Georgia’s juvenile court judges face a new, unprecedented set of challenges that could separate kids from their parents and make the state an “asylum” for runaway delinquents. As of Friday, Georgia will have no way to track down juvenile offenders who run away to avoid arrest or to return other states’ offenders who’ve fled to Georgia.
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Georgia has until June 30 to sign an interstate compact pledging cooperation in juvenile justice matters. Former Gov. Sonny Perdue refused, ostensibly because he felt it infringed on the state’s sovereignty. Without the compact, officials may have no way to monitor juvenile offenders who leave Georgia. The clock is ticking.
Georgia is set to become the go-to state for delinquent juveniles trying to escape the system, the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange reports. Unless the Legislature acts, Georgia on July 1 would be dropped from a new interstate compact and could become a “dumping ground for out-of-state delinquent juveniles,” including violent and sex offenders, one official said.