Things You Shouldn’t Say While Running for Office: Lesson #125

July 16, 2014 9:30 am

by Jessica Szilagyi · 16 comments

Videos. Candidates should hate them. Especially if you’re running for Superior Court Judge in Cobb County and your name is Ann Harris. Apparently she told a crowded Acworth Business Association forum last week that “The effectiveness of the juvenile court system, sadly, can be reflected in a nickname we have for 17 year-old offenders in the DA’s office who go out with guns having already been through the juvenile system. We call them the ‘Future Felons of America.’” And then she sits down. I’ve never run for office before but I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to say that. Don’t we advocate for rehabilitation, serving your time and moving on with life after the juvenile justice system? It surely doesn’t reflect well on the Cobb District Attorney’s Office or Mrs. Harris as a candidate.

You can listen for yourself at the 24:50 minute mark, though the sass of the full 30 minutes is quite entertaining.

h/t to BartowPolitics for the video.

smvaughn July 16, 2014 at 10:01 am

“Don’t we advocate for rehabilitation, serving your time and moving on with life after the juvenile justice system?”

Didn’t she do that? By pointing out a nickname for these kids, which shows that the system is broken? It wasn’t the most thorough or clever statement to that effect, but I don’t really see the issue.

Harry July 16, 2014 at 10:59 am


Charlie July 16, 2014 at 11:00 am


Harry July 16, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Mistake…posted to wrong thread.

NoTeabagging July 16, 2014 at 12:58 pm

This may be out of date, but a few years ago it was noted Georgia budgeted more money for prisons than schools to prepare housing for the “Future Felons of America” which would graduate (or not) with third grade 3R skills and most likely enter a life of crime not workforce. I wish I could find more current figures to know if those budgets are still building more prison cells as opposed to funding education.

Charlie July 16, 2014 at 1:12 pm

There is no time in the last 50 years and likely well before/ever, that Georgia has spent more money on prisons than it has on schools. Not even close.

Lawton Sack July 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm

NoTB may be referring to a study done in 2011 where it was said $18,000 a year was being spent to house each inmate in a GA state prison, while it was estimated a 1/4 of that was being spent per student. The cumulative budget, as you are referring to, is not close.


LoyaltyIsMyHonor July 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I don’t have a problem with what she said. Although she could have articulated her point a lot more eloquently. As for rehabilitation — the recidivism rate in Georgia, whether from DJJ or DCOR, is pretty depressing.

MattMD July 16, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Maybe it is time to stop branding felons with a scarlet letter. From what I understand, most employers will overlook misdemeanors but felony convictions are often a non-starter.

sonofliberty July 16, 2014 at 2:58 pm

…….anyone who has worked in the Georgia juvenile justice system knows that what the candidate said is absolutely positively true…….

Choosy Mothers Choose Jiff July 16, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Me either. It is an indictment of the system. The majority of those incarcerated are for minor drug possession, typically cannabis.

Once this state joins the 21st century when it comes to the Cannabis Question™ many of these problems will go up in smoke.


Harry July 16, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Meanwhile be drug free.

The Comma Guy July 16, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Based on the recent changes/reforms, it is not going to get better. Child Molestation can only be punished by a maximum of 30 days in custody in juvenile court. What lessons are being taught to these young offenders if we’re not even doing things to correct their behaviors?

WeymanCWannamakerJr July 18, 2014 at 2:47 am

…O’er the Land Of The Free
As long as you behave.

Highest incarceration rate in the world and no one wants to admit that there may be a problem.

Charlie July 18, 2014 at 9:10 am

Governor Deal has had a criminal justice reform/sentencing reform measure pass and become law each of the last three years. How can you say “no one wants to admit there may be a problem”?

xdog July 18, 2014 at 10:49 am

While I take your point and commend Deal, he’s put an economic rather than a moral/ethical face on his reforms which to a lot of people is either not enough or misses the point. Of course, he’s constrained by his caucus.

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