Longview Judge Deals with Juvenile Offenders - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/23/03 - Longview

Longview Judge Deals with Juvenile Offenders

      A Longview judge is trying to make a difference in the lives of children who commit crimes. On any given Thursday in Longview judge Becky Simpson tries to deal out justice... To children. They're juvenile offenders charged with everything from burglary to auto theft... And it's up to Simpson to find a way to turn them around.

      "It's the most emotionally challenging day of my week because quite frankly it's quite sad to have a 12 year old child stand before you having admitted to committing an offense that would be a felony if they were adults" says Simpson. There kids sometimes with long rap sheets, 10..  11... and  12  years old.

     Simpson tries to find creative ways to get kids headed in the wrong direction to see the light, whether its foster care or a juvenile correction facility... And she says parenting may very well be the front line of defense. "I can not tell you how many times I've talked to parents and said what is wrong here , and the answer is always judge he's just hanging around the wrong group of kids" the judge says. Sadly many of the children reappear in her court over again, but she has made a difference... Parents often telling her she turned there child around.

    The hardest part may be making a child see into the future. "I try to make them see what their future is if they continue this conduct... If we don't change that path that person is not going to be a productive citizen in our community" said Simpson. For judge Simpson, she hopes her efforts will mean these children will not grow up to be adult offenders. Bob Hallmark reporting.

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