Newsletter articles from Northeast Region Program Assistant Amy Cason and the Northeast Region Team
DISTRICT TWO NEWS
Clarke/Oconee JPM Jonathan McMichael recently attended the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Inter-Site Conference in Orlando, Florida. Joining staffs from the Council of Juvenile Court Judges, DJJ and the Juvenile Courts of Clarke, Clayton, Fulton, Glynn, Newton, and Rockdale Counties, McMichael was able to participate in quality JDAI training.
State agencies dedicated to assisting crime victims came together to observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week on April 4th. The Department of Juvenile Justice and Department of Family and Children Services teamed up at the Athens-Clarke County DFCS building to place pinwheels on the lawn to recognize victims of crimes. In attendance were Assistant Deputy Commissioner Victor Roberts, District Director Todd Bentley, JPPS III Anton Goldwire, Victim Advocate Loronda Giddens, DFCS Director Dawn Criss, Clarke County HITS Supervisor Mike Passmore, Probation Officer I Tiffany Moore, Probation Officer I Brandyn Richardson and intern Alex Hill. DFCS staff and youth from the Clarke County HITS unit also participated in the event.
Stephens CSO staff members JPM Neely and JPPS Huggins participated in the 2017 Rabun County High School Teen Maze on April 6. The Teen Maze is an opportunity for teens to make real-life choices by guiding themselves through staged experiences, seeing the results of their choices in a similuated future. Students navigate through scenarios that include the perils of underage drinking, driving under the influence, texting and driving, teen pregnancy, STDs, juvenile court and jail. Responsible options such as opening banking accounts and establishing budgets are also available to the students. The teens are able to walk through the experience of graduation and death, writing their own eulogy along the way. Multiple agencies were involved in Teen Maze including the Rabun County Community Partnership, Rabun County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, Fire Services, Rescue, Health Department, North Georgia Technical College, Students Against Drunk Driving, DJJ and various other agencies and volunteers.
DISTRICT FIVE NEWS
On April 1, several staff members of the Gwinnett CSO participated in the Color Run 5K Race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Staff who attended included Kurtia Humphrey, Jasmine Reed, Khadijah Muhammad, Mario Alvarez, Jalesa Dickerson and Timothy Hall.
Gwinnett CSO Program Assistant and Evangelist Patricia Grigsby held a Gospel Concert at Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church called “Hymn & I.” The purpose of the concert was to highlight the importance of hymns and how we should focus on bringing singing back into the church. The concert involved singing, dancing, preaching and teaching the purpose of hymns. Several prominent preachers and gospel singers participated in the concert and many Gwinnett CSO staff attended.
GEORGIA FOOD BANK FRENZY
On behalf of Chief Judge Lindsay Burton, Judge Alison Toller, Judge Joe Diaz and the Hall County Juvenile Court Staff, we would like to thank the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Hall County CSO for their support in helping us collect food for the Georgia Food Bank Food Frenzy. It was wonderful to see the Juvenile Court and the DJJ Hall CSO staff working together and supporting Hall County families that are in need. This was a wonderful way to not only give back to the community but strengthen our working partnership. We often find ourselves working with the same families while trying to locate community resources. This opportunity allowed us to pool our resources and work together to combat hunger in our community. All it took was one phone call to Todd Bentley, District Director and the Hall CSO staff joined in and assisted us with this effort. We collected a grand total of 7,892 pounds of food that will be distributed. Everyone did a GREAT job and there are many families that will benefit from all our hard work. Thank you Todd for all that you and your staff do in the Hall County Community on behalf of children and families. - Hall County Juvenile Court Administrator Annette Rainer
DISTRICT SEVEN NEWS
In April, the Effingham CSO staff participated in the Effingham County Teen Maze. Tenth graders from area high schools were given the opportunity to go through the real-life scenarios of the Teen Maze. JPM Powell functioned as the Probation Department for the youth whose “lives” unfortunately led them through the court process. The maze included a car crash with a helicopter fly-in, a huge party and an emergency room. Many of the participating youth were able to go through “life” without any of those experiences, graduate and, ultimately, find a good job.
Effingham CSO’s Program Assistant Melisa Bragg presented the Community Services Workshop (CSW) for youth on April 19th. Each quarter, the Effingham CSO holds a new CSW to introduce newly probated youth to the community services opportunities within the county. The most recent CSW kicked off the “Beat the Heat” Fan Drive where youth were able to bring in new 20” fans that will be delivered to the elderly with the assistance of the local DFCS.
Tiffany Robinson from the Office of Victim Services and Trenda Moore, JPPS II from Screven CSO, hosted a Victims’ Empathy Workshop for youths in Screven County. During the workshop, the youths learned about victims’ rights and advocacy. They also heard Moore’s personal account of spending time in DJJ facilities and how it impacted her future. The group also helped to recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Week by making pinwheels in recognition of child abuse victims. The pinwheels were placed on the library lawn.
McDuffie CSO JPPS II Shauntisha Williams-Powell attended the Youth Challenge Academy Family and Friends Day on April 22nd with local youth.
On April 18th, Screven/Jenkins CSO, along with the Bulloch HITS team participated in the Jenkins County Career Fair for youth in grades 9 - 12. The event was also attended by DD Bryson and OSM Pope.
The McDuffie CSO enjoyed a visit from Commissioner Avery Niles and Deputy Commissioners Catina Martin-Fenner and Shawanda Reynolds-Cobb on April 12th.
McDuffie also enjoyed a Team Building Day on April 27th.
On April 28th, Loronda Giddens, Victim Advocate with the DJJ Office of Victim Services, held a Service Learning Project at the Richmond CSO located at 971 Broad Street in Augusta. This event was to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month by placing pinwheels in front of the Richmond CSO building.