Special thanks to Christina Foster, Juvenile Program Manager for the Dougherty CSO and HITS for her story support
On February 13th, Albany Area Primary Health Care hosted its first annual Run for Hope HIV/AIDS Awareness 5K Run and One Mile Fun Run Walk in Southwest Georgia. Held to promote awareness of HIV and AIDS, the event involved free health screenings, local artist performances, information presentations, and resource vendors.
Over two hundred runners, supporters, and volunteers came out to make the Run for Hope a huge success. JPPS II Linfred Davis, a member of the District 10 CSO Albany Office, was one of the runners and was able to finish 32nd overall.
The District Ten CSO office is proud of Linfred and all of the other participants who helped promote awareness and education of HIV and AIDS prevention in Albany and the State of Georgia.
Dougherty CSO Community Event: Sharing Shave Kits Campaign
Special thanks to Christina Foster, Juvenile Program Manager for the Dougherty CSO and HITS for her story support
This month, the Dougherty Community Services Office (Dougherty CSO) partnered with the Faith Community Outreach Center-Homeless Shelter for Women and Children to create the Sharing Shave Kits Campaign. As part of the donation campaign, shaving kit and hygiene products including soap, toothpaste, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, toothbrushes, combs, brushes, shampoo and conditioners were collected to be donated to local area homeless men in the Albany area. Clothing products including pants, shoes, socks, and t-shirts were also collected for the campaign.
Congratulations and thanks goes out to all the members of the Dougherty CSO and DJJ family who help participate in this year's Sharing Shave Kits Campaign.
JPPS Robbin Green, JPPS Linfred Davis, and Marilon Johnson
Items collected were given to the Faith Community Outreach Center on February 19th
News Around the State: Division of Community Services
With the implementation of Georgia's Juvenile Justice Reform Act, the number of youth participating in community-based services operated by the Division of Community Services has increased tremendously and has created an additional need for its evidence-based services. The Division of Community Services has four regions consisting of eleven districts and ninety-seven Community Services Offices across the state. Below are some of the recent stories and news from the Division of Community Services
Division of Community Services Deputy Commissioner Joe Vignati attended The American Correctional Association's (ACA) 2016 Winter Conference held in New Orleans in January. The ACA is an important leader in bringing together the many voices of corrections in order to forge coalitions and partnerships that will shape the future of corrections in the United States. The ACA Declaration of Principles include:
Preamble - We believe that these principles of Humanity, Justice, Protection, Opportunity, Knowledge, Competence and Accountability are essential to the foundation of sound corrections policy and effective public protection. Humanity - The dignity of individuals, the rights of all people and the potential for human growth and development must be respected.
Justice - Corrections must demonstrate integrity, respect, dignity, fairness, and pursue a balanced program of humaneness, restoration, rehabilitation and the most appropriate sanctions consistent with public safety.
Protection - Corrections has a duty to ensure the protection of the public, offenders under corrections supervision, corrections workers, and victims and survivors of crime.
Opportunity - Corrections is responsible for providing programs and constructive activities that promote positive change for responsible citizenship.
Knowledge - Corrections must be committed to pursuing a continual search for new knowledge, technological advances, and effective practices that strive toward excellence and positive change.
The Jackson County Family Connections Clothes Closet clothing drive collected over three hundred and twenty five items during the January effort. Among the many items collected included coats, shirts, pants, jeans, shorts, shoes, and other needed accessories.
DJJ Assistant Commissioner Keith Horton visited the DeKalb Juvenile Court on February 9th. Touring the building, Assistant Commissioner Horton was able to meet the Chief Judge and Assistant District Attorney among others. After a day of observing ongoing cases in Chief Judge Haynes' courtroom, both Mr. Horton and Judge Haynes were able to discuss ways in which single-parent families could be strengthened and how there exists a need for additional group homes for girls in DeKalb County.
Richmond CSO, HITS, and Richmond Intake:
Representatives for the Richmond Court Services Office attended an Intel Briefing recently conducted at Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. The briefing offered information concerning criminal and gang activity in the community.
