A: The age of majority is 18 in Georgia. This means you must remain uder the care, custody and control of your parent(s) unless you take legal action to become an "emancipated minor." If you are close to your 18th birthday, perhaps you should just wait it out and save money unless you have the time and respurces to pursue emancipation now. A word of caution: If you are contemplating running away, I would suggest that you not do so for your own personal safety. Good luck and please take care of yourself!--Attorney Tracey
Sidebar: Georgia is set to become the go-to state for delinquent juveniles trying to escape the system. (If you were to run away, there would not be much legal recourse for your parent(s) based on the current state of the runaway issue in the Georgia juvenile courts.)
If legislation is not passed in this session of the General Assembly, Georgia will become the only state without pending legislation to enact the new Interstate Compact for Juveniles (ICJ), an agreement that allows for the transfer of delinquent juveniles and runaways between states.
The potential implications are enormous.
Without an agreement with other states, Georgia will have no mechanism for sending delinquent kids from other states back home or for registering teen sex offenders who cross the border into Georgia, according to Rick Masters, General Counsel for the Interstate Commission for Juveniles, in Lexington, Ky., the governing body of the ICJ, The ICJ replaces and updates a compact established in 1955 that Georgia was a member of.
Currently, Georgia still operates under the framework for the old compact, but the transition period expires on June 30, 2011. After that date, Georgia will no longer be able to do business with member-states of the ICJ.
Georgia could become a “dumping ground for out-of-state delinquent juveniles. And, that includes teens that have been “adjudicated for acts, which would be classified as violent crimes and sex offenses, if they were committed by an adult.”
What this means for Georgia, according to Cindy Pittman, the former Georgia compact administrator, is that if a teen commits a crime—rape, murder or armed robbery, for example—and flees to another state, Georgia would have no way to get him back. Conversely, if a juvenile delinquent from another state came to Georgia there would be no way to send him back.
However, delinquents aren’t the only juveniles affected by the ICJ. The compact plays an important role in returning runaways to their families. Under the compact, police have the ability to detain runaways and send them back to their homes in other states.
Georgia is going to become an asylum state. In a few months, if something doesn’t change, there is going to be a big, black hole in the Southern United States for the juvenile justice system and it is going to be known as Georgia.
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