DJJ Commissioner Niles on Georgia Focus Radio Show This Weekend DJJ Staff  at:  8/14/2014  

DJJ Commissioner Niles to be Special Guest on Georgia Focus Program This Weekend

Commissioner Avery D. Niles will be the special interview guest on the “Georgia Focus” public affairs program on the Georgia News Network this weekend. The 30-minute “Georgia Focus” radio show is heard on 121 radio stations around the state, so the broadcast can probably be heard on a station near most of DJJ's secure facilities. See the list of DJJ facilities and corresponding radio stations at the end of this article.

Commissioner Niles covers a wide variety of topics in his interview.. from the launch of the new Chaplaincy Office and agency-wide Ombudsman problem-solver, to DJJ’s new Reentry Program and Career Guidance Centers.

The Commissioner speaks about the decrease in Georgia’s juvenile offender population under the new Juvenile Justice Reform Law, the increase in new personnel hired under H-R’s stepped-up recruiting campaign, and the special partnership with the Governor’s Office to provide returning veterans with real employment opportunities at DJJ as they reenter the civilian workforce.

Commissioner Niles promotes agency efforts to provide special events and special services to Georgia communities – outside the Department of Juvenile Justice -- to help prevent new generations of juvenile offenders from developing criminal records and gang connections.

He describes Community Service Initiatives like the “National Night Out Against Crime”, the “Special Olympics Torch Run”, and “National Crime Victim’s Rights Week” as programs that focus on the healing needs of Georgia neighborhoods. He reports upon the success of statewide community support projects where statewide DJJ Staff Members contribute new toys at Christmas for disadvantaged kids, then they collect 30-thousand canned goods meals for community food banks in winter, and refill back-to-school backpacks in the fall.

Niles also discusses details of innovative programs inside the secure gates and closed circuit camera surveillanced classrooms of Georgia’s Juvenile Justice System. New Mentoring Projects, Gang Awareness Training and Therapeutic Animal Rescue Projects involving DJJ youth are being offered along with Girl Scout training, Elder Abuse Workshops and a National Jump Rope Champion event.

Commissioner Niles said the Georgia News Network interview, hosted by GNN moderator John Clark, provides a rare opportunity for a positive inside look at the many innovative projects and programs where DJJ Staff are trying to open the way to new futures for youth in the custody of the State of Georgia. He complimented the determination of DJJ Security Staff to provide more than the basic Safety and Security needs of Georgia’s troubled youth.

Below is a suggested guide for where to find participating GNN stations closest to your secure facility this weekend and the schedules they will broadcast the half-hour DJJ interview with Commissioner Avery D. Niles. Note that while listening to these stations you may hear DJJ’s radio campaign spot recruiting eligible candidates for current positions available statewide at the Department of Juvenile Justice. Thanks for all you do for DJJ! “One Team – One Mission”


