Thu., February 23, 2012 5:48pm (EST)

Juvenile Law May Change Soon
By Parker Wallace
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
State Lawmakers approved Georgia’s juvenile code re-write. The 250-page document covers  abused children, young offenders and kids who are deemed unruly. It would replace the 40-year-old current code. (Photo Courtesy:  Edgar Treiguts)
State Lawmakers approved Georgia’s juvenile code re-write. The 250-page document covers abused children, young offenders and kids who are deemed unruly. It would replace the 40-year-old current code. (Photo Courtesy: Edgar Treiguts)
Georgia’s juvenile code is one step closer to being re-written.

State lawmakers passed the revised bill. Now it moves forward to the powerful Rules Committee to decide if the bill goes to the House floor for a vote.

The House Judiciary Civil Committee heard impassioned testimony to update the state’s 40-year-old juvenile code. Judges testified that they need more flexibility and judicial discretion if they don’t think a punishment fits the crime.

Former juvenile offender, Giovan Bazan, testified that he spent over a year in jail for bringing a pocket knife to school:

“I served a month extra because I didn’t have anywhere to go, and so I had to serve a month extra, which is ludicrous for a crime as simple as that, it’s preposterous that a child would have to serve that much time when clearly the lesson was learned when I was arrested.”

The bill would update the state’s 40-year-old juvenile code. It covers children who are abused, commit crimes and kids who are deemed unruly. But opponents say it would be too expensive to hire the additional staff needed to implement the new code.