Dougherty Co. district attorney speaks on why he believes young people get involved in violent crimes

Photo of Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards
Photo of Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards(Source: WALB)
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 9:43 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - With shootings and violent crimes affecting communities and young people nationwide, many may simply wonder, why? WALB’s Jim Wallace spoke to the Dougherty County district attorney about why he thinks young people turn to crime and violence.

Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards, we have seen a lot of young people, as young as 15, involved in some very violent crimes recently in Albany. What’s your feeling about this?

“Well, I think there’s some definite factors that have led to the rise in youth crime and one of the factors that I believe is most definitely present is we don’t have engaged fathers. It’s been my observation that but to have engaged fathers in their lives and that leads them to, you know, to more disciplined, you know, upbringing and more stability. And kind of the corollary of that is that we have a lot of, we have a lot of teen parents. That is, you know, teenage fathers and teenage mothers. And since social media. It sometimes desensitized, I think, young people about they are desensitized to, I guess, a lot of things that are happening around and particularly things such as mass shootings. So those three things we need more engaged fathers. We need to work to prevent teen pregnancy. We need to be able to, you know, move away from relying upon social media. I guess some basic human needs, so these things need to be, you know, cultivated in a manner that you know, lead our children away from crime,” Edwards said.

Unfortunately, putting some of these children in prison doesn’t sound like a solution to the crimes, but you have to have justice.

“All of these things are larger issues than just the justice system,” Edwards said. “They they’re part of our culture. They’re part of our mental health scenarios. So all of these things we need to put together in order to help with children.”

It is a very tough situation that’s going on and being seen in Albany right now. Thank you very much for joining us.

“Thank you so much for having the opportunity to bring these ideas forward. I think again, if our citizens and our legislatures, but particularly our citizens, work on these issues, maybe we can make some progress. We must save the future,” Edwards said.