DJJ Commissioner Announces Porter Appointed New Board Member DJJ Staff  at:  5/17/2012  

(ATLANTA - GA) The Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is pleased to
announce the appointment of a newly named DJJ Board member by Governor Nathan Deal.

Commissioner L. Gale Buckner will confirm the appointment of veteran Georgia prosecutor Danny Porter,
during the next regular DJJ Board meeting. “We are proud and honored Gwinnett County District
Attorney Danny Porter will partner with us in our mission to move this agency closer to its goals,” said
Commissioner Buckner.

Danny Porter’s distinguished courtroom career spans nearly thirty years. His role in Gwinnett County
criminal prosecutions began immediately after graduation from the University of Georgia School of Law.
Starting as a Trial Assistant with the District Attorney's Office in September 1981, only three years later
he was promoted to Senior Assistant District Attorney.

While supervising trial attorneys as head of the Trial Division of the D.A.’s office, Porter took on additional
duties as Drug Prosecutor and began organizing Gwinnett County’s special drug prosecution unit. He
was elected District Attorney in November 1992. Now, after nearly twenty years as D-A, reporters and
supporters say Danny Porter still maintains his professional philosophy as a hands-on prosecutor, still
shows up at local crime scenes, and still trains new recruits at the county police academy.

He’s known in the courtroom for his high-profile prosecutions, from drug possession and capital murder to
white-collar crime. And even though some of his cases have attracted national coverage on Court TV,
D.A. Porter has continued to concentrate on local services for crime victims by expanding services like
Gwinnett County’s Victim-Witness Program.

D.A. Danny Porter will represent the DJJ Board’s 7th Congressional District, taking the seat recently
vacated by former Board Member Bruce Garraway from Grayson. Commissioner Buckner expressed the
agency’s appreciation for Board Member Garraway’s service to the Department of Juvenile Justice. The
DJJ Board is composed of 15 members representing each Congressional District in the state. DJJ Board
members are appointed by the Governor and provide leadership and guidance to the Commissioner in an
advisory capacity to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

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When Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner L. Gale Buckner announced the opening of the agency’s newest Youth Development Campus (YDC) in metro Atlanta this month, she was pleased to name Sharon

R. Shaver as the facility’s first Director. Ms. Shaver came to the Department of Juvenile Justice from the Georgia Department of Corrections where she served as Deputy Director of Operations, Planning, and Training Division since June 2011.  

Commissioner Buckner administered the official oath of office for Director Shaver during a special ceremony on April 11th where the Commissioner also swore in the first two Assistant Directors for the state’s new Youth Development Campus. “This will be a great new team of Directors to lead our professional staff of Juvenile Corrections Officers at the state’s newest Youth Development Campus,” said DJJ Commissioner Buckner.  “This new YDC is designed to serve the juvenile detention and rehabilitation needs for the Atlanta metro area with a safety-upgraded and secure facility.”

Commissioner Buckner swore in Gerald Pearson as the Assistant Director of Security for the Atlanta YDC following six years of recent service with the Jonesboro Parole Office where he was Senior Parole Officer in the Metro District since 2007.

Commissioner Buckner also swore in Tim Prewett as the YDC’s new Assistant Director of Programs. Before coming to DJJ, Assistant Director Prewett was Board representative for the Strategic Intervention Program at Georgia’s Coastal State Prison.

This new staff of directors brings years of professional correctional experience to Atlanta’s newest secure facility for young offenders. Director Sharon Shaver began her career in State Government in 1997 as an Accountant Paraprofessional with the Department of Corrections at Bostick State Prison.  She was quickly promoted to Business Manager at Dooly State Prison in 1998 and just a year later appointed Deputy Warden of Administration at Macon State Prison.  Before the year was up she transferred to Rivers State Prison where she served for the next 9 years, graduating BCOT with Honors in 2002.

As a certified POST Instructor, Director Shaver was an adjunct instructor for management training classes in the Milledgeville area.  In 2008, she was appointed Director of Offender Administration where she was instrumental in the development of Coastal State Prison’s Strategic Intervention Program and developed integrated processes for the Pardons and Paroles Clemency Unit.  In May 2010 she was appointed as the first Campus Superintendent at State Offices South at Tift College where she served until accepting her current position at DJJ’s Atlanta YDC.

Director Shaver received her AS in Business Administration from Georgia Military College, graduating Summa Cum Laude.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University, graduating Cum Laude and was recognized as Outstanding Criminal Justice Major by the Department Chair.  After attending the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College in 2008, Ms. Shaver received her Master in Public Administration from Columbus State University. As an active member of the Southern States Correctional Association she will serve as host committee chair for the 2014 SSCA Conference scheduled for Savannah.  

Assistant Director of Security Gerald Pearson began his criminal justice career at the Bill Ireland Youth Development Campus in 1992. After six months with the Department of Juvenile Justice, he was hired as a Correctional Officer at the Hancock Correctional Institution and transferred to the Men’s Correctional Institution in 1994.  He received an Associate of Science Degree from Georgia Military College in 1999, the same year he was promoted to Correctional Lieutenant at the Men’s State Prison.  

