Mon., May 28, 2012 1:41pm (EDT)

Macon Keeps Kids Out Of Court
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 2 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Macon leaders sign Juvenile Court agreement (l-r Macon Police Chief Mike Burns, Bibb County District Attorney Greg Winters, Bibb County Sheriff Jerry Modena, Thomas Matthews, Chief Judge Juvenile Court of Bibb County) photo Josephine Bennett
Macon leaders sign Juvenile Court agreement (l-r Macon Police Chief Mike Burns, Bibb County District Attorney Greg Winters, Bibb County Sheriff Jerry Modena, Thomas Matthews, Chief Judge Juvenile Court of Bibb County) photo Josephine Bennett
The Bibb County Juvenile Court is teaming up with the school system to keep kids in the classroom. The new discipline protocol is modeled after a Clayton County program that’s increased graduation rates by 20 percent.

Every year an average of 600 kids from Bibb County schools get sent to juvenile court. Many of them are first time offenders who get caught doing things like fighting or acting out in class.

Now kids will instead be sent to an in-school committee for evaluation. Bibb County Juvenile Court Judge Thomas Matthews supports the changes

“The school needs to be able to make the distinction between the good citizen child who’s gotten into one little thing versus the repeat offender who is dangerous.”

Studies show 70 percent of students referred to juvenile court return to the system as adult offenders. The agreement includes signatures from juvenile court judges, the Bibb County District Attorney, police, and the school system.