Views from the SMRT Team P.O.S.T. Certification Ceremony DJJ Staff  at:  7/17/2014  

On July 16th, Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Avery D. Niles was proud to present formally and swear-in the DJJ Security Management and Response Team (SMRT) as P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards and Training Council) certified peace officers with arrest powers.

The POST training provides peace officers at DJJ with the training and certification mandated by Georgia. A peace officer generally refers to any employee of a state or other public law enforcement agency, whose duties include arrests, searches and seizures, execution of criminal and civil warrants, and is responsible for the prevention or detection of crime or for the enforcement of the penal laws.

In 2012, the DJJ Commissioner authorized the creation of two (2) 12-person SMRT Teams pronounced as “SMART" Teams to provide immediate and controlled response to emergent incidents occurring within the jurisdiction of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

The SMRT teams are formed to ensure the safety of offenders and staff as well as overall security while building stability and lending support to facilities facing crisis situations. SMRT Teams are designed to be available for immediate statewide response at the Regional Youth detention Centers (RYDC) and the Youth Development Campuses (YDC).

The SMRT Teams will also be available to assist in the event of a serious incident involving DJJ Juvenile Probation or Parole Offices. The SMRT Teams will be on-call and respond to any activity deemed necessary by the Commissioner, including emergency situations arising from natural and manmade disasters.


Congratulations once again to all of our newly sworn in SMRT Team Members!




     Views from the Office of Training Information Summit DJJ Staff  at:  7/10/2014  


Recently, the Department of Juvenile Justice Division of Training and Personnel Services, part of the Office of Training, held an informational Summit at the DJJ Academy located at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, Georgia. The purpose of the meeting was to offer an overview of the Office of Training as a whole and to provide details of current and upcoming programming in the department.

A quick look of the Office of Training shows that there are twenty-eight employees, including the director, and that:

  • Eighteen are responsible for the training of staff

  • Five manage and instruct courses when necessary

  • Five are administrative staff

The Office of Training enlists the assistance of adjunct instructors from all DJJ Divisions. Currently, there are forty-seven adjunct instructors active throughout the agency.

Since January, the Office of Training has been busy providing course training for a wide variety of Department of Juvenile Justice needs. Among the many courses and the numbers graduating from the courses include:

  • Basic Juvenile Correctional Officer Training -- 157 Trained

  • Basic Juvenile Probation Officer Training -- 46 Trained

  • In-Service --Physical Intervention Training -- 1,050 Trained

  • Sergeants Academy -- 78 Trained

  • Management Basics -- 53 Trained

  • Field Training Officer -- 48 Trained

  • AHA CPR/First Aid -- 1,175 Trained

  • Community Pre-Service -- 18 Trained

  • Performance Planning and Employee Discipline -- 111 Trained

  • Behavior Management Unit Certification -- 56 Trained

 Moving forward, the Office of Training is preparing several new courses/programs that will stat this calendar year:

  • Basic Juvenile Probation Officer Training

  • Leadership Development Institute

  • Special Incident Report Writing Course

  • Webinar Courses

  • Office of Training Course Catalog

With the new vetting procedures now in place, the number of employees graduating from training courses is growing substantially. Whereas in the past, the dropout rate was very high, with the latest training course, nearly 98% of those attended and graduated.

Special thanks goes out to DJJ Deputy Commissioner Michael McNeely and Director of Training Theodore Carter Jr. for their hard work in improving testing and course standards for the Department of Juvenile Justice. In honor of Director Carter's work, DJJ Commissioner Avery Niles presented him with a prestigious DJJ Commissioner's Coin during the Summit.





     Download the Ready GA Emergency Mobile App for Your DJJ Phones Today DJJ Staff  at:  7/1/2014  

Download the Ready GA Emergency Mobile App for Your DJJ Phones Today

DJJ Team: The first tropical depression of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Arthur later today. GEMA says “Arthur” will not make a direct hit on Georgia, but coastal counties could still experience sustained winds of 25-35 mph and locally heavy rainfall. If it hugs the coast more tightly than initially predicted, Georgia could receive more direct impacts from wind and rain. Commissioner Avery D. Niles suggests the DJJ Team can start monitoring this storm using the Ready Georgia Emergency Mobile APP!

Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security recently introduced an upgrade of the state’s emergency mobile app, Ready Georgia. Ready Georgia was designed to help Georgians stay safe and informed during emergencies like the ones DJJ experienced this winter. DJJ Commissioner Niles recommends that all DJJ employees download this new app on compatible DJJ phones or on their personal phones to safeguard their family’s safety.

The award-winning Ready Georgia mobile app, created by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Georgia Department of Public Health, is an interactive tool that makes it easier than ever to stay ready for emergencies. The app features geo-targeted severe weather and emergency alerts that will notify your phone before disasters strike. It also includes a customizable emergency plan and supplies checklist, information on how to deal with specific threats, and detailed maps covering everything from live-traffic to the location of open emergency shelters.

The Ready Georgia app is available for iPhone and Android platforms. Download it today and Work safer -- Travel safer. Keep an eye on the weather and the road this holiday weekend.








     Growing Young Minds and a Garden at the Georgia Preparatory Academy/Sandersville RYDC DJJ Staff  at:  6/30/2014  

Growing Young Minds and a Garden at the Georgia Preparatory Academy/Sandersville RYDC 

As part of an exciting summer season, the Georgia Preparatory Academy in Sandersville and the Sandersville RYDC are working together to grow the minds, bodies, and spirits of our youth with a unique educational program. Called "Growing Young Minds and a Garden", the students of the Georgia Preparatory Academy Sandersville are in charge of creating and cultivating a vegetable garden on the grounds of the facility.

While designing and harvesting a vegetable garden can be physical work, the youth at the Sandersville RYDC are not just building their muscles with "Growing Young Minds and a Garden". As part of the project, the students are learning Spanish as a second language as they grow a variety of vegetables associated with Latino and Hispanic cooking such as jalpeno peppers, cheyenne peppers, and bell peppers. Additional vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, cantaloupes, and watermelon round out the impressive mix of tastes of this ambitious garden and project.

The Department of Juvenile Justice would like to congratulate the Georgia Preparatory Academy Sandersville Education and Recreation Staff for their hard work and support in helping the Sandersville youth with this successful and healthy outdoor undertaking.




     DJJ Distinguished Service Award Recipient Willie C. Bolton DJJ Staff  at:  6/27/2014  


Office of Training Program Managers Tania Appling and Gary Murphy with Deputy Commissioner Michael McNeely presenting DJJ Board Member Willie Bolton with the Department of Juvenile Justice Distinguished Service Award

During the June Department of Juvenile Justice Board Meeting, Deputy Commissioner Michael McNeely along with Office of Training Program Managers Tania Appling and Gary Murphy were proud to present DJJ Board Member Willie C. Bolton with the DJJ Distinguished Service Award.

The Department of Juvenile Justice Distinguished Service Award was presented to Board Member Bolton in recognition of his ongoing and dedicated support of the DJJ Sergeants Academy. Mr. Bolton has participated in every Sergeants Academy Leadership Panel to date and attended every Sergeants Academy graduation, while personally congratulating every officer. By giving this special training his personal attention he has provided valuable insight to new agency supervisors for employing best practices to help develop effective leadership skills.

Mr. Bolton, within his area of expertise, has pushed for additional law enforcement leadership opportunities for upcoming managers, encouraging corrections professionals to strive for advancement within the agency. In all respects, Mr. Bolton has proven to be a key asset to the Department and the Sergeants Academy.

Mr. Bolton' s long and distinguished career has spanned a generation. Director and Warden of the Athens-Clarke County Department of Corrections for nearly twenty years, Mr. Bolton has worked with the Athens-Clarke County Government for forty years. He serves on the Athens Regional Medical Center Hospital Authority, Georgia Public Safety Training Center Advisory Board, Athens Rotary Club and the Boys Scouts of America Northeast Georgia Council. He is also a member of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Association of Chiefs of Police, the Georgia Prison Wardens Association, American Correctional Association, North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents. Last year, Mr. Bolton received the prestigious Lifetime Association Membership from the Peace Officers Association of Georgia. Mr. Bolton earned a bachelor`s degree from Brenau University and a master`s degree from Clark Atlanta University. He and his wife have two children and two grandchildren and reside in Athens.

The Sergeants Academy was designed to develop to management skills for future leaders within the Correctional Field. The Office Of Training has graduated ten classes where several graduates were later promoted to higher ranks within the Department of Juvenile Justice.




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