Press Release: Rep. Welch Appointed to Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group
ATLANTA – State Representative Andrew Welch (R-Locust Grove) was recently appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to Georgia’s Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group (SAG).
“In my time in the legislature, I have remained committed to criminal justice reform, particularly as it relates to Georgia’s juvenile offenders,” said Rep. Welch. “I am eager to serve in this capacity and to be a part of SAG’s ongoing efforts to enhance public safety by improving Georgia’s juvenile justice system and implementing best practices for juvenile offenders. I am honored that the governor appointed me to this critical advisory group.”
The federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) was enacted in 1974 and reauthorized in 2015 to promote the well-being of youth in the United States. JJDPA was designed to change the way juveniles are handled in the justice system by helping state and local governments prevent and control juvenile delinquency and providing Formula Grant funding to support these reform efforts.
Under the JJDPA, participating states are required to establish a SAG to monitor and maintain the outlined four core protections at the state and local level in order to continue receiving federal funding. The JJDPA’s four core protections include: Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders; Removal of juveniles from adult jails and lock-ups; Sight and sound separation; and, Disproportionate Minority Contact.
Georgia’s SAG is appointed by the Governor and serves in an advisory capacity to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), the designated state agency for juvenile justice formula funds from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The CJCC serves as the supervisory role, but relies on the SAG to oversee and advise on the preparation and implementation of the state’s Juvenile Justice 3-Year Plan.
By maintaining compliance with the JJDPA, Georgia will continue to receive federal juvenile justice funds. These funds directly support Georgia’s efforts to develop and implement effective prevention and intervention programs while improving the juvenile justice system. If a state fails to demonstrate full compliance, the OJJDP will reduce the grant funding by 20 percent for each core requirement failure.
Representative Andrew Welch represents the citizens of District 110, which includes portions of Butts, Henry, and Newton Counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2010, and currently serves as the Chairman to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety. He also serves on the Code Revision, Judiciary, Juvenile Justice, and Regulated Industries committees.