For the past six years Judge Veldore Young has served as one of two youth court judges in Lauderdale County.
"Unfortunately, we are still seeing a steady stream of young people come through the youth court."
So far this year, Meridian police have made 19 felony juvenile arrests and 125 juvenile misdemeanor arrests. This does not include the number of those cases that have been upgraded to adult offenses.
All juvenile cases in Lauderdale County are handled in the county's youth court.
"We have many repeat offenders," says Judge Young. "A lot of the delinquent offenses in this court are theft type incidences where they're: taking cars, money, phones or shoplifting."
Judge Young says the illegal use and possession of drugs is also a big problem.
"Our children are on pills. They're taking prescription pills. They're taking them from their parents and grandparents. They're selling these prescription medications to their friends. They're on marijuana, cocaine...everything."
Given her experience on the bench, Judge Young contends that the best thing to do to prevent some of these problems is to keep children busy.
'It's hard because a lot of people are saying that we're having babysitting services for children, but if that's what it takes, that's what we need to do! We have to redirect our attention to the adults. The adults are going to have to play an active role in helping these children help themselves."
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