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NCJ Number: 204149 Find in a Library
Title: Traveling the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit: Juvenile Justice in Rural Georgia
Journal: Juvenile Justice Update  Volume:9  Issue:5  Dated:October/November 2003  Pages:1-2,14,16
Author(s): Ted Rubin
Date Published: October 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on the delivery of juvenile justice in a rural judicial circuit in Georgia, a circuit that has recently implemented significant changes that have improved the quality of justice for juveniles.
Abstract: Three years ago, the Ocmulgee Juvenile Courts Circuit had no real juvenile court judge and no full-time juvenile prosecutor. In October 2000, a full-time juvenile court judge took office, assuming the work of five general trial court judges who had handled juvenile matters part-time. In August 2002 a full-time prosecutor was hired to take over for the various assistant prosecutors in the eight counties who had attempted to manage juvenile matters in combination with higher priority criminal cases. Every juvenile has representation. The Department of Family and Children's Services, which works with deprived children, employs its own part-time attorneys known as special assistant attorney generals (SAAG's). A SAAG in one county may be appointed by the court to defend a juvenile in another county. Lawyers represent juveniles at detention hearings. Detention space limitations contribute to travel issues, but detention instruments are used to keep in check the percentage of juveniles sent to detention. Case expediters find alternatives to detention. The prosecutor handles intake and has a key role at the dispositional hearing. Probation staff lack office space, often meeting with probationers at a fire station or in a car while transporting a juvenile from a detention center to a courthouse. An office location is expected to be secured during 2003. Although probation services are often limited, commitments to secure facilities are used sparingly. This rural, one judge Ocmulgee Circuit is making great strides in providing consistent, predictable, uniform juvenile justice; however, effective human services intervention for these juveniles still requires much additional work.
Main Term(s): Juvenile courts
Index Term(s): Georgia (USA); Juvenile delinquency in rural areas; Juvenile judges; Juvenile justice policies; Juvenile probation officers; Juvenile processing; Prosecutors; Rural judges
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