Saturday, May 18 2013 6:59 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:59:02 GMT
Dougherty County police are searching for a motorist who hit a pedestrian and then fled the scene. Authorities say it happened around 11pm Friday near the 3900 block of Radium Springs Road. PoliceMore >>
Dougherty County police are searching for a motorist who hit a pedestrian and then fled the scene. More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:58 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:58:50 GMT
It's graduation time for high schools in Dougherty County and students are ready to embark on their next journey. 230 graduates received their high school diplomas from Westover Comprehensive High SchoolMore >>
230 graduates received their high school diplomas from Westover Comprehensive High School this Saturday morning.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:44 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:44:14 GMT
Investigators are trying to find some clues as to who took nearly two dozen cell phones from a Mitchell County School. Pictures of the Baconton Community Charter School file room show where students cellMore >>
Investigators are trying to find some clues as to who took nearly two dozen cell phones from a Mitchell County School.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 12:48 PM EDT2013-05-18 16:48:01 GMT
The family of an Albany teenager who died on Friday, isn't sure how they'll pay for her funeral. 16-year old Keyanna Lang died from a heart condition. Due to her illness the family couldn't keep lifeMore >>
The family of an Albany teenager who died on Friday, isn't sure how they'll pay for her funeral.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 8:00 AM EDT2013-05-18 12:00:09 GMT
In its effort to hire 10,000 new employees in May, Dollar General will host a career fair at Dollar General located at 2017 N Slappey Blvd. in Albany, Ga. on Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.More >>
The event is held as part of the major retailer's effort to hire 10,000 new employees in May...More >>
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany Judge is using alternative sentences instead of jail or fines to try and help young people.
He says a court sentence sending a teen to jail is often just a training course for more serious crimes, but sentencing a young person to get an education, or consider military service gives them direction in life.
Judge Ralph Scoccimaro says hearing misdemeanor cases in Municipal Court gives him the chance to help young people.
Scoccimaro said in court to one defendant, "Take your hands out of your pockets, sir."
Scoccimaro believes strongly that a jail sentence for a teen too often leads in the wrong direction.
Scoccimaro said "Three months in local jail, six months here could be devastating to a young person, and could change his life forever for the worse."
So Scoccimaro is using alternative sentences except in the most serious cases, stressing education and military service options.
Scoccimaro said "These are the type of things we try to employ rather than lock 'em up. Because we know that is not working."
Scoccimaro said to one defendant in court "What do you do on the weekends?" Nothing really. "Well let me see if I can give you something to do instead of your mother paying the fine."
Scoccimaro says he sees too many young people with no education,no job, and no future plans. And uses the bench to point them in a better direction.
Scoccimaro said "If they don't have the GED in six months, they are going to be looking at a choice of going to jail. Most of them chose to get the GED."
He sentences young people to education, community service, and talks with military recruiters instead of jail. Giving them the option to change their environment away from gangs or crime to a positive future.
Scoccimaro said "So if all of us in the justice system set out to change at least one person's life per week, it becomes exponetial. And that's what we do in my court."
Judge Scoccimaro says he is positive these alternative sentences are giving young South Georgians better direction and discipline.
Scoccimaro says he believes community service helps economically disadvantaged people in his court meet other employers and situations that can lead to better jobs.