District Attorney Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr. firmly believes that early intervention into the lives of troubled juveniles is an essential element of any long-term strategy to reduce crime. As such, the Juvenile Division of the District Attorney’s office is filled with experienced prosecutors and staff. Under Cannizzaro’s administration, the Juvenile Division is not utilized as a venue to train young Assistant District Attorneys.
The Juvenile Division of the District Attorney’s office handles cases involving juveniles as both offenders and victims of neglect and abuse. The division prosecutes offenders in delinquency proceedings in Juvenile Court. Furthermore, the division protects the interests of juvenile victims of neglect and abuse in Child In Need Of Care (CINC) cases brought in the Juvenile Court.
The staff of the District Attorney’s Juvenile Division evaluates complaints of criminal activities by minors under the age of 17 and prosecutes offenders for acts of criminal delinquency. Pursuant to Louisiana law, offenders between the ages of 14 and 16 are considered for prosecution as adults for more serious offenses when appropriate. Additionally, the Juvenile Division also processes cases under the Family in Need of Services (FINS) program. The FINS program provides referrals to various social service providers for less serious acts of delinquency and juvenile status offenses.
In keeping with the District Attorney’s commitment to protect our community’s most innocent and vulnerable victims from neglect and abuse, the Juvenile Division prosecutes CINC cases via a multi-disciplinary team approach, which Cannizzaro believes is the most effective advocacy model for abused and neglected children.
District Attorney Cannizzaro remains committed to not only seeking results that are in the best interest of the children who appear before the court, both offenders and victims, but also protecting the safety of the community.