WSB-TV Gets Real: New Fulton probate judge plans to work on rehabilitation, accountability

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — There will soon be a new judge in town and she plans to implement new initiatives she says will help improve the community and keep people safe.

Kenya Johnson says it is an honor to be able to serve. Voters recently chose her as Fulton County’s next Probate Court Judge.

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Johnson’s boss in the Fulton County Solicitor General’s Office says she has done amazing work with her innovative initiatives that focus on improving lives.

But now she’s taking her talents to the bench. Johnson says many people have no idea what the probate court is for. “Is that where I pay my probation fees?” is a question she says she often gets.

Now she hopes to change that.

“We will make sure that probate court is everyone’s court and everyone knows about it,” she explained.

Johnson plans to have ambassadors in the community spreading the word about the importance of estate planning.

“I’ve heard hundreds of stories of people saying how they lost property because their family member didn’t have a will,” she pointed out.

Probate issues firearms licenses. There has been an uptick in people applying for them.

“The lines have been, around the country, have been very huge,” she said.

She wants to reduce those long lines and provide crime prevention programs to keep people safe while using those weapons.

Johnson is not afraid of change or shaking things up. She is currently the Chief Deputy in the Solicitor’s Office, but she was not afraid to show up at a march against police brutality. Johnson believes in equality for all.

“It is our duty to improve society,” she said.

Johnson has worked with Solicitor General Keith Gammage to implement programs that don’t just lock people up, but that help them up. Programs like Guns Down, Heads Up, for example, teach young people about the dangers of gun violence.

“We look for ways to rehabilitate and also get accountability,” she explained.

Johnson has also helped organize criminal record expungements fairs.

“It’s an honor to be able to give people second chances where appropriate,” she said.

Johnson says COVID-19 has caused an increase in domestic violence cases, so look out for an ad campaign that will let victims know how to get help.

“We want to get the word to the people. We can’t help them if they don’t know the resources exists,” she said.

Gammage says Johnson is an incredible asset.

“She brings not only a passion but a very high intellect and a commitment to the community,” he said.

Johnson says her passion comes from recognizing someone helped her get to where she is.

“It’s a blessing to be able to help someone else,” Johnson said.

She will be sworn in in January.