A new sentencing option for Panola County Youth Court was discussed during the meeting of the Board of Supervisors Monday morning.
Youth Court Judge Adam Pittman told the board that he and supervisor James Birge had discussed using juvenile offenders as workers on county crews.
"I am limited on what I can do with someone who comes to Youth Court," Pittman said.
Pittman said his sentencing options at the present time are training school, probation or the COPES program.
"Basically what Mr. Birge and I discussed was getting some sweat equity out of the juveniles that come through the Youth Court system," he said.
Pittman said one of the biggest concerns about the possible implementation of such a program was whether or not it would be cost-effective for the county.
"We would have to have people out there watching the kids who are on the road crews to make sure they don’t run off into the woods or something," he said. "We are going to have to do something to make sure they don’t go out there and act like kids."
Pittman also said he did not know if such a program would create liability issues for the county.
Board Attorney William McKenzie explained that the county has guidelines in place for the adult inmates used on work crews.
"I am not sure if there is a statute that would allow us to do this with juveniles," he said.
"The biggest concern with the juveniles is that one of them might get injured," he said.
Pittman suggested both he and McKenzie look at state statutes to see what the liability issues would be for the county.
Supervisor Robert Avant suggested that the board look at similar programs in Lauderdale, Pike and Tunica Counties.
"I have the information on the one in Tunica County and I think we need to look at this a little closer before we act on it," Avant said.
The matter was taken under advisement.