No Escaping the Registry: Louisiana’s Registration Scheme for Juveniles Adjudicated Delinquent
Southern University Law Center Journal of Race, Gender & Poverty, Forthcoming
26 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 8, 2016
The juvenile justice system came into existence to rehabilitate children so they could transition into contributing members of society, without branding them as criminals. Society has shifted its focus and with it, the goals of the juvenile justice system. Gone are the days of helping youth; instead, the focal point became the safety of society. This reinvented “juvenile justice system” now meticulously mirrors the criminal justice system designed and structured for adults.
In 2006, Congress enacted the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”). SORNA requires all adult and certain juvenile sex offenders to register in a federal sex registry and submit to community notification. It also sets standards for sex-offender registration and notification across the United States. States were essentially pressured into substantially implementing the provisions of SORNA into applicable state statutes through SORNA’s enactment.
An examination by the author of the current sex-offender-registration requirements for juveniles adjudicated delinquent in Louisiana discovered that by utilizing a system already in place, courts could circumvent the stringent requirements of SORNA, while protecting all children and maintaining the original rehabilitative goals of the juvenile justice system.
This Article explores the logic behind Louisiana’s lifetime sex-offender-registration requirements for juveniles adjudicated delinquent for certain sex offenses and the rationale behind the exit opportunities afforded to those eligible offenders after a lengthy period of time. Accordingly, the author explains that current criminal-court-transfer procedures adequately serve the interests of Louisiana registration laws. It concludes with an alternative to the nearly inescapable life sentence of the current sex-offender-registration requirements for juveniles adjudicated delinquent in Louisiana.
Keywords: Louisiana juvenile justice, Louisiana juvenile sex offenders, Louisiana implements SORNA, Louisiana juvenile-sex-offender registration, Louisiana juvenile-sex-offender laws
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