School / Justice Partnership
School-Justice Partnerships in Macon-Bibb County and Peach County seek to increase graduation rates, reduce crime, connect students in need with community programs and better respond to students who are an immediate danger to themselves or others.
Using a series of pre-defined Focused Acts, school resource officers are equipped with the tools and authority to assign an offending student to programs aimed at addressing the root cause of delinquent behavior. By making students better equipped for success, they will be less likely to re-offend.
Because these cases are handled outside the traditional juvenile court system, judicial resources can focus on more dangerous offenses. The agreements are based on a proven model that has shown an increase in graduation rates and decrease in juvenile crime rates. The health of communities and school systems across the nation have improved by using such agreements.
Macon-Bibb County partners signed the first School-Justice Partnership in the Macon Judicial Circuit on July 17, 2018, in preparation for the 2018-2019 school year.
In the partnership’s first year, 207 Bibb County students who otherwise would have been arrested for low-level misdemeanors (such as affray, criminal trespass, and possession of tobacco) were instead either issued a written warning or referred to counseling, community programs or other treatment. Only 10 committed a second Focused Act before the end of the school year.
Partners in Peach County signed the PEACH Pride Partnership agreement, also a School-Justice Partnership, on July 16, 2019. It is in effect for the 2019-2020 school year.
We hope to extend the initiative to Crawford County for the 2020-2021 school year.