Proposed house bill gives juveniles a second chance - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Proposed house bill gives juveniles a second chance

HB 242 could helped trouble juveniles get the help they need HB 242 could helped trouble juveniles get the help they need
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

State House Bill 242 could help troubled juveniles get the help they need. Lawmakers say the state has continued to violate federal law by locking up kids who have committed offenses that are not considered crimes for adults - things like frequently running away or skipping school.

One of the main goals of the bill would be to create programs in the community that would steer more low-risk juvenile offenders away from detention and into community-based programs.

"We can start building programs and facilities here in our community for them to go. So they are not around the bad criminals. They are around a positive atmosphere where they can learn more from each other," says owner of Rockstar Entertainment Rob Sailor.

Sailor says the bill would allow juveniles to get the constructive help they need without being locked away with dangerous criminals.

"When they go to these lockups, there are other kids that have done worse crimes and then they start learning from them so it is like a trail. When they get out, that is all they know. They are going to get out and will continue to get in trouble or worse, be dead," says Sailor.

Those in favor of the bill say it would save taxpayers $88 million over a five year span. But opponents say it would cost just as much to install community-based programs in counties across the state.

The bill did pass in the House and now goes onto the state Senate where it is expected to be taken up by the end of this week.

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