Judge Peggy Walker talks new national leadership role, local juvenile justice – Douglas County Sentinel: Local News

22
Jul

Judge Peggy Walker talks new national leadership role, local juvenile justice – Douglas County Sentinel: Local News

More children are living in poverty now than at any other point in the decades-long career of Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Peggy Walker, who says a lack of resources often makes poor children vulnerable to abuse and neglect.

That makes Walker’s work with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges more crucial than ever. Children face even more challenges as investigations have revealed a startling rate of sexual abuse while in custody for status or delinquent acts throughout our nation.

Results from a 2012 Bureau of Justice study revealed a high incidence of sexual abuse in the nation’s juvenile detention centers, with as many as one in three children at the local Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center reporting they have been sexually abused by staff or other youth. Georgia is undertaking major juvenile justice reform to decrease the number of low risk children in detention. Georgia’s Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Avery Niles has taken steps to remove staff charged with investigating such complaints who have failed to act promptly to protect children.

When Walker takes over as NCJFCJ president next year — her 10th in leadership with the organization — she will have continued opportunity to advocate early and ongoing intervention for at-risk families as well as training for juvenile officials. And she has Douglas County’s blessing to do so.

via Judge Peggy Walker talks new national leadership role, local juvenile justice – Douglas County Sentinel: Local News.

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