Christopher Warren, an Albany attorney running for the position of Dougherty State Court judge, spoke on the subject of youth empowerment to the 100 Black Men of Albany. Warren, along with the organization, are co-sponsoring a youth empowerment summit set for Saturday.
ALBANY, Ga. -- A candidate for Dougherty County State Court judge on Monday addressed the 100 Black Men of Albany on what he considers to be a critical issue in the community -- youth empowerment.
Christopher Warren, an Albany attorney, is running to succeed outgoing Dougherty State Court Judge John Salter. He is up for the seat against Dougherty Magistrate Court Judge Victoria Darrisaw in the July 31 Democratic Party primary. There's no Republican candidates for the post.
The concept of youth empowerment is something Warren said he feels strongly about, having been raised as a disadvantaged youth himself.
"I opened my campaign way back in March with the ominous admonition that, 'We are in a state of emergency.' I was talking about that state of our young people in Dougherty County," he said in his address to the group at Phoebe Northwest on Monday. "Since that time, we have seen firsthand examples of that -- the incidences of violence around the Easter cookout, the interruption of the Fourth of July celebration, the fact that 21-25 black youth are arrested every week, the revelation from the school board that only 36 percent of black males graduate from high school.
"That means that out of every 10 black males, almost seven won't graduate."
In his remarks, Warren stated that pre-trial intervention programs and alternative sentencing programs could be utilized, but that such tools are only useful after someone has started down the road of criminality -- and that a position such as State Court judge could have influence on the overall solution.
"Because of the unique position of State Court handling low-level criminal offenses, we can address the issues of criminality amongst our young men before they become broken men and become saddled with the label of convicted felon," he said.
Warren is co-sponsoring, along with 100 Black Men of Albany, the first Parents for Change "4GIVEN" Youth Empowerment Summit set for Saturday at the ACAD Building on the campus of Albany State University.