It was standing room only as family members and defenders attended juvenile court Thursday in Gadsden County, a familiar scene that's played out quite often in the rural community.
Sheriff Morris Young of the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office says, "We've got juveniles here committing major crimes and they're on their way to DOC, and we have to cut that off somehow, some way…”
More than 60 juveniles came before the judge to face misdemeanor and felony charges. Because they're minors, we could not show their faces or shoot inside the courtroom.
But outside, some 25 members of the clergy were on hand to see the problem firsthand. The goal is find a solution to this ongoing epidemic.
Pastor Larryissac F. Scott of First Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church says, "It's going to take some people getting out in the community, all of us. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we're going to need to get back to that, especially now."
Pastor William Maxwell of Havana says, "I think the fathers need to be there and the churches need to get together and do something about kids on the streets and what we need to do is pay more attention to our young folks."
They are young folks who could eventually end up in jail as adults, a sobering reality that could be repeated for generations to come if the community does not find a solution.