Albany RYDC

WGEX-FM      97.3                 Albany           11:30pm/Sat

WOBB-FM      100.3               Albany             7:30am//Sun

WJIZ-FM         96.3                 Albany             6:30am/Sun

WJYZ-AM       960                  Albany             6:30am/Sun

WJAD-FM       103.5               Albany             6:00am/Sun

WKAK-FM      104.5               Albany             6:00am/Sun

WNUQ-FM     101.7               Albany             6:00am/Sun

WQVE-FM      105.5               Albany             6:00am/Sun

WEGC-FM      107.7               Albany             6:00am/Sun

WALG-AM      1590                Albany             6:00am/Sun

WGPC-AM     1450                Albany             6:00am/Sun


Aaron Cohn RYDC, Midland       Muscogee YDC, Midland 

WISK-FM        98.7                 Americus                     5:30am/Sat

WDEC-FM      94.7                 Americus                     5:30am/Sat                

WXKO-AM      1150                Ft. Valley                     8:00am/Sun

WXKO-AM      105.1               Ft. Valley                     8:00am/Sun


Augusta RYDC           &                 Augusta YDC

WZNY-FM      102.3               Augusta           8:00am/Sun

WBBQ-FM      104.3               Augusta           7:00am/Sun

WEKL-FM       105.7               August             8:00am/Sun

WPRW-FM     107.7               Augusta           11:00pm/Sun

WEZO-AM      1230                Augusta           6:00am/Sun


Atlanta YDC, College Park         Metro RYDC, Atlanta

DeKalb RYDC, Decatur                Marietta RYDC

Rockdale RYDC, Conyers           Martha K. Glaze RYDC, Clayton County

WGST-AM      640                  Atlanta             8:30am/Sun

WWLG-FM     96.7                 Atlanta             7:00am/Sun

WWPW-FM    96.1                 Atlanta             6:00am/Sun

WUBL -FM     94.9                 Atlanta             5:00am/Sun

WRDA-FM      105.7               Atlanta             7:00am/Sun


Bob Richards RYDC, Floyd County

WZQZ -AM     1180                Summerville    6:00pm/Sat&Sun


Claxton RYDC

WCLA-AM      1470                Claxton            8:30am/Sun

WCLA-FM       93.7                 Claxton            8:30am/Sun

WGHC-AM     1400                Clayton            7:00am/Sun

WGHC-FM     100.3               Clayton            7:00am/Sun


Crisp RYDC, Cordele

WSSY-FM      98.3                 Cordele           6:00am/Sun


Eastman RYDC                               Eastman YDC

WMCG-FM     104.9               Milan               7:00am/Sun

WDXQ-AM     1440                Cochran          7:00am/Sun

WDXQ-FM      96.7                 Cochran          7:00am/Sun

WYPZ-FM       107.5               Cochran          6:00am/Sun


Elbert Shaw RYDC, Dalton

WBLJ-AM       1230                Dalton              7:30am/Sun

WYYU-FM      104.5               Dalton              730am/Sun

WZQZ -AM     1180                Summerville    6:00pm/Sat&Sun


Gainesville RYDC

WDUN-AM     550                  Gainesville      12:05pm/Sun

WGGA-AM     1240                Gainesville      10:00am/Sun

WGTJ-AM      1330                Murrayville      9:05am/Fri      

WJJC-AM       1270                Commerce      6:40am/Sun


Judge Thomas Jefferson Loftiss II RYDC, Thomasville

WPAX -AM     1240                Thomasville     9:00am/Sun

WTUF-FM       106.3               Thomasville     9:00am/Sun

WGMY-FM     107.1               Thomasville     7:00am/Sun


Macon RYDC                                   Macon YDC

WBML-AM      900                  Macon             8:00am/Sun

WQBZ-FM      106.3               Macon             7:00am/Sun

WRBV-FM      101.7               Macon             7:00am/Sun

WIBB-AM        1280                Macon             7:00am/Sat

WIBB-FM        97.9                 Macon             7:30am/Sun

WPCH-FM      96.5                 Macon             7:00am/Sun

WPLA-AM       1670                Macon             7:00am/Sun


Milan YDC, Telfair County

WMCG-FM     104.9               Milan               7:00am/Sun


Sandersville RYDC

WSNT-FM      99.9                 Sandersville    9:05am/Sun


Savannah RYDC

 WTKS -AM     1290                Savannah        6:00am/Sun

WTKS-FM       97.7                 Savannah        6:00am/Sun

WAEV-FM      97.3                 Savannah        6:00am/Sun

WYKZ-FM       98.7                 Savannah        6:00am/Sun

WSEG-AM      1400                Savannah        6:00am/Sun

WSEG-FM      104.3               Savannah        6:00am/Sun


Sumter YDC, Americus

WISK-FM        98.7                 Americus         5:30am/Sat

WDEC-FM      94.7                 Americus         5:30am/Sat                


Waycross RYDC

WWUF-FM     97.7                 Waycross        7:15am/Sun

WBTY-FM       98.7                 Homerville     12:05pm/Sat

WDMG-FM     97.9                 Douglas           6:00am/Sun

WIFO-FM        105.5               Jesup             5:30am/Sun

WLOP -AM     1370                Jesup              5:30am/Sun   

WSFN -AM     790                  Brunswick       6:00am/Sun

WSFN-FM      106.5               Brunswick       6:00am/Sun





     Operation Feet on the Ground: Gang Elimination in Savannah DJJ Staff  at:  8/12/2014  


On August 8th, the Department of Juvenile Justice partnered with the Savannah-Chatham Police Department as part of Operation Feet on the Ground, an anti-gang school sweep and education program in Coastal Georgia. The Special Operation Team led by JPPS III Latoyia Daniels, JPPS II Chavi Cheatham, JPPS II Dominick Davis, and JPPS II Christina Osborne coordinated a fifteen member DJJ gang team working with more than thirty Savannah-Chatham police officers to talk with local residents and assess gang-related activity in Savannah and surrounding areas.

