Georgia County Government - Fall 2013 - (Page 43)

SPECIAL FOCUS: CRIMINAL JUSTICE Understanding the Impacts of Juvenile Justice Reform By Tom Rawlings Following the legislature’s recent passage of HB 242, courts, counties, agencies and attorneys are busy digesting the most extensive rewrite of Georgia’s juvenile justice and child welfare laws since the early 1970s. Along with the legislative changes, many experts around the state expect to see counties taking on more responsibility for programs and outcomes related to abused children, troubled families and delinquent youth. Among its many changes, the new law ensures that children and families who are involved in juvenile delinquency, dependency or child in need of services (CHINS) petitions are appointed attorneys when they cannot otherwise afford them. The law will also place more emphasis on community-based solutions to juvenile delinquency issues by increasing the requirements for a troubled youth to be placed in a juvenile lockup or committed to the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. The new CHINS section of the law gives the juvenile courts greater authority to order treatment for and oversee cases of children who are habitually truant, runaway or disobedient of their parents. As county officials enter into the often unfamiliar terrain of juvenile justice and child welfare, many are asking how these changes will affect their operations, budgets and communities. The Big Changes While the new code retains much of the process and substance of current procedure, there are three areas in which the legislature broke new ground in passing HB 242. These changes take effect January 1, 2014. CHINS Historically, juvenile courts across the state dealt with unruly or ungovernable children in a myriad of approaches depending FALL 2013 43

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - Fall 2013

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
UGA’s Archway Partnership: Empowerment for Georgia’s Communities
Oglethorpe County: Focusing on the Benefi ts of Protecting Rural Roots
Eliminating Risks: LGRMS Celebrates 25 Years
Where Do We Stand? One Year after Georgia’s Criminal Justice Reform
Understanding the Impacts of Juvenile Justice Reform
New Jail Facilities: Counties Focus on New Technology and Capacity to Expand
2013 Legislative Service Award Recipients
Hospital Survival: Informed County Commissioners Can Preserve Local Health Care
Federal New: More Gridlock and Uncertainty May Be Expected in Washington for FY 2014
Slice by Slice: Students Learn About the Signifi cance of Agriculture on Pizza Farms
Talking Trees with Georgia’s County Commissioners
Partner News: Value at the Heart of the Unique Gas South-ACCG Partnership
Commercial Swimming Pool Renovations Do’s and Don’ts
Counties & The Law: The Supreme Court, the Voting Rights Act and Georgia Counties
Legal News: Bidding in Georgia: What to Do When the Lowest
Conference Preview: Legislative Leadership
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - Fall 2013