Friday, February 10, 2012

Youth Voice Needed on Juvenile Justice!

There is a debate regarding the Children's Code Rewrite and EmpowerMEnt  would like your opinion. Your answers will decide JUSTGeorgia Crew's official position! Please take our survey here!

What do you think about allowing admission during arraignment for delinquency cases?

·         For allowing admission at arraignment:

o   The child will have already consulted with counsel before waiving counsel, so counsel can advise with regard to admission as part of that consultation
o   If it’s a simple issue, the child and parent may just want to admit and get it over with, rather than miss another day of school / work to come back if they’re going to admit anyway.
o   The judge has to have a colloquy (discussion) with the child about the admission, and if the judge doesn’t feel that child understands the implications of the admission, they aren’t allowed to accept it.

·         Against allowing admission at arraignment:

o   The consultation with counsel is before waiver is intended to be about the waiver of counsel, not about admission
o   A lot of the evidence investigation is done between the complaint and the petition – it’s possible that the prosecutor won’t end up with a strong enough case to proceed on. 
o   The family needs time to look at the evidence against the child and make a considered decision about whether admission is the right thing to do.

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