Parental Accountability Courts Growing in Georgia

Georgia’s Parental Accountability Court (PAC) program is growing!  During the 2016 session of the General Assembly, the Judicial Council included funding for ten new Parental Accountability Courts in its 2017 budget request.  Judge Brian Amero, Chair of the PAC subcommittee of the Council of Accountability Court Judges, testified before the House Budget Committee, and the legislature approved the funding request.  The Judicial Council was originally asked for 30 additional PACs, and after discussion determined that it would spread that funding request out over three years.  The goal is to have one PAC in each judicial circuit in Georgia. 

Gwinnett Parental Accountability CourtBeginning July 1, 2016, the ten new PACs will begin accepting participants.  Those courts are in the following circuits: Clayton, Chattahoochee, Alapaha, Oconee, Blue Ridge, Waycross, Conasauga, Middle, and Piedmont. 

The Parental Accountability Courts were established to assist chronic non-payors of child support overcome the underlying issues that prevent them from working and supporting their children.  PAC participants are offered such services as coaching/mentoring, literacy training, job assistance/placement, mental health services, clinical assessments, and substance abuse treatment.  These services are provided through community resources.

Since SFY 2012, the PAC program has helped 2,711 non-custodial parents provide much needed support to 4,780 of Georgia’s children.  The support provided to Georgia’s children, paid by program participants, is an estimated $2.8 million, which in return has saved the state nearly $10 million in incarceration costs (incarceration costs calculated only through SYF14).

 On May 26, 2016, Judge Kathy Schrader's Parental Accountability Court (shown above) held a graduation.

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