Jeff Davis Court Services Office: Victims' Rights Week DJJ Staff  at:  4/21/2014  

JEFF DAVIS COURT SERVICES OFFICE: VICTIMS' RIGHTS WEEK



Story details from JPM Kelly Spell


For youth on probation in Jeff Davis, learning about the experiences of of victims is a way to gain empathy for others and appreciate the true negative aspects of crime; with any crime, there is usually a perpetrator and a victim and both are impacted dramatically by the nature of the offense. On Friday, April 11th, the Jeff Davis Court Services Office held a gathering for youth on probation commemorating the 2014 Victims' Rights Week



Led by JPPS III Greg Lovett and JPPS II Bennie Boutwell, the Jeff Davis youth engaged in a group conversation on why it is important to recognize victims and their families. The discussion was kickstarted after a video, "30 Years of Restorative Justice", was shown summarizing the nature of crime and victims in their community and how Balance and Restorative Justice can be used to bring healing to victims. Following the video and discussion, the youth were divided into groups where they made victim-related posters.



Crime Victims' Rights Week is an annual commemoration in the United States that promotes victims' rights and services. The week is marked by an award ceremony held in Washington, D.C., in which individuals and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims and victim services are recognized. To learn more about NCVRW in Georgia, click on http://www.djjnewsandviews.org/2014ncvrw/.



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     Positive Behavior Intervention and Support: Eastman YDC Basketball Tournament DJJ Staff  at:  4/21/2014  

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support: Eastman YDC Basketball Tournament



The Eastman Youth Development Center held a youth basketball tournament on April 8th as part of PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) programming. While the competition was intense, all youth and staff were engaged and enthusiastic. The Department of Juvenile Justice Security Management and Response Team (SMRT) were at Eastman to lend a hand during the tournament.


Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) is a systemic approach to proactive, school-wide behavior based on a Response to Intervention (RtI) model. PBIS applies evidence-based programs, practices and strategies for all students to increase academic performance, improve safety, decrease problem behavior, and establish a positive school culture. Schools implementing PBIS build on existing strengths, complementing and organizing current programming and strategies. The PBIS model has been successfully implemented in thousands of schools in over 40 states, resulting in dramatic reductions in disciplinary interventions and increases in academic achievement.


First and Second place trophies were awarded to the top teams. Pictures from the tournanment can be seen below.










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     DJJ CARES: Evans County Special Olympics DJJ Staff  at:  4/21/2014  

DJJ CARES: Evans County Special Olympics



Story background by Juvenile Program Manager Tim Strickland


Through the power of sports, Special Olympics helps people with intellectual disabilities feel welcome in their communities and develop a profound belief in themselves. The Department of Juvenile Justice is a proud supporter of the Special Olympics in Georgia and the fantastic work that they do to encourgage youth in our communities. Recently, the Evans County Court Services Office ran with the DJJ Special Olympics "torch" by participating in the Evans County Special Olympics competition day on April 11th.




The Evans County Court Services Office staff and the youth under supervision of this office participated in helping set up the event and helping to pack everything up after the event was completed. The Evans CSO team also helped to warm up the Special Olympics athletes with a round of jumping jacks and stretches. JPM Tim Strickland of Evans County served as the Mascot for this year's competition.




With over thirty athletes participating and a large contingent of volunteers from the community, this year's Evans County Special Olympics Day was a huge success and is a nice springboard for the rest of the Special Olympics activities that the Department of Juvenile Justice will participate during this Spring, including this year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run. From now until the end of the Torch Run in Atlanta on May 30th, DJJ will be selling t-shirts and hats and collecting donations for each of the legs of the run throughout Georgia at http://fundraising.specialolympicsga.org/2014/DJJ/.


To learn more about the Special Olympics in Georgia, visit http://www.specialolympicsga.org/.


 



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     Governor Signs Third Leg of Criminal Justice Reform DJJ Staff  at:  4/15/2014  

Governor Signs Third Leg of Criminal Justice Reform



News release from the Office of Governor Nathan Deal


At Antioch Baptist Church in Gainesville on Sunday, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law Senate Bill 365, legislation that will help rehabilitated offenders successfully re-enter society by removing barriers to employment, housing and education. DJJ Commissioner Avery Niles was proud and honored to be present at Governor Deal's signing of this momentous law with his friends and neighbors at his hometown church.



“Building on the success of the landmark criminal justice reforms passed in the 2012 and 2013 sessions, the General Assembly and the Criminal Justice Reform Council worked with me to revolutionize Georgia’s criminal justice standards and strengthen our state’s economy,” Deal said. “The incentives and re-entry programs included in this legislation are cost-effective strategies that will increase the number of former offenders returning to the workforce and supporting their families.”



The new law requires the Board of Corrections to create and implement a program and treatment completion certificate to assist adult offenders with re-entry into society upon release from prison. In order to earn the certificate, the offender must complete any required treatment plan and vocational training while in prison and comply with any re-entry plan while on probation or parole. This bill states that employers demonstrate due care when hiring ex-offenders that earn this certificate, providing them a certain level of immunity from negligent hiring liability that often drives hiring decisions.



This legislation also provides judges with the discretion to deviate from the automatic license suspension for minor drug offenses. This discretion is only available when the drug offense was not directly related to the operation of the motor vehicle and is contingent upon the offender’s completion of any and all treatment programs.



“It is counterproductive to devote the state’s resources to rehabilitating nonviolent offenders and then deny them the ability to independently travel to their place of work,” Deal said. “This legislation strikes the proper balance between opportunity and accountability. Along with the previous two phases of my criminal justice reform, this law will pay dividends to taxpayers and improve the quality of life for all Georgians.”





 



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     National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Appling CSO DJJ Staff  at:  4/11/2014  

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week: Appling County Court Services Office



(L to R) Ryan Ledbetter, JPPS II, Allie Morris, DJJ Intern and Emily Hardwick, Victim Advocate from the District Attorney’s Office, Brunswick Judicial Circuit


Story background by Juvenile Program Manager Kelly Spell


Throughout this year’s thirtieth annual National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Department of Juvenile Justice would like to highlight some of the great work being done on behalf of victims across the state of Georgia. For the employees of the Appling County Court Services Office, protecting the rights of victims is a year-round passion for the staff.



Appling Victims' Memorial



Partnering with the Appling County District Attorney’s office among others, the Appling CSO helped create the Victim’s Memorial built from private funds. As part of the Victim’s Memorial is the Victim Memorial Walk, a brick walkway that has on each brick the names and dates of passing of local area victims. 



Bookmarks created by the Appling CSO and District Attorney's Office volunteers

This year, the Appling CSO team designed and created memorial keepsake bookmarks for those attending the Victims’ Rights Memorial Ceremony on April 9th. Using materials provided by the Appling District Attorney’s Office, JPPS II Ryan Ledbetter, DJJ Intern Allie Morris, District Attorney’s Office Victim Advocate Emily Hardwick, JPM Kelly Spell, and her daughter Kendall Faith Spell made more than two hundred bookmarks for the ceremony.



Program from this year's Victims' Rights Memorial Ceremony


DJJ is proud of the efforts of its entire staff in supporting the work of Victims’ Rights organizations and victims around all of Georgia. To learn more about this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, visit http://www.djjnewsandviews.org/2014ncvrw/ 


 



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