Augusta city leaders throw support behind new juvenile law - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Augusta city leaders throw support behind new juvenile law

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Georgia's juvenile law hasn't been updated in 40 years; but with the start of the new year the state will have a new juvenile code.

As the owner of Fresh Start Learning Center in Augusta, Andrena Meyers cares for 30 youth.

She says several of the children she works with, as well as her own son, have been in and out of courtrooms.

"If this is where we're going in the right direction, I'm for it," she said.

Fox54's Mark Barber asked, "Do you think this is the right direction?" Meyers said, "I don't know yet, January 1, 2014 when the bill is effective we'll see."

Pam Doumar, a Richmond County judge, has decided hundreds of juvenile cases in her courtroom. 

"It's a vicious cycle, where they come in the doors and they get into more and more trouble because there's a lack of supervision, they don't have a mentor," she said.

She says her goal isn't to punish juvenile offenders but to rehabilitate them and she thinks the new law, House Bill 242, will help her do that.

The new code won't let parents waive their child's right to an attorney or their right to be heard.

For serious offenses, judges will be given more freedom to decide what action to take with the juvenile.

For offenses such as truancy and running away from home, juvenile offenders will be paired with programs and resources.

Georgia Commissioner of Juvenile Justice Avery Niles thinks the focus on resources and involved families will develop offenders into productive members of society.

"With the right programming, with the right aid, to better those kids and get them ready for the community that's a success," he said.  

Meyers says with the futures of many youth on the line she's hoping the new law will be a success.

"When it becomes effective and it's working, I'm on board," she said.

Niles says if the intervention programs are successful, the economy stands to benefit because it costs about $90,000 to house a juvenile offender.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • In reversal, Trump orders halt to his family separation rule

    In reversal, Trump orders halt to his family separation rule

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 11:21 AM EDT2018-06-20 15:21:21 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 3:44 AM EDT2018-06-23 07:44:07 GMT
    A boy stares out of a heavily tinted bus window leaving a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility Tuesday in McAllen, TX. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)A boy stares out of a heavily tinted bus window leaving a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility Tuesday in McAllen, TX. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Trump signs executive order to keep families together at border, says 'zero-tolerance' prosecution policy will continue.

    More >>

    Trump signs executive order to keep families together at border, says 'zero-tolerance' prosecution policy will continue.

    More >>
  • APNewsBreak: At least 3 shelters set up for child migrants

    APNewsBreak: At least 3 shelters set up for child migrants

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 9:12 PM EDT2018-06-20 01:12:25 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 3:43 AM EDT2018-06-23 07:43:40 GMT
    Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

    More >>

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

    More >>
  • Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

    Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

    Friday, June 22 2018 1:13 AM EDT2018-06-22 05:13:01 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 3:37 AM EDT2018-06-23 07:37:57 GMT
    (Chinatopix via AP). FILE - In this April 8, 2018 file photo, a container is loaded onto a cargo ship at a port in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province. China has accused the United States on Thursday, June 21, 2018, of using pressure tactics and ...(Chinatopix via AP). FILE - In this April 8, 2018 file photo, a container is loaded onto a cargo ship at a port in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province. China has accused the United States on Thursday, June 21, 2018, of using pressure tactics and ...

    Trump got in the first jabs; now the world is punching back as the trade brawl spreads.

    More >>

    Trump got in the first jabs; now the world is punching back as the trade brawl spreads.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly