Atlanta—Donning their white polo shirts, khaki pants, and sharp navy blue blazers, the students in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office “Junior DA” program took their group photo with District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol, Thursday. The program is entering its 21st year, and it is the largest group on record with 65 middle school students from all over Fulton County and Metro Atlanta. For the first time in the history of the program, there are more male students than female students. The District Attorney’s Office is also pleased to be partnering with the Fulton County Personnel and Human Resources Department led by Chief Human Resources Officer Kenneth L. Hermon, Jr. Employees and leadership staff from the personnel and HR Department are helping the District Attorney’s office guide the students who are taking part in the “Junior DA program.”

Over the next four weeks, students will visit the Atlanta Police Department Training Facility, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Center, the Georgia Supreme Court, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab, Atlanta Police Department Headquarters, the Atlanta Police Department Mount Patrol Horse Stables, the CNN Center, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Fulton County Superior and Juvenile Courts, the Fulton County Jail, the Fulton County 911 Call Center, and Fulton County Government Television. They will also attend the 6th Annual Youth Legal and Law Enforcement Symposium at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. They will hear a special presentation on Youth and Gangs before a final field trip to Six Flags Over Georgia and “Junior DA Graduation” on July 30th where the students will be pinned with a special DA badge.

“Junior DA” is a crime prevention and education program designed to provide middle school students with an overview of the criminal justice system by allowing them to observe its actual operation. The program accepts middle school students from Atlanta and Fulton County public schools. The students meet twice weekly for four weeks and are exposed to various components of the criminal justice system. They also have a unique opportunity to meet and interact with government officials throughout Fulton County. The goal is to provide students with a basic understanding of the criminal justice system and to familiarize them with how it works. That is why District Attorney Howard continues to follow the same motto 21 years after he started this program,

“Because it’s difficult to be what you cannot see.”

 The students who are taking part in this program are asked to abide by the “Junior DA Creed.”

On my honor, I promise to respect the authority figures in my life including, but not limited to, my parents or guardian, my principal, my teachers and all law enforcement officers.

 I promise to respect my community, always striving to be a good neighbor and a positive force in my environment.

 I promise to respect my body, refraining from taking any substance that would be harmful including, but not limited to cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs.

 I promise to respect my mind, reading often and striving to learn something new every day.

 I promise to behave in a manner that shows respect and compassion for others, including but not limited to the elderly, the physically challenged, and those less fortunate.

 And above all, I promise to behave in a manner befitting a representative of the District Attorney’s Office and a future member of law enforcement in the United States of America.