Implementation Committee
This bill creates a implementation committee to work with subject matter experts to create a report on all the necessary operational and statutory changes required to include 17 year old children in the juvenile justice system, including the estimated time required to implement the law and other facts and figures necessary for successful implementation.

Raise the Age
This bill makes changes throughout the Code to raise the age to 18 to be considered an adult for most charges, giving the juvenile courts original jurisdiction for most 17 year old defendants. This includes requiring jails to transfer 17 year olds to juvenile facilities and to be placed in the juvenile probation system.

The bill excludes from the juvenile system defendants who were 17 and were charged with criminal gang activity or charged with a second or subsequent delinquent  act which would be a felony if committed by an adult. These children will still be charged as an adult.

This bill will only be effective if after the implementation committee makes its recommendations there is a specific line item appropriating the necessary funds for the implementation of the bill. If such funding is not made available by January 1, 2030, then the bill will be repealed as a matter of law on that date.

The ACLU of Georgia supports this bill. Georgia is one of only three states who treats 17 year old children as adults when facing criminal charges, and its past time for Georgia to join the rest of the nation in recognizing that children belong in the juvenile justice system if they face charges. 

Recognizing Georgia’s uniquely cruel treatment of children, we recommend eliminating the implementation committee requirement, the automatic repeal language, and the exceptions for gang charges that exist currently within the bill.



Passed House



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