DJJ Cares: Bell Minor Nursing Home DJJ Staff  at:  5/19/2017  
DJJ Cares: Bell Minor Nursing Home

Photos from Victim and Volunteer Services Director Latera Davis

Recently, the youth and staff of DJJ launched the We Care Campaign to give back to local citizens and to improve communities in Georgia. As part of the campaign, youth donated Mother's Day cards, plants and flag pallets to honor the residents of the Bell Minor Nursing Home in Gainesville.

Participants in this year's We Care Campaign included the Bell Minor staff, Gainesville RYDC Director Herman Oglesby, Victim and Volunteer Services staff members Loronda Giddens and Sara Gardner, the Metro RYDC Girl Scouts, the Eastman YDC horticultural program students and the Augusta YDC. The We Care Campaign is part of National Nursing Home Week.

During National Nursing Home Week, skilled nursing care centers will unite under the theme, “The Spirit of America.” This theme underscores the bond between staff, volunteers and residents that capture the American spirit.

Established by the American Health Care Association in 1967 and always beginning on Mother’s Day, National Nurising Home Week provides an opportunity for residents and their loved ones, staff, volunteers and surrounding communities to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities.




     DJJ Congratulates the Inaugural Class of Emergency Planners DJJ Staff  at:  5/18/2017  
DJJ Congratulates the Inaugural Class of Emergency Planners

Photo and story information from Office of Planning & Preparedness Director Scott Cagle

The Department of Juvenile Justice is proud to announce the graduation of the inaugural class of Emergency Planners. The Office of Planning & Preparedness (OPP) is excited and honored to share its knowledge to help accomplish the number one priority of Commissioner Avery D. Niles: to operate safe, secure facilities and communities.

DJJ is fortunate to have some of the best instructors in the law enforcement community and experts in fire and life safety. A special thanks goes out to Andy Wall, Betsy Wetzel, Dewayne Hall and John Parker for leading this first class. Because of their hard work and the dedication of the class, DJJ will no longer have to send its emergency planners to the Department of Corrections for training in planning.

For the initial class, OPP delivered instruction that covered emergency response, planner duties and responsibilities, emergency drills, basic fire safety/prevention and how to conduct regular fire inspections. OPP looks forward to teaching these classes in the future for Secure Campuses/Facilities in addition to the current classes with our Communities Division.





     PBIS at DJJ: Recent Elbert Shaw RYDC Employees of the Month DJJ Staff  at:  5/17/2017  
PBIS at DJJ: Recent Elbert Shaw RYDC Employees of the Month

Photos and information provided by Lt. Kristen Nix

The Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center (Elbert Shaw RYDC) announced that Officer Katherine Blackstock and Special Education Teacher R.D. Noren were named recent Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Employees of the Month for the facility. The PBIS Employee of the Month award is open to all in fields of Safety & Security, Medical, Counselors, Mental Health, Education, Food Service, Maintenance, Business, Personnel, Support Staff and Administration.

       To become the PBIS Employee of the Month at the Elbert Shaw RYDC, employees must:

  • Possess a positive attitude towards work responsibilities, co-workers, youth and be willing to serve as a role model for others.

  • Show a willingness to exercise servant-leadership, take initiative and accept and carry out additional responsibilities beyond the regular job assignments for the good of DJJ.

  • Be consistent, dependable and punctual in reporting for duty.

According to her co-workers and supervisors, Officer Katherine Blackstock is "is a team player and is highly respected among the kids. She is fair, firm and consistent. She is flexible and does what she is supposed to do without being told to do so. Officer Blackstock has a servant's heart. She is super flexible and adapts at the blink of an eye. She can relate to these kids and I've witnessed her getting on their level more than once. She is willing to help whether it be stay over or to do extra tasks. She never complains."

Special Education Teacher R.D. Noren is "is a very valuable employee at Elbert Shaw. He is success driven and always has a positive attitude. Constantly, he is revising new methods of teaching to hold our youths' attention and gain feedback. Students have approached staff constantly excited with something new learned in his class that day. He makes learning fun yet keeps students focused and on-task."

PBIS is an evidence-based, data-driven framework proven to reduce disciplinary incidents, increase a school’s sense of safety and support improved academic outcomes. More than 23,000 U.S. schools are implementing PBIS and saving countless instructional hours otherwise lost to discipline. The premise of PBIS is that continual teaching, combined with acknowledgement or feedback of positive student behavior, will reduce unnecessary discipline and promote a climate of greater productivity, safety and learning. PBIS schools apply a multi-tiered approach to prevention, using disciplinary data and principles of behavior analysis to develop school-wide, targeted and individualized interventions and supports to improve the school climate for all students. 

To learn more about PBIS at DJJ, visit 




     Law Enforcement Torch Run: Whitfield County DJJ Staff  at:  5/16/2017  
Law Enforcement Torch Run: Whitfield County

Story and main graphic by Maria Rondel. Photo provided by Renee McClanahan

The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is continuing its partnership with the Special Olympics of Georgia to raise funds for athletes with intellectual disabilities across the state.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest statewide fundraiser for the Special Olympics of Georgia. Funds raised through the Law Enforcement Torch Run help offset the expenses of the State Games and are specifically used for facility rental, housing, meals, sports equipment rental and purchase, officials’ fees and medals.

Over 26,000 athletes are expected to participate in the event this year. For a few days, these children and adults will compete in a high-quality sports competition, interact with their peers and experience new places and events. Participation in the State Games also means these athletes are focusing on a goal, learning new skills and developing healthy habits that may lead to improved overall health.

The law enforcement staff of Georgia continue supporting the cause by participating in Law Enforcement Torch Runs throughout Georgia. Just last Thursday, May 10, DJJ NW Region District 1 law enforcement community members participated in the event and ran over eight miles for the cause in Whitfield County.

Several more Law Enforcement Torch Runs will take place; the final Torch Run will be held on May 19 in downtown Atlanta. Sign up today to help make this year’s Final Torch Run the biggest one ever held!

If you or your group from any DJJ facility are interested in running in one of these fundraiser legs around the state, please contact Latera Davis via email at or Montrail Mitchell at, so we can organize with the day’s host agency and maximize DJJ’s Torch Run reach. Your help is vital to the continuation of Special Olympics Georgia!




     DJJ Supports National Nurses Week 2017 DJJ Staff  at:  5/11/2017  
DJJ Supports National Nurses Week 2017

At the Department of Juvenile Justice, nurses are some of the most unsung heroes at our facilities around the state. Providing medical services to all of our youth, nurses are called into action day and night to ensure the health and well-being of those individuals entrusted to DJJ’s care.

In recognition of the hard work and dedication of our nurses, DJJ is a proud supporter of National Nurses Week, currently being celebrated across the country. National Nurses Week is a time to show appreciation for these vital members of the healthcare profession. This year’s theme, set by the American Nurses Association, is "Nursing: the Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit" and focuses on the year of the “healthy nurse”.

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale's birthday. Nightingale was a trail-blazing figure in the medical profession and because of her pioneering work during the Crimean War, she is known as the founder of modern nursing. Due to her habit of making rounds at night, Nightingale became known as "The Lady with the Lamp". National Nurses Week was first observed in October 1954, the 100th anniversary of Nightingale's mission to Crimea.

DJJ would like to thank and recognize all of the men and women who make up the nursing team in Georgia. For more information on National Nurses Week, visit




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