A bill is now being taken into consideration by state legislators which would raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18 instead of 17. House Bill 440 was introduced in 2019 by the Juvenile Justice Committee of the state House of Representatives. Greg Price, Floyd County’s Juvenile Court Judge, asserts that it is aimed more at rehabilitation, rather than retribution, of youth.
Georgia is one of three states that still treat 17-year-olds as adults in criminal court. There has been a massive push nationwide to raise the age from 17 to 18, says Price.
Price states that some legislators support the measure with the argument that 17 year olds are still children. However, he is concerned about the increased workload that his court would face if it is passed. He indicates that he would not mind this increased workload if it were accompanied by funding from the state, which it is not.
For more information about HB 440 and other legislation currently under the consideration of state legislators, visit www.legis.ga.gov.