DJJ Central Office Employee of the Month: Tricia Phillips-Williams DJJ Staff  at:  7/1/2015  

Congratulations to Tricia Phillips-Williams -- Selected Central Office Employee of the Month for July 2015!

For the month of July, the nomination committee would like to recognize Ms. Tricia Phillips-Williams.

Ms. Tricia Phillips-Williams began her employment with the Department of Juvenile Justice in 2008 and has been with the Office of Federal Programs for over a year. Since joining the Office of Federal Programs, Ms. Phillips-Williams has assisted with the implementation of the new Georgia Families 360° Medicaid Program for DFCS youth, youth receiving adoption assistance and youth committed to DJJ in residential placement. Ms. Phillips-Williams has been an instrumental member of the team to ensure all DJJ youth, statewide, are successfully transitioned to the new Georgia Families 360° Program when they are placed in residential programs. By doing so, the DJJ process for enrollment into Georgia Families 360° is very efficient and has decreased the additional burden that would have otherwise been placed on Community Staff.

As with any new program, especially one implemented statewide for 24,000 DFCS and DJJ youth and required coordination between five other state agencies, there have been glitches. However, Ms. Phillips-Williams has always been willing and able to troubleshoot and research any issue or trend involving DJJ youth to ensure they have the correct Medicaid coverage and thereby ensuring continuity of care. Ms. Phillips-Williams also coordinated and led the statewide trainings for this new program, and successfully trained the identified Community Staff in a timely and comprehensive manner. Outside of Georgia Families 360°, Ms. Phillips-Williams also takes the time to assist stakeholders with other Medicaid and PRTF issues; always going above and beyond to identify, research and resolve issues to ensure DJJ youth can access the health care services they need. This involves effectively communicating with and coordinating efforts between DJJ staff, medical providers, placement providers, state agency partners, and insurance providers, which is often no small feat.

Ms. Phillips-Williams has also been instrumental in other new initiatives implemented by the OFP over the past year. For example, she led the implementation of the COMPASS (Common Point of Access to Social Services) partnership, which began as a result of the Re-Entry Task Force. This partnership allows DJJ staff to assist youth and their families in applying for benefits once youth re-enter the community from YDC. Ms. Phillips-Williams coordinated the statewide training for the COMPASS individual users and also leads the quality assurance efforts to ensure DJJ is complying with our agreement with DFCS and all applicable federal regulations.

Ms. Phillips-Williams also takes on new tasks with enthusiasm and dedication, such as her continued involvement with the Re-Entry Task Force subcommittee meetings as the Office of Federal Programs representative providing subject matter expertise as questions arise concerning Medicaid, SSI, and COMPASS. Lastly, Ms. Phillips-Williams continues to be instrumental in new initiatives still in process, such as projects with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Ms. Phillips-Williams continuously performs over and beyond by researching all applicable federal laws, regulations, and SSA guidelines and has consequently become a knowledgeable subject matter expert on SSA benefit programs.

Through her work quality, ethic and efforts, Ms. Phillips-Williams exemplifies the spirit of “One Team, One Mission.” She is truly an asset to the Office of Federal Programs, the Division of Finance and the Department as a whole.



The Employee of the Month Committee

DJJ’s Employee of the Month Recognition Program
– How Nominees Are Selected

Beginning January 2015, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice kicks-off its first “Employee of the Month” program for Central Office employees. Names of nominees are selected by the DJJ Executive Team from members of their units or divisions and submitted to be recognized as the Central Office Employee of the Month. Included with the nomination is a one page write-up detailing why the staff member should be given consideration to be selected Employee of the Month.

Then each month, the Nomination Committee makes their selection for the employee to receive public appreciation the following month. The written nomination is reviewed and signed by Commissioner Avery D. Niles and posted for public recognition on the DJJ “News & Views” website. Each nominee selected by the committee will be recognized at a monthly DJJ Board Meeting and entitled to use the Employee of the Month parking space reserved at Central Office.

The DJJ Central Office Employee of the Month award is intended to recognize and support those stand-out DJJ team members who bring additional motivation, determination and vigor to the workplace through their personal ethics, advocacy, positive attitudes and innovative solutions to impact the professional challenges faced by their dedicated colleagues and the troubled youth they serve.





     Savannah RYDC: Father's Day 2015 DJJ Staff  at:  6/30/2015  


Story support from Katina Daniels

On June 19th, the Savannah Regional Youth Detention Center (Savannah RYDC) Advisory Council held their Third Annual Father's Day Banquet at the facility. Featuring the theme, "You Are A Chosen Generation", the banquet featured forty youth from the Savannah RYDC and over a hundred guests from the community. Guest speakers included the Reverend Matthew M. Odum, Sr., Senior Pastor of the Temple of Glory Community Church and Pastor Joyce Coleman Hall, Senior Pastor of the Living Hope Community Church of Savannah. Entertainment was provided by the Senior Sign and Praise Ministry including a gospel inspirational and poetry. Delicious catering was provided by Creative Parties by Shauna.


The Savannah Father's Day Banquet was a great way for the youth of the Savannah RYDC to experience family support and community appreciation for their long-term future. Special thanks to the Advisory Council at the Savannah RYDC including:

Savannah RYDC Assistant Director Janice Whipple
Advisory Council President Roeshone Scott
Advisory Council Vice- President Kevin Foard
Advisory Council Treasurer Gloria Williams
Evalena Hoskins
Megan McDonough
Sarah Yancey
Dr. Ellis Duncan
Keotta Taylor
Thomas Hall

Additional thanks goes out to all of the sponsors of the Third Annual Father's Day Banquet:

The PC Connection, Inc.
Mt. Moriah Masonic Lodge #15-PHA
BETA Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha
The Soul Survivors
Acme Costume
International Longshoreman Association #1414
Garden City Lions Club
Senior Sign and Praise Ministry
Savannah Civic Center
Sigma Graphics
D.J. Ace
The Mutaellettes

...and the entire staff at the Savannah Regional Youth Detention Center.








