Juvenile Court Judges Latest to Express Concern over Armed Security in Schools

Youth advocates have worked to reduce police involvement in school discipline

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is voicing concern over the push to put armed police or guards into American schools following the Newtown school massacre of 20 first-graders and six staff last December. On Tuesday, the Reno, Nev.-based group posted an excerpt of a letter sent to Vice President Biden, who has been leading a month-long effort to gather ideas for more effective gun restrictions and improved school safety. The White House is reportedly poised to reveal some recommendations Wednesday at a midday press conference. In its letter to Biden, the NCJFCJ expressed strong misgivings about the prospect of communities putting armed guards in schools – which could become even more likely if federal dollars are offered to help schools make that choice. Published reports indicated Biden’s task force was considering such a plan, which has also been pushed by Sen. Barbara Boxer, a liberal Democrat from California.

Finding the Time to Make Real Change in Juvenile Justice

It is a fundamental principle in effective supervision of juvenile offenders that the optimal caseload size should be 25. It is still common throughout the country to find caseloads exceeding 60 and sometimes more than 100. When I took the bench in 1999, our caseload size was 150 – it was not pretty! Today, it’s 25. The kids who scare us get intensive supervision, the kids who make us mad are referred to a system of care for services.

Judge Peggy H. Walker

Georgia Juvenile Court Judge Elected to Lead the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

 

Longtime Georgia Juvenile Court Judge Peggy H. Walker was elected to the Executive Committee of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) earlier this week at their 74th national conference in New York City. Spanning the next five years, Judge Walker will serve as NCJFCJ secretary, treasurer, president-elect, president and immediate past-president, respectively.  

Founded in 1937, the Reno-based NCJFCJ is the nation’s longest running judicial membership committee with a roster of nearly 2,000 judges and related professionals. The council aims to provide judges, courts and related agencies with the necessary knowledge and skills to improve the lives of families and children affected by the juvenile justice system and domestic violence. “The common thread among the NCJFCJ leadership is hard work and the courage to overcome adversity as we work to improve the lives of children and families,” said the newly elected Judge Walker.