District Director Emanuel Bryson, JPM Wendell Smith, JPPS Dominic Eubanks and Stevey Griffin attended My Brothers’ Keeper Mentoring Training Workshop hosted by Mayor Davis’s office. The program provided critical information to ensure that all children enter school cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally ready. My Brother’s Keeper is a White House initiative supported and launched by President Obama last year where the nation’s Mayors were asked to recognize and pooling resources in their communities to support needy children, their parents and extended families. The workshop discussed the following topics:
. Ensure all children are reading at grade level by the 3rd grade. . Ensure all youth graduate from high school . Ensure all youth complete post-secondary education or training . Ensure all youth out of school are employed . Ensure all youth remain safe from violent crime
The Augusta Court Services Office staff continues to support the MST/ETC Diamond Lake Project, where youth engaged in educational and recreational activities to keep them involved in positive activities until the opening of the Richmond ETC program in March 2016.
Carroll CSO and HITS:
. Carroll HITS JPPS III Royal Godfrey was sworn in on January 29th . The Girls on Good Ground and Another Way Another Chance community service programs both started on January 27th with work at a local nursing home and food bank.
JPM Trouth participated on a Judicial Day information panel with the Fayette County Juvenile Court Judge, DFCS Director, Sheriff, and CASA Coordinator explaining the Juvenile Justice Process for participants in the ENCORE training. ENCORE consists of a retired group of professionals in the county who want an in-depth overview of the programs services and needs of the county. The purpose of this overview is that the ENCORE members would be able to volunteer for programs such as the DJJ Mentoring Program as needed.
Fulton MSC and HITS
The Fulton MSC staff spent a day recently at Fieldwood Elementary School to read to students and give talks about the nature of their work at the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Chatham MSC and HITS:
. The Workforce Initiative Opportunity Association (WIOA) which offers youth working skills classes and the GED program to students has begun with the enrollment of four youth. . The SIP/HITS Units conducted Safe School Checks on January 22nd and January 26th to ensure youth were in class during instructional times (as well as participating without any negative behaviors or disruptions). The targeted schools included Savannah High School, Jenkins High School, Beach High School, Johnson High School and Building Bridges High School and Middle School. . The Savannah Educational Transition Center (Savannah ETC) held an awards ceremony on January 22nd giving awards to students for perfect attendance, completion of units, good citizenship and honor roll. Several parents attended the ceremony along with Parent Engagement Coordinator, Gail Smith. . Students from the Savannah ETC went on a field trip to Savannah State University to tour the campus and learn about course offerings. Students met with the Admissions Counselor and discussed degree programs.
Before the Christmas break, 8th grade students at Coffee Middle School were visited by probation officers with the Department of Juvenile Justice as part of the students' studies on government and the justice system. The students were able to ask questions related to the Department of Juvenile Justice and also received important information on bullying, texting, and the juvenile and adult code.
District 11 Office
District Director Patricia Merritt attended a Juvenile Justice Reform Collaborative Meeting with Chatham Juvenile Court on January 26th. The primary goals of the collaborative body included:
. Expanding job training opportunities . Bringing restorative justice to the school system in Chatham . Implementing a community resource center
Ms. Merritt shared with the group her experiences at DJJ with the Balanced and Restorative Justice Initiatives at schools affiliated with DJJ.
Members of the Dodge County Juvenile Community Service Office staff, (JPPS III Suzanne Peterson, JPPS II Lorelei Noles and JPPS II Rae McCranie) held a successful Service Learning Project on January 26th. The project focused on the Sole Hope Project, a charity that consists of making shoes for children in Uganda whose feet have become infected and have become unable to walk. The project consists of collecting blue jeans and cutting shoe patterns out of the jeans which are then sent to Uganda where they are sewn to make shoes for the needy children. The purpose of this project was for our youth to learn about the needs not only in our surrounding communities, but also in communities all over the world. The youth helped with cutting the patterns and preparing them for shipping. The youth were able to watch a movie clip showing the Ugandan children who desperately need shoes. Our youth received a better understanding of how some children don’t have the basic necessities. These youth showed great interest in wanting to participate and were rewarded for their dedication and hard work making this such a successful project. The youth were given an opportunity to prepare them for future successes by allowing them to give back to others.
