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Governor Perdue Signs Reforms to Juvenile Justice System

Monday, April 25, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATHENS, GA - Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law today Senate Bill 134, legislation that modifies when a juvenile court judge can place a minor in a Youth Development Campus. SB134 was sponsored by State Senator Brian Kemp.

“SB 134 increases community treatment options for status offenders and youth who commit minor delinquent acts,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “And by having more of these young offenders receive treatment services in their own communities, this legislation will reduce overcrowding in the state’s detention and youth development centers.”

SB134 brings new criteria and flexibility to sentencing juvenile offenders. Under the new criteria, the Youth Development Campus program will be targeted at two critical groups – juvenile offenders already on probation who violate the conditions of their sentence and youth committing what would be considered a felony under the adult system.

SB134 also amends the statute requiring juveniles sentenced to a Youth Development Campus to remain there for 90 days. It reduces the length of time to 60 days and gives credit for time served. In addition, the bill requires the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to work with the Council of Juvenile Court Judges in developing a graduated alternative sanctions program. Graduated alternative sanctions may include community service, electronic monitoring, increased reporting or intensive supervision, home confinement, day or evening reporting centers or treatment interventions and other options.

State Senator Brian Kemp, DJJ Commissioner Albert Murray and Athens-Clarke County Juvenile Court Judge James MacDonald joined Governor Perdue for the bill signing at the Athens-Clarke County Courthouse.