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Augusta District Attorney Promotes Youth Programs Over Prisons in Shooting Reaction Video

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Augusta District Attorney Jared Williams took the unusual step Friday of releasing a video statement in reaction to recent violence in the schools and in the streets.

In the five-minute video, Williams also said the parents of the juvenile suspect in Wednesday’s shooting at T.W. Josey High School are both likely incarcerated.

The district attorney said reacting to crime is not enough and pushed for more funding for children to keep them out of prisons. He said the Josey shooting hit home for him since his grandmother lived nearby and he attended church near the school.

“I hate that kids are suffering, that they are distracted, that they are scared – all from the actions of a few,” he said.

YouTube video

Reacting to crime is not and never has been enough, Williams said. The community needs to find solutions to help children.

Williams also said the Josey shooter is likely the child of incarcerated parents.

“Why is it that we never take the time to ask what is going on in a kids’ home life until he has already done something to get your attention?” Williams asked. “Why do we invest so much in our prison system and so little into programs that will help our kids, including kids of incarcerated parents so that they don’t end up locked up right there with them?”

He continues, “When we are we going to wake up and realize that what we fail to invest in our children today is what we will have to invest in our prisons tomorrow?”

Williams said he is in this fight for the long haul.

“We aren’t just fighting crime, we are not just fighting for our safety,” he said. “We are fighting for the very soul of our community.”

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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