The February 2016 edition of H.I.T.S. Inside Edition, the Official Newsletter of the Department of Juvenile Justice's High Intensity Team Supervision is now online. In this month's newsletter, learn more about Field Officer Safety, the latest H.I.T.S. Statewide Meeting, and H.I.T.S. in the community.
To download the latest version of H.I.T.S. Inside Edition, click HERE.
Spotlight on Education: Chatham Education Transition Center Holds First Semester Awards Ceremony
Special thanks to District Eleven Director Patricia Merritt for story support
Recently, the Chatham Education Transition Center (Chatham ETC) held its first semester Chatham ETC Awards Ceremony to honor some of the school's top students. Themed "Following in His Steps: Marching with a Dream", the ETC Awards Ceremony gave out awards to students who excelled in subjects such as Citizenship, Achievement and Progress (Math, Science, Social Studies, ELA, Spanish, Business, and Health), Attendance, Behavior, and the Students of the Month for the August to December time frame.
Gail Smith, Family Engagement Coordinator
Community youth who are not longer able to pursue their education in traditional public school settings are able to enroll in Education Transitional Centers. ETC's provide youth under Department of Juvenile Justice community supervision with opportunities to continue their education and earn course credits.
JPPS Nikia Beachem
The Chatham ETC Awards were very well attended by parents and staff from the Chatham Multi Service Center and Chatham Juvenile Court including DJJ Family Engagement Coordinator Gail Smith. Awards were presented by Chatham ETC teachers Dallacey McCall and Artlise Cone as well as DJJ Regional Principal Roy Davenport.
Roy Davenport, Regional Principal
Special thanks to everyone from the Chatham ETC who made this special awards ceremony possible.
Chatham ETC Teachers Artlise Cone and Dallacey McCall
Office of Planning and Preparedness: February 2016 Newsletter
Severe Weather Preparedness Week for the state of Georgia will take place in February. In 2015, severe weather was no stranger to the state with 22 reported tornadoes across Georgia. During the next couple of weeks, make time to learn about severe weather and safe actions to take when severe weather strikes, and review your family’s preparedness plan.
The Office of Planning & Preparedness Safety Newsletter is ready for downloading today. Learn more about the best way to prepare for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning, and flooding. This month’s edition also has a special question and answer session with some of Atlanta’s premiere celebrity meteorologists including WSB TV’s Brad Nitz and Brian Monahan, 11 Alive’s Chris Holcomb, Fox 5’s Jeff Hill, CBS 46’s Jim Kosek, and Kent McMullen from the National Weather Service.
The primary objective of the Office of Continuous Improvement (OCI) is to determine the level of performance and quality of services provided in facilities and programs operated by DJJ and through contract providers. The multi-disciplinary team approach is a part of the methodology used to conduct quality assurance evaluations, including contract monitoring.
Recently, OCI conducted yearly evaluations at the Aaron Cohn Regional Youth Detention Center (Columbus RYDC) and the Crisp RYDC. Below are the stories of some the star performers from the OCI evaluations. Special thanks to OCI Director Chris Saxton and his team's work over the past year.
Aaron Cohn RYDC Award Recipients
Compliance Award: Behavioral Health Department- (Ms. Denetra Stewart, DMHA)
The Behavioral Health Department received the smallest percentage of non-compliant findings during the evaluation. They continue to provide a high level of clinical services, crisis intervention and suicide prevention for youth in secure facilities. The mental health staff were very open, sincere and knowledgeable about their job in regards to policy and procedures applicable to how mental health services are implemented.
Customer Service Award: Soretha Gordon, Captain
During the evaluation Captain Gordon was assigned the task of taking care of the OCI team. She was the liaison between the facility and the audit team. She made herself available for any questions and ensured that other facility staff were available as well. She made sure all documentation was prepared and provided to the team members in a timely manner. Captain Gordon consistently displayed a positive attitude, a strong knowledge of facility operations, and a courteous demeanor to visitors and staff alike.
Customer Service Award: Ms. Lashune Prescott, AOM
Ms. Prescott was selected for customer service award during the evaluation. Ms. Prescott is a valuable key asset for the Aaron Cohn RYDC. She ensures that all aspect of Human Resources, Budget, and staff are operating smoothly. During the week of the evaluation she served as the point of contact for any administrative questions and interviews. She was very knowledgeable about her duties and responsibilities. She was able to provide assistance to all members of the OCI team without any delay.
Crisp RYDC Award Recipients
Compliance Award: Food Service- (Kylie Smith, Food Service Manager)
The Food Service Department received the smallest percentage of non-compliant ratings during the evaluation. The Food Service staff at Crisp RYDC displayed a high level of professionalism and pride in doing their job; made evident by their successful evaluation. The Food Service staff was very open, sincere and knowledgeable about their job in regards to policy and procedure and overall daily operations of the kitchen.
Customer Service Award- Barbara Wimberly, Assistant Director of Security
Barbara Wimberly has been chosen for the customer service award during the Crisp RYDC evaluation. During the week of the comprehensive evaluation the director was not available due to training needs. Barbara not only was able to manage her daily duties and operate the facility but also provide for the needs of the evaluation. She ensured that all documentation was provided and that facility staff was available when needed. Ms. Wimberly went above and beyond to ensure that the Crisp RYDC evaluation was successfully completed on schedule.
Partners in Safety: DJJ and the State Fire Marshal's Office
At the most recent Department of Juvenile Justice Board Meeting, a special partnership was developed between DJJ and the Georgia State Fire Marshal's Office. Office of Planning and Preparedness Director Scott Cagle was deputized by State Fire Marshal, Chief Dwayne Garriss as the Department of Juvenile Justice's official representative for code compliance. The responsibilities of the Fire Marshal’s Office include building inspection, manufactured housing inspection, engineering, hazardous materials inspections, and licensing. Director Cagle will be able to review DJJ building plans for code compliance and inspect DJJ structures for the state. Director Cagle also will be working closely with the DJJ Engineering Division to help expedite DJJ building projects while making sure that the Department also complies with all fire and life safety codes for the safety of our youth, employees, and visitors.
Since being named to the Office of Planning and Preparedness, Director Scott Cagle professional background has been an asset to the Department of Juvenile Justice and Georgia citizens. After serving as a Fire Inspector and Fire Marshal in Hall County, Director Cagle was able to retain his state certification as a Georgia Fire Inspector. This, in turn, allowed for the deputizing by the State Fire Marshal and the tax-saving benefit of quicker review of DJJ building plans and required fire inspections of DJJ buildings.
The Department of Juvenile Justice congratulates Director Cagle for this prestigious (and practical) honor and new responsibility. For more information on the State Fire Marshal's Office, visit them on the web at https://www.oci.ga.gov/FireMarshal/Home.aspx.