Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal urged judges, prosecutors, sheriffs, and legislators on a criminal-justice reform commission to consider every part of the juvenile justice system for possible overhaul, says the Florida Times-Union. “I want to charge you to look at that from the inception, and you will have the assistance of state officials,” he said.
Jason Newman of the Pew Center on the States pointed to the success Ohio and Texas have experienced in shifting most of their juvenile program to counties operating with state grants. Both states saved taxpayer money while lowering the rate of repeat convictions of delinquent children. In Ohio, the reconviction rate among high risk juvenile offenders fell from 43 percent to 22 percent three years after their release. Georgia’s high risk offenders have a 60 percent re-conviction rate and it costs $98,000 per year to confine each of them. Newman said Pew and the Annie E. Casey Foundation would analyze Georgia’s juvenile system before making specific recommendations., but those two states were the only examples he offered Monday.