General Assembly notices YDC efforts - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

General Assembly notices YDC efforts

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Recent changes at Augusta's Youth Development Campus have not gone unnoticed. The Georgia General Assembly begins the 2013 session Monday and local lawmakers want juvenile justice reform on the agenda.

"We've got to be proactive; we've got to step out of the box as a state," said State House Representative Wayne Howard.  

"Caring about our children and I know it's a cliché but they are our future and that's what we need to concentrate on," said State House Representative Barbara Sims.  

Representative Sims told FOX54, one of her main concerns is the future of the Augusta YDC and she plans to make that known in Atlanta. 

"I was there last week and I mentioned our YDC and everyone [General Assembly] knew what I was talking about. This is not a secret that we have had some difficulties but I do believe that now we will make progress," said Representative Sims.  

Only adding to the progress the Department of Juvenile Justice has made over the last year. Dr. Carol Yancy is the newest change. Dr. Yancy is now the YDC school principal after the dismissal of Dr. Brenda James-Ford.  

This and other faculty changes come after an internal investigation lead by Commissioner Avery Niles following the death of a juvenile inmate in 2011 and the escape of five inmates in 2012.

"We're giving our community a new, fresh look and I think that's important. I believe that the people that are in place now, are going to make a difference," said Representative Sims.  

Despite the internal YDC changes, both state representatives want to see a difference in the community as well.

"Parents need to do their part," said Representative Howard.

However these efforts among parents and lawmakers may take time.

"To accomplish a good bill is important, it might not be this year but it will be the beginning," said Representative Sims.

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