Laurens CSO and HITS
On January 26th, a Service Learning Project for Human Trafficking Awareness Month was conducted by JPPS II Nancy Kauffman. The focus of the discussion included:
. How people become victims of human trafficking . Sex slavery . Forced labor . Possible signs that a person is a victim . Who is most vulnerable to become a victim of human trafficking
At the end of the discussion, youth designed posters with information on the severity of human trafficking (example: there are more human slaves in the world today than ever before in history) and useful information with a 24-hour hotline phone number to report suspected human trafficking.
District 8 hosted a Mental Health First Aid Training for staff in District 8 & SW Region Staff at the Government Center in Columbus, Georgia on February 10th. The training was conducted by Lori Wade, PS Mental Health First Aid Coordinator of Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network and Tammie Clark, Muscogee Project AWARE.
Dougherty CSO and HITS:
DOUGHERTY CSO/HITS is participating in the community event Sharing Shave Kits Campaign for the homeless men with Faith Community Outreach Center.
JPM LaRhonda Jackson and JPPS Tammie Albritten attended the Swearing in Ceremony for JPPS Travis Mansfield on January 29th.
JPPS Hopson Williams was sworn in as a HITS Officer on January 29th after completing the BPJOT course in December. JPPS Williams was a honor graduate in the BPJOT Class #004.
After working at the Department of Juvenile Justice for any significant period of time, it is easy to understand why we are all considered part of a special group called the DJJ Family. Working side by side in a coordinated effort to provide the best and safest results for the youth in our care requires trust and understanding of one another. The hard work and dedication of each DJJ employee inspires others to work equally hard for the common goal.
For this reason, retirements at the Department of Juvenile Justice are a celebrated blessing. The years spent at DJJ are years developing friendships and are much more than just getting a paycheck.
Recently, the Department of Juvenile Justice had two very noteworthy retirements of long-standing employees: Cynthia Bagwell and Bobby Hughes. Between these two individuals, there exists more than forty years of DJJ experience and expertise.
Cynthia Bagwell graduated with a Specialist degree in Education from Georgia Southwestern State University. She has taught at various levels and subjects during her career in both the public and private schools. Mrs. Bagwell was part of the successful implementation of the Georgia Tech Satellite Program for Adult Education. Mrs. Bagwell looks forward to her retirement to be able to spend more time with her husband Jim, two children, seven Grandsons and arrival of her first Granddaughter in July 2016.
For the past twenty-eight years, Mr. Bobby Hughes has served the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice with distinction. Over the years, Bobby has often said Dalton RYDC was and is successful because of good people and that their success is what makes the leadership of the facility successful. Director Hughes believes strongly in the DJJ Family and spent his career creating an atmosphere that serves as a model for other facilities across the State of Georgia and the United States.
The Department of Juvenile Justice salutes Ms. Cynthia Bagwell and Mr. Bobby Hughes for their service!
DJJ Good News: Staff Graduations at Bob Richards RYDC
With the educational success of youth enrolled in the Georgia Preparatory Academy, it is sometimes easy to forget that the employees of the Department of Juvenile Justice are also interested in furthering their life goals and experiences in the classroom. For three members of the Bob Richards RYDC in Rome, 2015 was a banner year for personal and professional growth via graduations from local universities.
Denise Locklear graduated in May 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Human Resources Management from Ashford University. During a career with the State of Georgia that has been ongoing for thirty years, Ms. Locklear has worked as an HR Tech, an Account Paraprofessional, and, with the completion of her degree, the Administrative Operations Manager for the Bob Richards RYDC. Ms. Locklear has been with the Department of Juvenile Justice for thirty years.
Amanda Roper graduated in October 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Ashford University. Mrs. Roper started her career with the Department of Juvenile Justice in 1999 as a part-time employee and became a full-time Juvenile Correctional Officer I in 2000. Since 2000, Ms. Roper has served as a Sergeant and Lieutenant before becoming Secretary for the Assistant Director of Security. Mrs. Roper has been with the Department of Juvenile Justice for sixteen years.
Zinnia Williams graduated in December 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Human Services from Shorter University. Mrs. Williams started her career with the Department of Juvenile Justice as a Juvenile Correctional Officer, was later promoted to a Sergeant and is now the Intake Clerk for the Bob Richards RYDC. Mrs. Williams has been with the Department of Juvenile Justice for fourteen years.
Congratulations again to all of the Star Graduates from the Bob Richards RYDC!