(DECATUR, GA) – The Georgia Preparatory Academy at the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) will hold Title I-A district-wide workshops in the month of July to inform DJJ parents about the importance of parental involvement. All parents of students attending any school within the Juvenile Justice School System are invited to attend. The July workshop schedule is as follows:

Crisp Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC): Saturday, July 18 at 10:00 am

Metro Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC): Tuesday, July 21 at 10:00 am

The Georgia Department of Juvenile knows that parents are a student’s first teacher. Parents, schools, families, and communities working together, however, can create meaningful partnerships that ultimately lead to significant gains across the board in student achievement. The goal of the parental involvement workshop is to increase student achievement by engaging and empowering parents, and other stakeholders, to become actively involved across all grade levels.

For more information contact the Title I-A Office of the Department of Juvenile Justice at 404-272-6008.

Title I-Parental Involvement Coordinators
Yvette Davis, North Region
Gail T. Smith, South Region



(DECATUR, GA) – La Academia Preparatoria de Georgia en el Departamento de justicia juvenil (DJJ) realizará talleres de Título I-A en todo el distrito en el mes de julio para informar a los padres de DJJ acerca de la importancia de la participación de los padres. Todos los padres de estudiantes de cualquier escuela dentro del sistema de la escuela juvenil de Justicia están invitados a participar. El horario del taller del julio es el siguiente:

Crisp Centro regional de detención (RYDC): el sábado, 18 de julio a las 10:00 am

Metro Centro regional de detención (RYDC): el martes, 21 de julio a las 10:00 am

El Departamento de Justicia Juvenil de Georgia sabe que los padres son el primer maestro de un estudiante. Los padres, escuelas, familias y comunidades que trabajan juntos, sin embargo, pueden crear asociaciones significativas que en última instancia conducen a aumentos significativos en todos los ámbitos de logro del estudiante. El objetivo del taller de participación de los padres es aumentar el rendimiento de los estudiantes involucrando y capacitando a los padres, y otras partes interesadas, a participar activamente en todos los niveles.

Para obtener más información, póngase en contacto con la oficina del Título I-A del Departamento de Justicia Juvenil al 404-508-6590.

Coordinadores de participación de los padres Título I-A
Yvette Davis, región norte
Gail T. Smith, región sur




     Girl Scouts Troop #965: Dress for Success DJJ Staff  at:  6/25/2015  


Story support from Lisa Kenn and Loronda Giddens

During May and June, recent sessions of Girl Scouts Troop #965 at Metro RYDC have focused on the theme of “Planning Your Future Career” with an eye towards long term professional goal development. Led by Ms. Andre’ Cheek of the Division of Education and Reentry Services and Troop Leaders Sara Gardener and Loronda C. Giddens, the Scouts of Troop #965 specifically expanded upon this goal development with a unique and helpful session named "Dress for Success on a Budget" inspired by the Dress for Success Organization. Through "Dress for Success", the Metro RYDC Troops learned valuable lessons about how to present themselves professionally, the importance of said professional presentation, and how to dress in business attire while on a budget.

Dress for Success is a global not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to more than 140 cities in 19 countries and has helped more than 850,000 women work towards self-sufficiency.

Also, as part of the Dress for Success sessions, the Scouts spent time writing down I AM statements describing who they are as individuals and how their personalities relate to their possible future careers and career choices. The I AM statements are a positive affirmation exercise allowing the girls to express their dreams and feelings in a Judgment-Free Zone.

Some of the I AM statements expressed were:








My Own Person

A Success Story in the Making.

During her time speaking to the Scouts, Ms. Cheek asked the girls to think about their current hobbies and how it will be possible for the girls to connect these hobbies to an entrepreneurial interest or future career field. As part of a group discussion, the Scouts talked about their futures in career fields such as nursing, military attorney, psychologist, pediatrician, youth counselor, and teacher. Ms. Cheek encouraged the girls to never give up on their goals even when life presents challenges.

Rewarding the Scouts successful participation in the Dress for Success session, Ms. Cheek gifted each girl with a pair of pearl earrings to be placed in their personal items inventory for future use after leaving the facility. Appreciative of such a thoughtful gift, the girls also were happy to participate in such an inspiring exercise.

For more information about the Dress for Success organization go to







Story support from Special Operations Director Amy Fortner

Recently, the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPO Foundation) held their annual National Memorial Ceremony in Jacksonville, Florida as part of its Project 2000 XXVI honoring fallen corrections officers and personnel for the previous year. Marching with Honor Guard teams from throughout the United States including the famous New York Department of Correction Pipe Band, the Department of Juvenile Justice SMRT Team Honor Guard was a proud participant in this year’s moving tribute to fallen colleagues who gave the ultimate sacrifice in serving the citizens of our country.

The Correctional Peace Officers (CPO) Foundation is a national, non-profit charitable organization created in 1984. Its primary function is to preserve and support the surviving families of Correctional Officers who lose their lives in pursuit of their chosen profession of protecting the public from those remanded to correctional custody and supervision in the nation’s prisons and jails.

The Department of Juvenile Justice would like to thank Commander Jesse Dewberry, Paul Wilson, Jesse Floyd, and Tamarrow Holmes for representing DJJ as the SMRT Team Honor Guard. Their participation represents the professionalism shown by the SMRT Team and all DJJ employees each and every day.

To learn more about the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation, click on .




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