Juvenile Justice Model Court Project
Orleans Parish Juvenile Court (OPJC) has made a commitment toward improving its handling of juvenile delinquency cases by joining the Juvenile Justice Model Courts Project of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). As a model court, OPJC will assess current practice, identify areas in need of improvement, develop a strategic plan, and work towards positive change with the goal of improved outcomes for youth, families and the community. Through its involvement in the Project, OPJC will serve as a model to other juvenile courts for broad system changes.
Congressional leaders, federal, state and local agencies have long recognized the need for a national effort focusing on improving court practice in juvenile delinquency cases. In response to this need, the Improving Juvenile and Family Court Handling of Juvenile Delinquency Cases: Guidelines for Improving Court Practice Project was started in 2002 by the NCJFCJ. After three years of work by experts in juvenile justice and allied fields, NCJFCJ published Juvenile Delinquency Guidelines: Improving Court Practice in Juvenile Delinquency Cases for use by judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, child advocates, probation officers, law enforcement, and service providers nationwide. These guidelines will serve as a tool for judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, child advocates, probation officers, law enforcement, and juvenile justice stakeholders in Orleans Parish. This important tool is framed by 16 Key Principles and numerous recommendations for practice.
Currently, there are twelve Juvenile Justice Model Courts involved in the project. The Honorable Tracey Flemings-Davillier will lead this project for OPJC. With assistance from the Court, juvenile justice stakeholders, and community programs, OPJC is committed to improving court practice from intake to case closure, becoming a leader in the nationwide juvenile justice reform effort.