After receiving his Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia College & State University in 2006 Pearson began work as a Parole Officer for the Jonesboro Parole Office and was promoted to Senior Parole Officer within two months of graduating from Parole Officer Basic Training.  

While participating in joint Federal and State law enforcement operations with US Marshals, FBI, and GBI, Pearson has served high risk warrants and conducted sex offender compliance checks.  He is certified as a Georgia Crisis Intervention Training Officer through the National Alliance on Mental Illness and has attended mass fatality training and exercises with the US Department of Justice to combat human trafficking, terrorism, and suicide bombing.

Assistant Director of Programs Tim Prewett began his state law enforcement career in 2002 as a Parole Officer with the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.  In 2007 he was promoted to the position of Hearing Examiner for the Parole Board. Prewett earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Berry College where he was the inaugural recipient of the 21st Century Socrates Award. He is currently pursuing his Masters of Public Administration at Columbus State University.

Prewett is a member of the Parole Association of Georgia, the Georgia Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, the Georgia Gang Investigators Association, and the Georgia Probation Association.

“This new Atlanta Youth Development Campus will be a DJJ blueprint for a ‘24-7’ secure-campus for Georgia’s troubled youth,” said Commissioner Buckner. “Seeing the increased statewide need for juvenile offender resources like this one, the Department of Juvenile Justice spent more than seven-and-a-half million dollars to bring this campus up to date to help us cope with the current backlog to place our youth in proper facilities.” 

“While young offenders are here, this team of Directors will help hold them accountable for their actions,” said Commissioner Buckner.  “When residents are eventually released from this new facility they will be much more successful transitioning back into their community. The Department is proud of its newest campus and juvenile corrections team and what they add to DJJ’s statewide capacity for rehabilitating juvenile offenders into productive law-abiding citizens.”




     DJJ Eastman Youth Development Campus Unveils National Mural Project May 3rd DJJ Staff  at:  5/3/2012  
DJJ’s Eastman Youth Development Campus Unveils National Mural Project May 3rd

(EASTMAN, GEORGIA) The Eastman YDC in Dodge County, Georgia is one of just ten juvenile detention facilities in the country selected to participate in this year’s nationwide arts program called the ‘Emanuel Project’.

The motivational arts program offers a compelling mural project to provide youth in detention a unique hands-on opportunity to work with the nationally renowned painter, sculptor and muralist Emanuel Martinez, as he paints a
100-foot mural specially designed to enhance the DJJ’s Youth Development Campus in Eastman.

“This program makes a powerful impact to improve the lives of incarcerated youth like those at Eastman YDC by helping students strengthen their communication skills, build self-esteem and bolster academic performance
through a mural process,” said Emanuel Project Program Founder Louisa Craft Jornayvaz. Known for her work as an advocate for at-risk youth, Jornayvaz says the Emanuel mural project is supported with art curriculum and art therapy programs, as well as research to help document the program’s impact among committed youth.

“This is a tremendous gift for the youth here at our facility,” said Neal Clark, principal at the Eastman YDC. “It’s not only a great opportunity for our students to learn about the mural process, but even more, it’s an honor for our students to work with Emanuel Martinez who is a great mentor and accomplished artist,” said Clark.

Artist Emanuel Martinez began his own artistic career at age thirteen as a youth-at-risk at the facility for juvenile offenders where he painted his first mural. Two years later, after being incarcerated three times and winning statewide art competitions, Martinez established his reputation as an exceptionally talented artist.

With help from artist Bill Longley, Emanuel re-enrolled and graduated from school, winning two art scholarships. By age twenty-two, Emanuel had worked with the most significant muralist in the world, David A. Siqueros, completing three art works now part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of American Art Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Youth at Eastman YDC began working here side by side with Emanuel Martinez in mid-April, marking the start of this amazing mural project titled “The World is Our Classroom.” The Eastman art students will work alongside Emanuel on the 10 x 100 foot mural to depict the importance of education and the many choices young people will encounter during their lives.

As muralist, painter and sculptor, Emanuel occupies outstanding status among national and internationally known artists. Since establishing a studio in 1968, Martinez has received national acclaim as a forerunner of the
contemporary mural movement in the U.S. He has received prestigious awards for his design capabilities and for engaging young people in art projects requiring high standards of workmanship. Emanuel’s “The World is Our Classroom” mural will be unveiled at Eastman YDC on May 3rd.

“We’re thrilled to be part of the Emanuel Project and grateful to the supporters of this innovative program,” said DJJ Commissioner L. Gale Buckner. “It incorporates art into our education curriculum to reach youth who may not respond to traditional teaching methods. It helps engage them in academics and facilitates success in the classroom. Many of our youth have previously benefited from this mural program,” said Commissioner Buckner.

Since the Emanuel Project began in January 2011, nineteen murals have been completed in thirteen juvenile detention centers in Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, Colorado and Texas. For information on how to participate in the Emanuel Project, contact Dr. James “Randy” Minnick, head of program development, at 229-938-7362 or .

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