DeKalb Co. Parents Graduate from Parental Accountability Court

March 3, 2017

DECATUR – Fourteen parents graduated from the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit’s Parental Accountability Court (PAC) on Thursday. The graduates were joined by family members, court employees and leaders from the Department of Human Services in a ceremony at the DeKalb County Courthouse in downtown Decatur.

PACs offer an alternative to incarceration and help chronic non-payers of child support make regular payments. The program uses community resources and judicial oversight to address barriers that keep parents from meeting their child support obligations. Each program, including the services provided to participants, is tailored to the needs of the local community. There are currently 31 such courts located throughout the state of Georgia.

For Byron Moss, Thursday’s ceremony marked the completion of one of his goals. He has been a part of PAC since last year and now works two jobs and sees his 5-year-old son daily. He credits DeKalb PAC coordinator Barbara Pickering with helping him to stay on track.

“She’s always checking on me and making sure I’m doing the right thing. It’s motivated me to be a better person,” he said of PAC.” Moss says he has always been a part of his son’s life but he fell behind on his court-ordered child support payments while attending school.

DeKalb’s Parental Accountability Court has three judges: Judge Gail C. Flake, Judge Gregory Adams and Judge Mark Anthony Scott.

“The babies didn’t ask to be here and they need to pay their child support,” said Judge Mark Anthony Scott. “These participants want to be successful and we give them the environment to be successful. We’re not mean to them for the sake of being mean.”

Judge Flake gave remarks at the ceremony, as did Department of Human Services Deputy Commissioner Renorta Heard, who praised the outcomes achieved in Parental Accountability Courts statewide.