Gadsden Sheriff Starting Programs for Children

"I visited the last juvenile court, and we had 90 cases up there. The courtroom was full of juveniles."

Sheriff Morris Young says he's tired of a trend he's seen firsthand: many children having a criminal record by the time they graduate high school. He says many times it's a case of petty gang violence.

Morris says, "Neighborhood against neighborhood, and you get into that a lot of times, that's how they build up a criminal record, and by the time they finish school they actually have a criminal record, and it's hard to get a job."

Ranston Chandler is a 5th grade teacher with Stewart Street Elementary. He says too many children imitate what they see on television.

Ranston says, "You have to realize what's on television is to make money, and that's not normal. Those things they are doing, they don't live that type of lifestyle, but that is what makes money."

Sheriff Young, a former School Resource Officer, says before this summer a number of new programs will be launched aimed at teaching kids about law enforcement, teaching them about strangers and how to call 9-1-1.

Morris adds, "A lot of kids aren't getting enough family time and these kids will branch off into little gangs, and they feel loved by each other."

Young hopes the new programs will let the children of Gadsden County realize the future belongs to them.