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Ga. top judge urges reform of juvenile justice

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Posted at 12:57 PM, Feb 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-07 08:01:39-05

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein stressed the need to reform the state's juvenile justice system in her fourth and final Sate of the Judiciary address.

According to prepared remarks, Hunstein urged lawmakers to read a report produced by the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform and to act on the council's recommendations.

She highlighted some successes of the adult criminal reform legislation which was passed last year and took into account many of the council's recommendations. She said the state needs to take similar steps for juvenile offenders to divert lower-risk youth to community treatment programs rather than locking them up.

Hunstein also reminded lawmakers that the judiciary operate with less than 1 percent of the state's budget. She highlighted some of its successes despite the economic squeeze.