Cobb Solicitor General launches youth pretrial diversion program

A gold set of the scales of justice

Cobb County Solicitor General Makia Metzger launched a pretrial diversion program targeting youth and young adults who face non-violent misdemeanor charges. The program began operation last month.

“Studies show that 17–to-25-year-olds’ frontal lobes aren’t fully formed as this part of the brain is still developing, a factor that leads to poor decisions, a lack of discernment, good judgment, and impulse control,” Solicitor General Makia Metzger said in the news release on the county website. When young people commit nonviolent offenses, they aren’t thinking that the impulsive decisions they make today will adversely affect them tomorrow.”

“I wanted to be creative with their cases because, with limited resources and traditional approaches to prosecution, I didn’t feel like we were serving our community in a way that reduces recidivism and stops crime,” she said. “I will fight for domestic violence victims even when they have been beaten down and feel they can’t fight for themselves.” We will try cases to ensure victims’ voices are heard, and those who wish to hurt others understand that our community will not accept violence.

According to the news release:

Ms. Metzger serves as a strong victim rights advocate and supporter of mental health programs, and she is working hard to institute a more hands on approach to those suffering with mental health disorders so that they too can lead healthy productive lives in Cobb County.

Metzger was the first African American and female Solicitor General for Cobb County in its history.

Cobb County has a number of diversionary programs and specialized treatment courts that serve as an alternative to incarceration for offenders whose cases are best handled through support and counseling rather than punitive measures.

Those include the DUI Court, the Veterans Accountability & Treatment Court, the Mental Health Court, and the Drug Treatment Court, all administered by Cobb Superior Court, and the Cobb Magistrate Court’s Housing Stability Court, set up to support people in danger of eviction.