Budget cuts are limiting the sentences imposed by juvenile court judges and some say that’s making crime go up.
Between 2008 and 2009 juvenile court judges in Albany say they’ve seen a 68-percent rise in the number of burglary cases they tried. According to a report by WALB the judges say it might be due to budget cuts.
In 2009 lawmakers signed a bill reducing the sentence a judge can impose for most crimes from 60 to 30 days. Kermit McManus with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council says the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice requested the change, temporarily.
“They came to the legislature and said we need to do this for budgetary reasons and the legislature said okay, we’ll go along with that but we’re going to put a sunset provision on this code that’s going to say in 2013, I believe it is, that 30 days goes back to 60 days.”
The judges say the lighter sentences are not enough of a deterrent to keep some kids from committing crime.