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Commission To RecommendChanges To Mississippi’s Youth justice System

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 18 Oct 2012 04:11pm | comments

Mississippi judicial leaders are getting close to issuing a set of recommended changes for the state's youth justice system. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that judges and child welfare advocates are trying to make the courts work better for children.

The youth justice system in Mississippi includes both the juvenile courts as well as the family courts that assist abused and neglected children.

Yesterday, Members of the Commission on Children's justice concluded a series of public hearings about ways to improve how the courts handle Mississippi children.

Supreme Court Justice Randy Pierce says courts need to respond to the needs and interest of children.

"We want to make sure that every child in Mississippi, when he or she has an experience in court system that we make sure that the best interest of that child is protected. So we are looking at everything from protection which would be abuse and neglect as well as delinquent children to make sure that the court system is plugged in to protect the children of Mississippi," Pierce said.

Pierce says a set of recommended changes will be released next year.

One possible recommendation could be to provide lawyers to parents in family court, something Mississippi currently does not do.

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