The Office of the Attorney General is dedicated to improving the lives of Mississippi's youth. The Youth Services Program is committed to ensuring the safety and well being of each child. Prevention efforts continue to reduce juvenile delinquency, truancy, exploitation and child abuse through the creation and promotion of after school programs, mentoring initiatives and training seminars. This office has partnered with many state agencies, as well as, non profit organizations to expand the services available to children in need.
The Office of the Attorney General is involved in the following programs:
- Champions for Children
- Champions for Children, formerly known as the Mississippi Mentoring Network, is a non profit organization that awards competitive scholarships to high school seniors.
- Youth Patrols
- Youth Patrols are student organizations empowered to assist school administrators in preventing and reporting crime on school campuses. Youth Patrols are supervised by designated faculty. Students patrol the schools in pairs and report potential problems or trespassers via two-way radios; however, students do not intervene. Participating schools receive two-way radios, identifying arm bands, training manuals and posters. This is a collaborative effort between the Office of the Attorney General, Mississippi Crime Stoppers, and the Mississippi Department of Education. For more information you may contact our office at 601-359-4207
- Do the Write Thing
- The Office of the Attorney General works with the Mississippi Department of Education, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and public schools throughout the state in sponsoring an essay contest for seventh and eighth graders. The state winners are accompanied by their teachers to Washington, D.C. where they present their essays on preventing youth violence to their Mississippi congressmen and the Librarian of Congress. The students also have an opportunity to meet with Department of Justice officials to discuss their perspectives on preventing violence.
- Teen Court
- Teen Court is a juvenile diversion program available for certain offenders who have waived all right of confidentiality and privilege against self-incrimination. This is a preventive program for juveniles who are not less than thirteen nor more than seventeen years of age. Students serve as prosecutor, defense counsel, bailiff, court clerk and jurors. The program is to administer the "sentencing" or disposition phase of the proceedings against offenders who elect to participate and who are eligible. The program is under the guidance of the local youth court and must be approved by the local youth court. The youth court judge, or his designee who is a licensed attorney, presides. Any school participating in the Teen Court Program is allowed to credit the time of teachers and students spent in participating in teen court as instructional time. For more information, please visit the YouthCourt Website or contact our office at 601-359-4243.
- Juvenile Drug Court
- Through a grant from the Office of the Attorney General, the first juvenile drug court was established in Natchez, Mississippi. The program works in conjunction with the Adolescent Offender Program and provides needed treatment for those young people with substance and alcohol abuse problems who are in the juvenile justice system.
A representative from the Crime Prevention and Victims Services Division participates on the Mississippi State Drug Court Advisory Committee, established by the Mississippi Legislature. The Committee makes recommendations to the Chief Justice and the Director of the Administrative Office of Courts concerning improvement in drug court policies and procedures. For more information, you may contact our office at 601-359-4207 or visit the Official State of Mississippi Judiciary website.