That's an editorial comment on my part. We are a group of people that believe an 18-year-old is plenty old enough to die for his country but not responsible enough to  buy a beer.

That same young person who is entrusted with billions of dollars in government property on the front lines of the battlefield is not entrusted to be responsible in a casino. It just seems odd how we choose to classify people by age.

A group that believes 17-year-olds are not adults plans to rally on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol today. Their task is not about letting 18-year-olds buy beer or play slots. They don't want 17-year-old citizens to be treated and tried as adults in our state's judicial and penal system.

We don’t let kids, 17-year-olds vote, we don’t let them serve on juries or join the military so the way the law is set up right now is just illogical and unfair.

That's what Meg Garvey with the Youth Justice Coalition told the Louisiana Radio Network. Her group believes that Louisiana should change its statutes regarding age and the court system. She says Louisiana is one of nine states in the country that treats 17-year-olds as adults.

Garvey and her group maintain that incarcerating young people with an adult population is a catalyst for that individual to become involved in even more criminal activity. However, the juvenile court system provides a better opportunity to help the youngster find his or her way back on the straight and narrow.

In the juvenile justice system, the judges employ a very individualized, holistic approach to helping kids become successful in life.

There is legislation currently being debated about the advantages and disadvantages of this notion. Governor Edwards is expected to address the rally during the day to day. Garvey says this change in the law will be a benefit for our young people but the state will see an upside too.

It will save money for Louisiana, we’re in a fiscal crisis, this makes perfect sense. Also, explains in very clear detail with all kinds of verifiable information that this will improve public safety.

The "Raise the Age Act" also know as SB 34 is currently being discussed in committee and if approved would move to the Senate floor for further debate.


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