In addition, JPM Debra Polite led JPPS staff in serving as an advance team to go to every school in the local area to determin which youth were in school and which youth were not. The advance team also helped to arrange local house searches of absent youth and intervened in issues related to registration, bus schedules, and security school clearances for many students. Preparation was the name of the game as the advance team arrived with school transcripts, withdrawal forms, and security clearances in hand to help expedite the Operation.

Thanks goes out to the entire Chatham community staff, SMRT Teams, Commander Belflower, Lt. Wilcox, Director Amy fortner, Monique Brandenburg, SE Regional Administrator Jeff Alligood, and District Director Patricia Merritt who all participated on the ground helped to make this one of the better gang elimination operations in the state to date. JPPS Latoyia Daniels should especially be recognized for her outstanding planning, coordination, leadership and collaboration during this important community outreach.


Savannah-Chatham Police Partnering With State To Search For Signs Of Gangs

By Sarah McCammon


SAVANNAH, Ga.  —   
Police in Savannah are getting assistance from the state this week to assess the level of gang activity in the city. Photo Credit: Sarah McCammon
Police in Savannah are getting assistance from the state this week to assess the level of gang activity in the city. Photo Credit: Sarah McCammon

Savannah-Chatham police are joining forces with gang experts from the State of Georgia to assess possible gang-related activity in the city. 

Officers will fan out across the city Friday night to talk with residents and check on youths under supervision by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

More than 30 Savannah-Chatham police officers are working with a 15-member gang team from DJJ. They’ve met with public school students starting classes this week and asked about gangs in their neighborhoods. 

"We’ll probably find out from them where they hang out, if there is a legitimate gang, what are those names and who they’re associated with, whether it be Crips, Bloods, or MS-13," says Maj. James Barnwell of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department.

Barnwell briefed city council members on Thursday. He says the officers from the state are bringing special training and knowledge to the effort.

"They’re gonna go around town and help us identify if we have a legitimate gang problem. They’ll go around town, look at graffiti," he says.

Depending on the outcome of the gang assessment, Barnwell says Savannah-Chatham police may form a special gang-response unit. He says the effort is not prompted by a recent spate of more than 20 shootings in Savannah.






     DJJ's Pet Programs: Dog Days of Summer '14 DJJ Staff  at:  8/11/2014  

DJJ’s Pet Programs: Dog Days of Summer ‘14

As we reach the end of another hot and eventful Georgia summer, the Department of Juvenile Justice is causing tails to wag with the introduction of the new DJJ Pet Programs to facilities around the state. Dedicated to familiarizing juvenile justice youth to a wide range of animals, the Pet Program is a great way to teach responsibility and respect for living beings in a safe and fun environment.

More exciting news on the Pet Program will be announced by DJJ shortly! In the meantime, check out some of the interesting initial projects recently taking place with DJJ Pet Programs…..

Meet Glaukos

On June 27th, the Atlanta Youth Development Campus had a special visitor as Glaukos the Gargoyle, a Neapolitan Mastiff, entertained the facility youth. Since Neapolitan Mastiffs are among the larger dog species on earth, it was not surprising that Glaukos the Gargoyle already weighed 96 pounds while being only six months old.

Glaukos’s owner, Anna Bettina of Healthy, Healthy Pup talked about the different signs that dogs give to humans to let them know what they are feeling at any given moment. Considering the size of Glaukos, knowing what he thinks is pretty important to the happiness of both Anna and Glaukos!

While showing off his tricks, Glaukos the Gargoyle also proudly represented where he is the Official Mascot. By combining certified training, accredited nutrition, and holistic therapies, Happy, Healthy Pup is Atlanta’s only fully integrative dog training location. To learn more about Glaukos, you can visit him on his Facebook page here or at

Big Daddy Biscuits

When times are tough and it looks like things are going against you, consider the story of Big Daddy Biscuits.  Lauren Janis, founder and owner of Big Daddy Biscuits, started her business after being laid off, having her home burglarized, and losing her father all in a three month time span.  When dealing with her grief and problems, she found comfort from her dog, Big Daddy.  The comfort that Lauren Janis found inspired her to create dog biscuits made from natural ingredients that her dog friend would like.  The company that resulted, Big Daddy Biscuits, became a success and an inspiration to others to never give up when things are rough.

The youth of the Metro RYDC got to experience Big Daddy first hand as both the dog and owner who created a company inspired by her dog friend came to share their positive story.  For more on Big Daddy Biscuits, visit them on the web at .

Here’s Bradley!

