New Juvenile Court judges aim to "keep kids in school and off th - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

New Juvenile Court judges aim to "keep kids in school and off the streets"

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For the first time three judges are taking the bench full-time for the Augusta Judicial Circuit's Juvenile Court.

"It's a daunting job," said Judge Pam Doumar.

Judge Doug Flanagan agreed, "It's a big job."

It's a job they pledge to do with, "justice without respect to person."

Jennifer McKinzie is one of the judges who will be presiding of the Juvenile Court; she's worked for the Juvenile Court since she was 20-years-old.

Joining her on the bench is Doug Flanagan who has presided over courtrooms for 12 years; as well as Pam Doumar who was one of the judges for the court six years ago when the judges worked part-time.

The judges say one of the biggest jobs ahead is dealing with truancy.

They say last year there were 200 truancy cases in Richmond County, but because the judges were working part time then, only 2 of them were heard in court.

"There's always been a problem with the crime rate when it deals with juveniles and now we're going to have full time dedication," said McKinzie.

The judges hope around the clock attention to everything from criminal cases and family matters to truancy will better the area.

"Better children, better resources for the community," Flanagan, said.

McKinzie and Doumar plan to focus their attention on Richmond County courts and Flanagan plans to preside over Columbia County courtrooms. The three judges also plan to split Burke County.

Moving forward they say their main focus is nurturing the youth who walk into their courtroom.

McKinzie said, "We want to keep kids in school and off the streets," she continued saying, "I'm not standing in here saying we're going to save the world, but it's a great start."

McKinzie tells Fox54 they hope to better the area by starting school programs which they've never been able to do before. She says they plan to have judges going into classrooms to see students - hoping that in turn they won't see those students in court.

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