Introducing The DJJ Digest: The Official Newsletter for the Department of Juvenile Justice DJJ Staff  at:  3/24/2016  

Introducing The DJJ Digest: The Official Newsletter for the Department of Juvenile Justice

The Department of Juvenile Justice Office of Communications is proud to announce the introduction of the newest agency-wide newsletter, The DJJ Digest. Full of good news stories and events from facilities and locations around the state, The DJJ Digest is YOUR home for highlights of some of the great things taking place daily at the Department of Juvenile Justice.

In this inaugural edition, we learn the story of Christie Cash, a former juvenile offender who has turned her life around with the help of DJJ. In addition, we get a behind-the-scenes look at the Milledgeville ITU, an update on the “Beat the Streets” program, and much more!

To download a copy of The DJJ Digest, click on:

To have your own facility success story or program featured in a future edition of The DJJ Digest, email the Communications Team at . Let us hear from you!





     Chatham ETC and the Savannah Pre-Apprentice Summer Employment Program DJJ Staff  at:  3/23/2016  

Chatham ETC and the Savannah Pre-Apprentice Summer Employment Program

On Tuesday, in partnership with the Savannah Metro Police, City of Savannah, and Chatham Juvenile Court, the Department of Juvenile Justice participated in a kickoff event for the 2016 Savannah Pre-Apprentice Employment Program which teaches job skills and finds summer work for youth in the Savannah area. 2016 will be the fourth year of existence for the program in Chatham County for youth ages 14 to 17.

Chief Juvenile Court Judge LeRoy Burke, Diavante Kittles, and DJJ District Eleven Director Patricia Merritt

As part of the Savannah Pre-Apprentice Employment Program, the Department of Juvenile Justice helps refer youth from its local facilities in the area for participation. One youth, Diavante Kittles, is a student at DJJ’s Chatham Educational Transitional Center and spoke at the kickoff in praise of the program. Partially as a result of the program, Diavante Kittles believes that “whatever I put my mind to, I can accomplish that. That is the mindset that I have now. I have self-worth and I can be what I want to be.”

Other civic leaders including Chatham County Juvenile Court Judge LeRoy Burke III came to the kickoff to praise its effectiveness and to encourage local citizens and businesses to donate time and money to the program. The Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department is hoping to increase the number of teens participating this year from sixty to two hundred youth. Below is the video of the Savannah Pre-Apprentice Employment Program Kickoff with footage from WTOC Savannah. For more information on how you can participate and donate to the program, click on





     H.I.T.S. Inside Edition: March 2016 Newsletter DJJ Staff  at:  3/21/2016  
H.I.T.S. Inside Edition: March 2016 Newsletter

The March 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 BJPOT Class #005, the 2nd Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Smiles for Seniors, and other news.

To download the latest version of H.I.T.S. Inside Edition, click on:





     News from District Ten: St. Patrick's Day DJJ Staff  at:  3/21/2016  

News from District Ten: St. Patrick's Day

Story support by District Ten Director Laura Pike

For the Department of Juvenile Justice staff in District Ten, a commitment to community is all part of a day’s job. Working and playing together with the goal of providing rewarding opportunities for their youth has helped to boost District Ten team morale and improve the important personal connections that comes with enjoying one’s career. The foundation built through shared experiences makes life better for the entire DJJ District Ten Family.

Janie Holton, JPPS III/HITs; Dawn Smith, JPPS III/Intake; Lisa Owens, JPPS II; Shalonda Brinson, JPM/Thomas CSO

Janie Holton, JPPS III/HITs; Dawn Smith, JPPS III/Intake; Laura S. Pike, District Director, District 10; Shalonda Brinson, JPM/Thomas CSO

And, nothing speaks to the notion of family more than the celebration of holidays! For last week’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, the DJJ High Intensity Team Supervision (HITS) and Community Services Office staff had the luck (and fun) of the Irish with several events for staff and youth alike including:

• District Ten Casual Day where employees could wear jeans as long as they wore something green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day
• Green Potluck where employees were challenged to bring in green colored food items to share with their teammates
• Shamrocks were posted throughout the DJJ offices to help enliven the mood for staff and youth alike

Vision Statement for the Thomas and Grady Community Services Offices

Thomas and Grady County Juvenile Program Manager Shalonda Brinson with Julia Mims, PA

Thanks to all of the DJJ staff who participated and made St. Patrick’s Day 2016 a memorable one in Southwest Georgia.

May the road always rise to meet you
May the wind always be at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields and
Until we meet again
May God hold each of in the palm of his hand

Traditional Irish Blessing

District Ten welcomed special guests to the festivities: Earnest Sampson, JPPS/Rockdale CSO; Sahara Ford, JPPS/Rockdale CSO; Aja Jones, JPPS/Thomas CSO





     DJJ and Girl Scout Troop #965: Teen Dating Violence Awareness DJJ Staff  at:  3/11/2016  


Special thanks to Sara Gardner of the Office of Victim Services for the story support.

Since its founding, the Girl Scouts of America have existed to empower girls and to help teach core values such as honesty, fairness, courage, compassion, character, sisterhood, confidence, entrepreneurship, and citizenship. For the girls of DJJ Girl Scout Troop #965, working to live up to these values through societal awareness and activity is an important part of all troop activities. Many of the issues discussed during projects completed by Troop #965 are ones that many of the girls personally have faced before coming to DJJ and may very well face once they are living back in their home communities.

February was Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and Girl Scout Troop #965 was proud to be part of the national conversation for this serious issue. Examining the topic of teen dating violence, Troop #965 came together to talk about what it means to be in a healthy relationship and how violence should have no part in love and romance.

As part of their community service project, Girl Scout Troop #965 participated in creating t-shirts, helping the express the emotions of dating violence and violence against women. The designing of the t-shirts was inspired by the Clothesline Project, where t-shirts are created to and hung as a testimony to the problem of violence against women.

The shirts decorated by Girl Scout Troop #965 expressed their feelings that it is a right to have a relationship free of violence. Discussing what makes a relationship healthy, some of the responses included "trust, love and caring are needed to make a relationship whole" and "love comes from our parents and when we don't receive this, sometimes we look for replacement love in the wrong place".

The Teen Dating Violence Awareness shirts created by Girl Scout Troop #965 will be displayed at the Metro RYDC as a reminder that love is not abuse. For more information on Troop #965, visit them on the web at




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