Kirsten Widner

Support Proposed Revision of Georgia Juvenile Code

We are deeply saddened by Judge Rodatus’ op-ed on the juvenile code rewrite project and his views about the process that has been used to refine the Child Protection and Public Safety Act, which in its most current form is House Bill 641. His remarks do not reflect the wider community of juvenile court professionals. We appreciate the opportunity to provide some important clarifications and corrections. The Original Proposed Model Code

Judge Rodatus correctly notes that this project began with work of the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the State Bar of Georgia on a Proposed Model Code (PMC) for Georgia. However, the circumstances of the PMC were very different from what he describes.

In Georgia, Two Differing Opinions About how to Revamp the Juvenile Justice Code

Most of the people who know anything about Georgia’s four-decades-old juvenile code agree it needs changing. There is, however, disagreement over how, and how much, it should be changed.
Today, the JJIE brings you two differing opinions on the subject, something that will likely prove to be a major issue when the state Legislature begins its work next year.
Judge Robert Rodatus is a juvenile court judge in Gwinette County, Ga. He has worked in his current position since 1991 and has held a number of positions in the state’s Council of Juvenile Court Judges.
Kirsten Widner is director of Policy and Advocacy for the Barton Child Law and Policy Center at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. In the recent past, she has become one of the key representatives for groups and individuals working towards revision of the state’s juvenile code.