Proposal: juvenile offenders should get ankle monitors, probation officer visits

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As residents and county leaders have looked for solutions to tackle the wave of crimes at gas stations around Fulton County, one local leader hopes to address the issue by monitoring the teenagers thought to be behind the crimes.

"It's a relatively small group of people who are committing these crimes, as repeat offenders," said Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves, who is proposing ankle monitors for these high-risk juvenile repeat offenders. Eaves said close to two dozen teenagers are on a list of individuals thought to be behind most of the car theft and carjacking crimes at gas stations in Fulton County, and especially South Fulton County. 

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Eaves also proposes three random visits a week from probation officers, to ensure the children are only going to and from home and school on a daily basis.

In juvenile courts, most teenagers are sent home to the care of their guardians after committing crimes, rather than being detained, unless juveniles commit numerous or very violent offenses.

"That person can go home, but that doesn't mean we want that person freely roaming our community," Eaves said.

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The proposal is part of a $2.5 million endeavor to boost public safety around Fulton County. The proposal, which goes before the Fulton County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday morning, will request funding for ankle monitors, extra probation officers and social workers to monitor high-risk juvenile offenders. 

The proposal also funds software to link 731 officers in South Fulton County, Atlanta, and Smyrna with real-time information to track car theft criminals using tag readers and fingerprint scanners; alerts will also include information on offenders and their release from jail.

Funding also includes programs for crime prevention in local schools, as well as job development for youth.

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