VIEW FROM THE SWEARING-IN CEREMONY OF DJJ BOARD MEMBERS STEPHENS AND YARBROUGH
On April 9th, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, with Commissioner Avery D. Niles witnessing, swore in Mr. Fred E. Stephens and Mr. Dick Yarbrough as the newest members of the Board of Juvenile Justice.
Mr. Dick Yarbrough is a retired vice president of BellSouth Corporation. He also served as a Managing Director of Atlanta’s 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. “Dick” Yarbrough is best known as one of the state’s most popular and widely read syndicated newspaper columnists.
He is a University of Georgia graduate and past president of the National Alumni Association. Yarbrough and his wife, Jane, have two children, three grandchildren and one great-grandson. They reside in Atlanta. As DJJ’s newest Board Member, Yarbrough was appointed by Governor Deal to represent Congressional District 11.
Yarbrough said, ‘I know juvenile justice reform has long been a priority for Governor Deal and the Georgia Legislature and I appreciate this opportunity to serve on the Board. I am looking forward to working with Commissioner Avery Niles and DJJ’s 4,000 men and women across the state in their mission to help juvenile offenders become productive citizens. I can think of nothing more important to the future of our state than this effort to rehabilitate these young lives.”
Governor Deal appointed Mr. Fred E. Stephens of Cleveland, Georgia to represent the Board’s Ninth Congressional District. Stephens currently serves as an Assistant Chief of Police of Field Operations for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.
Chief Stephens will represent the Board District previously occupied by former Board Chairman Avery Niles before he was named DJJ Commissioner. Chief Stephens is a former GBI agent. He retired from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in 2012 after more than 31 years of service.
Chief Stephens earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Newberry College and a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbus State University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Command College, and the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange. He and his wife, Laura, have two children and reside in White County, Georgia.
Chief Stephens said “I’m thankful for this appointment as a new Board Member. I view it as a great opportunity to contribute to my community in whatever small ways I can.” Stephens said he values the youth of our communities and the chance to rehabilitate those young people who have gone astray, using access to education as a foundation for their freedom. DJJ is the state’s 181st school district and has dual accreditation with the State of Georgia.
DJJ Board members are appointed by the Governor to serve in an advisory capacity to the Department of Juvenile Justice, providing leadership and guidance to the Commissioner. The Board is made up of 15 members representing each Congressional District in the state to help improve Georgia’s juvenile justice system.
Commissioner Avery D. Niles expressed the appreciation of the agency and the Board for the Governor’s latest appointments to DJJ. “We admire the professionalism and dedication to public service these new Board Members will bring to this task,” said Commissioner Niles. “They will make excellent assets to the Board and we wish them all the best as they face the many challenges that will come with Georgia’s juvenile justice reforms.”