Photos from the 2015 State Charitable Contributions Program Kick Off Campaign DJJ Staff  at:  9/19/2014  

Photos from the 2015 State Charitable Contributions Program Kick Off Campaign

On September 19th, the Department of Juvenile Justice hosted the 2015 State Charitable Contributions Kick Off Campaign at its Central Office in Decatur, Georgia.

Commissioner Avery Niles and the DJJ SCCP Team led by Allyson Richardson, Toni Driskell, and Melody Stanfield set the fundraising bar high for this year's campaign with a request to raise more than $15,000 agency wide. A large and enthusiastic crowd was on hand as presenters from Our House/Genesis, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia gave information about their individual charities and why donating to the State Charitable Contributions Campaign is so important to the health and well being of people from across Georgia.

To learn more and donate to the 2015 Annual Campaign, please visit The State Charitable Contributions Campaign continues through October 31st and you can keep up with the Department of Juvenile Justice's fundraising goals on the News and Views page at

Thank you for your support as we all are Looking Forward, Giving Back in 2015!




     2014 CHAMPS Program at the Macon RYDC DJJ Staff  at:  9/19/2014  


(Story Support from Christina Pollard-Durr from the DeKalb RYDC)

In coordination with the Georgia Sheriffs' Association and the Bibb County Sheriff's Department, the Department of Juvenile Justice is proud to present the CHAMPS Program as part of its curriculum at the Macon Regional Youth Detention Center (Macon RYDC). CHAMPS, which stands for Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety, is an ongoing program to help educate youth and bring awareness on how to live a drug-free and healthy lifestyle. The CHAMPS Program is being overseen at DJJ by the Office of Volunteer, Victim, and Chaplaincy Services.

The mission of CHAMPS is to provide an educational program for Georgia's youth to give the guidance, skills, ability, and knowledge in preparation for a successful life. Among the topics discussed include bullying, gangs, peer pressure, and stress.

The CHAMPS Program will continue at the Macon RYDC through November 28th. To learn more about the Georgia Sheriffs Association, visit them on the web at




     Crisp RYDC: Art for Kids Ceremony DJJ Staff  at:  9/12/2014  

(Recently, Art for Kids, a classroom painting training course of the Emanuel Project, completed a five week session at the Crisp Regional Youth Detention Center (Crisp RYDC). Nora Carter was the lead instructor for this month's class and was so encouraged by the enthusiasm and talent of her students that she decided to go outside the box when it came to concluding the Crisp RYDC session. Below are her thoughts and impressions from the Art for Kids Crisp RYDC Closing Ceremony.)

After teaching a weekend art class for five weeks, I began to plan the concluding art show with the students. I had an idea that I proposed to them, but, secretly, I was unsure about their reactions. My plan was to complete a chalk art show to music. While all the youth said that they wanted to participate, I still had many doubts.

We brought a six foot easel covered with a black sheet to the facility for practice. Each of the students had a part in the drawing and they practiced their part to the music. One student also gave a short speech of introduction. Still, I had doubts. How would they perform? Would they remember their parts? This was a live performance.

One the day of the ceremony, I asked the students how their week had been. One of the students replied, “Just been waiting for this!” The counselor even told us that all of the students had been looking forward to today.

The speech was perfect, everyone remembered their part, and there were no major mishaps. This was a patriotic scene of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima. I had sewn a zipper into the sheet, and at the very end of the musical selection, we opened the zipper and a student pulled out an American flag! As I looked into the audience, one of the students in the audience who had come to watch the performance jumped up and gave a standing ovation. We seldom can be a predictor of student behavior, but we do know for sure that art is a great motivator. This in itself should be an encouragement to all of us who work with America's forgotten youth.

The Department of Juvenile Justice would like to thank Nora Carter and the entire Art for Kids/Emanuel Project Team for their hard work and dedication to bringing art instruction to the youth of Georgia.




     Jubal Brass Concert at the Waycross RYDC DJJ Staff  at:  9/11/2014  

On August 22nd, the Georgia Baptist Convention Music and Worship Ministries presented a mini-concert for the youth at the Waycross Regional Youth Detention Center (Waycross RYDC). Paul Aday, Minister of Music for the Georgia Baptist Convention, led the twenty-two member Jubal Brass orchestra for the famous Sons of Jubal chorus.

Sons of Jubal, the oldest group of its kind in the Southern Baptist Convention, is a male chorus for ministers of music who sing under the direction of Jon Duncan. Dr. Duncan is the Music & Worship Ministries Specialist for the Georgia Baptist Convention. The varied program of Sons of Jubal consists of hymns, spirituals and anthems.

The mini-concert was a special treat for the youth at the Waycross RYDC. Many in the audience had never seen a musical concert live and really enjoyed both the performance and the music.

Special thanks goes out to Waycross RYDC Administrative Operations Coordinator Beverly Harrell for working with Eddy Oliver and the SMRT Team to arrange logistics for the Jubal Brass concert performance.





     District 11 HITS: Projecting Success for Summer 2014 DJJ Staff  at:  9/5/2014  


Details from DJJ Special Correspondent and District Director Patricia Merritt

This summer, the Department of Juvenile Justice's District 11 Regional High Intensity Team Supervision (HITS) groups were busy with activities throughout Southeastern Georgia. Whether it was feeding those in need or providing support to the elderly, the District 11 HITS youth and staff made sure to give back to local Georgia communities.


On August 1st, the Chatham HITS youth participated in the Savannah Feed the Hungry Sixth Annual Summer Fest Program at Forsyth Park. Savannah Feed the Hungry is a local, community organization that serves homeless populations and the working poor to provide assistance with food, education, and after-school activities. The Chatham HITS youth helped by unloading supplies for the event and assisted organizers with the set-up of supplies in the park. Our HITS youth also received health screenings provided by Amerigroup and Peach Care.


Evans CSO/HITS Staff Casey Yarbrough, Michael Clark, and Vangela Carter, HITS youth

OOn July 17th and again on August 7th, the Evans County HITS/CSO Team had the opportunity to present homemade greeting cards to the residents of Reidsville and Glenview Nursing Homes in Tattnall County. The HITS youth met at the Evans County CSO as part of a Summer Service Learning Project to use their artistic abilities to make their own cards. The youth designed, colored and wrote encouraging personal messages and expressions of caring into each card for the residents. JPPSIII Michael Clark, JPPSI Vangela Carter, and JPPSII Casey Yarbrough transported the creative youth to the nursing home to deliver the cards.

The youth played games, shared smiles and laughter, and interacted with some residents during activity time at the home. Glenview Nursing Home Activities Coordinator Courtney Dutton explained the importance of the visit because some residents do not often have regular guests.

The Evans/Tattnall CSO and HITS staff look forward to more Service Learning opportunities with their community youth in the near future. A special thank you goes to Southeast Region Victim Advocate Cynthia Joyce for her photos of the visit.


Recently, the CSO/HITS staff in Ware County partnered with the congregation of Destination Church to distribute school supplies to students in the Ware/Pierce County area. Destination Church Vacation Bible School classes donated the supplies for DJJ youth and for needy youth in the community.

Ware County HITS used the distribution as a Service Learning Project opportunity for youth to help hand out local school supplies before the start of classes. Ware HITS youth learned the importance of being prepared for school and assisted with the back to school transition of others by offering supplies to those in need.




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