Child advocates hope this will be the year where they will see some action on a proposed new code for Georgia’s juvenile justice system. The overhaul has been in the works for at least four years.
The laws dealing with Georgia’s delinquent children are 40 years old. Juvenile judges, lawyers who represent kids, district attorneys, and social workers have all been rewriting those laws. The result is a bill that’s over 200 pages long.
Polly McKinney with Voices for Georgia’s Children says big changes like this do take time.
“Part of it is that it is a massive piece of legislation and it does take vetting. But it’s a really good piece of legislation so we’re trying to do it right. We’re not trying to rush, rush, rush. We’re tying to make sure it works for as many people as possible. “
Advocates say a new juvenile code could be more costly on the front end, but it will result in savings when more young offenders get proper services and stay out of adult prison.