The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice serves the needs of the state's young offenders up to the age of 21. Thousands of youths pass through the juvenile justice system each year and Channel 2 Action News has learned 65 percent of children will likely end up back in it.
By the numbers
The DJJ says thousands of juvenile offenders are diverted each year to community programs, sentenced to short term incarceration and/or committed to long-term custody by Juvenile Courts.
Secure Detention Centers
10,165 youths are supervised (on average) daily by the Division of Community Services. 6,176 are in the community, at-home and under supervision, 489 are in DJJ Regional Youth Detention Centers, 314 are in the community, in non-secure residential placements and 216 are in DJJ Youth Development Campuses. 232 are serving time in adult jails.
As of January 22 of this year, there are 827 youths housed in secure detention centers across the state. These centers provide secure care and supervision for those who have been charged with offenses and have been classified as delinquent and are waiting placement. These children are charged with felonies and misdemeanors. Of that number, 80.2 percent are males, 19.8 percent are females.
Two brothers -- ages 15 and 16 -- were arrested more than 17 times before killing a man. 2 Investigates what a judge calls flaws in the justice system that allowed them to roam free, Tuesday on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.
Channel 2 Investigates has learned metro Atlanta is seeing a major increase in juvenile property crime. The trend has spread to areas like Cobb County after becoming all too familiar in Fulton County where the juvenile crime rate is 15-times higher than the national average.
Why is it so hard to detain children?
It's expensive. According to officials, it costs $90,000 to incarcerate a juvenile each year.
Georgia is a national leader when it comes to juvenile justice. Governor Nathan Deal recently put about $20 million in the budget for juvenile reform that will include mental health services.
Channel 2 Investigates is looking into the programs that hopes to curb this trend and the results its seeing. Our investigation into the way teens are turning their lives around, Monday on Channel 2 Action News at 6.
CHANNEL 2 INVESTIGATES: