In 2013, Georgia enacted HB 242, comprehensive juvenile justice reform. The bill prohibits residential commitment of status offenders and certain misdemeanants and requires the court to consider a juvenile’s risk assessment prior to ordering an out-of-home placement. Increases the use of evidence-based programs. Additionally, the new law created a fiscal incentive program requires the use of performance-based contracting with service provider and improves data collection and reporting. The designated felony law was revised to create a two-class system with differing sanctions based on severity of offense, eliminating mandatory minimum sentences and permitting non-secure out-of-home placement based on risk level.
Other Subsequent Legislation and Actions
Exec. Order (April 16, 2013)
Establishes the Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant Program Funding Committee to review applications and make funding decisions for the Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant program, in accordance with HB 242 (2013). Appoints members to the committee.
HB 898 (2014)
Enacts the Interstate Compact for Juveniles. Specifies the purpose of the compact is to ensure that juvenile offenders are provided adequate supervision and services and public safety interests are adequately protected. Enumerates the powers and duties of the interstate commission.
HB 361 (2015)
Enacts reforms as recommended by the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform with respect to juveniles. Limits juvenile court jurisdiction to traffic offenses when the juvenile is under the age of 17 years. Clarifies criteria for transferring juveniles from superior court to juvenile court. Allows prosecuting attorneys to be involved or intervene in cases where a child is alleged to be in need of services. Tolls time limits for detention hearings by calendar days rather than business days.
Summaries and links to full legislation can also be found in NCSL’s Juvenile Justice Bill Tracking Database.
Return to NCSL’s Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Policy Reform page or learn more about NCSL’s Juvenile Justice Program.