Restitution is a term used to describe the act of compensating for loss, damage, or injury. Restitution can be for economic loss to a specific victim or "symbolic" to pay a social debt. Juvenile Courts are expressly directed to consider the strong policy of this State in favor of restitution but are not required to place the goal of restitution by juveniles above the goal of rehabilitation or treatment of delinquency or unruly juveniles. It is the policy of the State of Georgia to recognize the goal of restitution is consistent with the goal of rehabilitation.
Juvenile Courts are expressly authorized to order restitution as a condition of limitation of probation and can retain jurisdiction over a juvenile subject to a restitution order for a reasonable period after the juvenile reaches the age of majority.
As an alternative, the Juvenile Courts are authorized to transfer to the Superior Courts jurisdiction over enforcement of restitution orders against juveniles who, since entry of the order, have attained the age of majority.
Victims also may have the right to redress by pursuing civil action against the child's parents.
The Forsyth County Juvenile Court orders restitution in almost all cases of loss, damage or injury. Juveniles ordered to repay economic loss can obtain employment of their choice or may also be referred to a local non-profit agency to work as a volunteer. If the juvenile chooses to work as a volunteer, the juvenile will be paid at minimum wage per hour, which, in turn, must be turned over to the Clerk of Court. These funds will then be paid to the victim.
Juveniles ordered to pay "symbolic" restitution are placed on a weekend work program and will work under supervision.
Any County funds paid are reimbursed to the County by the Council of Juvenile Court Judges.