Recently, the boys and girls of the Macon RYDC and Macon YDC had the chance to meet with Debbie Martin, President of the Humane Society of Houston County, as she discussed proper animal care, training, puppy mills, and animal shelters.  Ms. Martin also talked about the importance of adopting shelter animals and the devastation of animal cruelty.

Joining Ms. Martin during her talk was Bradley, a terrier mix.  Bradley was rescued and adopted by the Humane Society of Houston County after being hit by a car and having to have his front leg amputated. Through love, care, and needed attention, Bradley was able to recuperate and thrive after the accident.  Despite only having three legs, Bradley is able to move around without issue, although his hopping style resembles a bunny more than a puppy. 


Bradley is  one of the many unique and lovable animals that can be adopted at shelters across Georgia.  For more information on The Humane Society of Houston County, visit them at




     DJJ at the National Night Out at Turner Field in Atlanta DJJ Staff  at:  8/12/2014  


On August 5th, residents from Atlanta neighborhoods including Adair Park, Capital Gateway, Mechanicsville, Peoplestown, Pittsburgh, and Sumerhill came together at Turner Field for the thirty-first National Night Out. The Department of Juvenile Justice is proud to be a sponsor of National Night Out and to provide education and assistance to help citizens make the right personal life decisions.

National Night Out public safety events took place throughout Georgia. This year, seventy-nine Georgia communities are hosting National Night Out events. Across the country, National Night Out has grown to include 37.8 million people in 16,124 communities.

The introduction of National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime”, in 1984 began an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. NATW’s National Night Out program culminates annually, on the first Tuesday of August (In Texas, the first Tuesday of October).

Below are some of the photos of Department of Juvenile Justice staff and others participating in this year's National Night Out. For more information on National Night Out, visit them on the web at

















































     DJJ at the State Board of Pardons and Parole BPPOTC Graduation DJJ Staff  at:  8/4/2014  


On August 1st, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles held a graduation ceremony for its Basic Training/Parole Officer Training Course at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth. This Basic Probation/Parole Officer Training was the first joint agency partnership between the Department of Juvenile Justice and the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to train and certify staff.

The Basic Probation/Parole Officer Training Course (BPPOTC) is an eight week training course resulting in all new officers being certified as Probation/Parole Officers by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.). The basic training course work includes supervision techniques, investigation procedures, intervention strategies, Georgia law, policy and procedure, interview skills, physical fitness, arrest procedures, defensive tactics, computer interaction, firearms qualification and crisis mediation skills.

The recent passage of Senate Bill 324 expanded the definition of peace officers to include Department of Juvenile Justice staff who provide supervision of delinquent youth under intensive supervision in the community. This was the first class of BPPOTC to graduate since the passage of Senate Bill 324 and all twelve of the Department of Juvenile Justice staff participating in this class graduated.

Both Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard and DJJ Commissioner Avery Niles spoke at the graduation. Chairman Barnard was quoted as saying that “you (BPPOTC graduates) have earned the right to wear the parole uniform and carry the badge that sets you apart from all others in the state. Not only will you have the responsibility to protect the greater public, but you will find yourself providing your parolees with counseling, advice and discipline.”

The Department of Juvenile Justice graduates from the BPPOTC ceremony were:

  • Elizabeth Albea, Troup County HITS (Honor Graduate and Top Academic Graduate Award recipient)

  • Matthew Broome, White County/Forsyth County HITS (Top Gun Award Graduate/ Top Firearms Scorer)

  • Brian Brown, Paulding County HITS

  • Travis Buehrer, Floyd County HITS

  • Christina Drabek, Sumter County HITS (Honor Graduate)

  • Shanntel Hanks, Early County HITS

  • Corilus Harris, Telfair County HITS

  • Chandra Jones, Richmond County HITS

  • Monefa Murdock-Bey, Chatham County HITS

  • Tracy Owens, Dekalb County HITS

  • Tara Phillips, Clarke County HITS

  • Corey Wimberly, Dougherty County HITS

Corilus Harris, Tara Phillips, and Chandra Jones were recognized for being a part of the Green Team that took top honors in the class Team Competition. Corilus Harris also received the prestigious Excellence Award for his work during the training.

The High Intensity Team Supervision (HITS) Program provides a community based, in-home placement alternative for juvenile offenders and a housebound detention program for pre-adjudicated youth. This supervision involves a variety of strategies and graduated sanctions including, but not limited to electronic monitoring, curfew checks, drug and alcohol testing, crisis management, service learning projects, community service, and home, school, work and office visits.







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