Grand jury: Education will break offender cycle - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Grand jury: Education will break offender cycle

May 1, 2008

Albany --  A staggering majority of convicted criminals in Georgia are high school drop outs. Now a Dougherty County grand jury wants criminals sentenced to school, or at least forced to get their General Education Diplomas.

The fast track G.E.D. Class at Albany Technical College often has students who were sentenced by the courts. More than 82% of Georgia prisoners are high school dropouts. The percentage in Dougherty County is even higher.

"Most have not completed as far as the tenth grade. Certainly it goes hand in hand with failure to be successful in society to not have a complete education," said Dougherty Chief Assistant District Attorney Greg Edwards.

A Dougherty Grand Jury now wants students not only sentenced to GED programs, but they want to make sure the students take the classes seriously and get their diplomas..

 "The best social program is a good job. A well paying job, benefits, etc."said Albany Technical College President Dr. Anthony Parker. 

Grand Jurors also called on increased staffing for the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit, and they want a community incinerator to destroy unused prescription drugs.

"A means to dispose of unused drugs that citizens need to get rid of, so they won't end up back out on the streets," Edwards said.

And they believe cleaning up the streets, literally, will also reduce crime. Grand Jurors want the city of Albany to continue to rid the city of blight and dilapidated buildings to fight gangs and drug activity. 

Thy also want things to quiet down. Grand jurors want police to more strictly enforce the noise ordinance and ticket people who play car stereos too loudly.

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