By Jeanette Moll and Kelly McCutchen
Like many of their colleagues across the country, Georgia policy-makers are taking an increasingly close look at their criminal justice system. In search of both increased effectiveness as well as cost savings, policy-makers now have an ideal opportunity to evaluate and improve the correctional system. An essential part of that review must include that portion of the justice system which oversees juvenile delinquents.
Georgia’s state budget for juvenile justice is $266 million in Fiscal Year 2011 and may grow to $279 million in 2012.1In addition, almost 50,000 youths are in the system each year, either awaiting adjudication or serving their sentences2– 50,000 youths who represent the future workforce and citizens of Georgia. Undoubtedly, the…