Georgia Appears Poised to Rejoin Juvenile Compact

For the first time since 2011 Georgia appears to be seriously considering rejoining the Interstate Compact for Juveniles (ICJ).  Georgia joined the original juvenile compact in 1955 and operated under the terms of that agreement until it expired on June 30, 2011.  Georgia has since failed to pass legislation that would allow it to join the updated ICJ and operate under the terms of the new agreement. 

By failing to join the compact Georgia has no mechanism in place for sending juvenile offenders from other states back home or for registering teen offenders who cross the border into Georgia.  The state’s Department of Human Services (DHS) estimates there are 330 juveniles in state custody who could be returned to other member states if Georgia rejoined the compact.  DHS further estimates that the annual cost of detaining a juvenile in a state run facility ranges between $88,000 and $91,000.

The Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform, The Council of Juvenile Court Judges of Georgia, and the Barton Child Law and Policy Center at Emory University Law School have all expressed support for the compact.  Currently Georgia is the only state in the country that is not a member of the new ICJ. 

For more information about the Interstate Compact for Juveniles please visit www.juvenilecompact.org.