Judge says 80 percent of juveniles in YDC will reoffend

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

Big changes are coming for teenagers who break the law in Georgia.
A $250,000 grant Augusta Commissioners recently approved could help kids stay out of YDC.
"You're not going to sit home today and do nothing," said Judge Pam James-Dumar.

Judge Dumar is addressing one of several families that stand before her in juvenile court. This mother has stood before her twice today. Both of her teenage sons found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Judge Dumar says this family is perfect for a new evidence based program.

"It's very extensive, it takes a big commitment on behalf of the families. There is a lot of accountability. The juveniles are in the program for three to six months," said Judge Dumar.

Family and Community Based Therapy will now be an option for Augusta Juvenile Judges. Governor Nathan Deal approved a $5 million budget to help counties try and reduce the number of teen repeat offenders. Each teen at the YDC is costing taxpayers an average of $90,000 bucks.

"It's the rehabilitation aspect. We will provide the family with stability," said Judge Jennifer Mckinzie.

"I think YDC works. there are very good people who work at YDC that try to help these kids. "

Both judges went before Augusta Commissioners to receive approval for the state grant. Some commissioners had questions about who would be allowed in.

"Aggravated assaults, those who bring guns to schools would not fit the MST program," said Judge Du mar.

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