DJJ at the 2015 Peace Officers' Association of Georgia Training Conference DJJ Staff  at:  9/17/2015  

DJJ at the 2015 Peace Officers' Association of Georgia Training Conference

In late August, the Peace Officers' Association of Georgia (POAG) held its annual Training Conference at the Marriott Riverfront in Savannah. The Department of Juvenile Justice proudly endorses the educational and professional mission of POAG with individuals such as DJJ Board Members John B. Edwards (Secretary and Treasurer), Adam Kennedy, and Fred Stephens playing a pivotal role in the leadership of the organization.

DJJ Board Members Adam Kennedy, John B. Edwards, and Fred Stephens

The Peace Officers' Association of Georgia (POAG) is the oldest and largest organization of “peace officers” in Georgia. The diverse membership includes local, state and federal officers of all ranks and duties including corrections officers, district attorneys, and corporate security with the power of arrest in Georgia.

DJJ OCATS Director Lisa Casey Bryson with Adam Kennedy and Fred Stephens

The motto of POAG is “In unity there is strength”, a measure that members have taken great pride in over the years. The Association has a rich history of networking and fellowship at its meetings which produces an attitude of comraderie that has benefited the Association greatly over the years.

The 2015 POAG Training Conference is a continuation of the great work that takes place within the organization each and every day. Seminars ranging from legal updates, dealing with the mentally ill, body camera enforcement, and terrorist screening help provide real world and real time help for law enforcement across the state.

Many of the seminars of the 2015 POAG Training Conference had direct ties to the Department of Juvenile Justice. Board Member Fred Stephens highlighted a seminar on Fair and Impartial Policing. DJJ Board Member John B. Edwards gave an overview on Policing in Today's Society. And, DJJ Office of Communications Director Jim Shuler spoke on the importance of Media Management.

The 2015 POAG Training Conference Banquet and Awards Dinner featured some great speakers and honored the work of deserving officers from across Georgia. Department of Corrections Commissioner Homer Bryson spoke before the crowd on his role within DOC. Colonel Bill Hitchens of the Georgia State Patrol received the POAG Meritorious Service Award.  Other award winners included individuals from the Stephens County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Natural Resources.

For more information on the Peace Officers' Association of Georgia, visit them online at







     Views from the Terrell County RYDC Groundbreaking Ceremony DJJ Staff  at:  9/14/2015  
Terrell County RYDC Groundbreaking Ceremony

On September 8th, Commissioner Avery D. Niles welcomed state and local dignataries from Southwest Georgia including Representative Gerald Greene and Senator Freddie Powell Sims to the groundbreaking for the Department of Juvenile Justice's new Terrell County Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC) in Dawson, Georgia. 

The groundbreaking at Terrell RYDC marks a highlight in the Southwest Region of Georgia for the Department of Juvenile Justice. Funded with bonds passed during the 2014 legislative session, the Terrell RYDC will be a fifty-six bed secure facility with room for up to forty-eight males and eight female juvenile offenders.

Converted from a former Department of Corrections facility, the Terrell RYDC will be a technological standard bearer for the Department of Juvenile Justice featuring IP Closed-Circuit Television surveillance, steel cells and touch screen control panels. A focal point of the facility will be its expanded educational wing with computer labs and state of the art Promethean interactive learning boards. The Terrell RYDC is scheduled to open in October 2016.

“The groundbreaking at the Terrell RYDC signifies the start of an exciting new era for the Department of Juvenile Justice in Southwest Georgia,” said DJJ Commissioner Avery D. Niles. “Not only does this Youth Detention Center bring in a significant number of jobs here, the Terrell RYDC also showcases updates in security engineering and construction as a result of Georgia’s new juvenile justice reforms in 2014.”

“The safety measures, technology and added emphasis on treatment, counseling and education incorporated here will be hallmarks of the Terrell RYDC and will highlight our methodology to always be thinking about preparing young offenders for reentry into their communities as responsible and law abiding citizens,” said Commissioner Niles.


“We appreciate support from Governor Nathan Deal and the General Assembly for providing the resources for this facility. We especially wish to note the work of Representative Gerald Greene and Senator Freddie Powell Sims for demonstrating their dedication to the youth of Georgia,” the Commissioner said.

Among the other dignitaries and speakers at the Terrell RYDC groundbreaking were:

Representative Darrell Ealum
Former Representative Bob Hanner
Terrell County Commission Chair Wilbur Gamble
Terrell County Commissioner Lucius Holloway
Dr. Anthony Parker, President of Albany Tech
Superior Court Judge Joe Bishop
Calhoun County Sheriff Josh Hilton
Calhoun State Prison Warden Phil Hall
Chief Charlie Whitehead, City of Dawson Police Department

Correctional staff for the Terrell RYDC will complete rigorous training before the official opening and special recruitment efforts will be launched to bring in the very best candidates. In addition to quality transfer employees from the Albany RYDC, DJJ will hire and recruit only mature, responsible adults with interests in helping young offenders through troubled transitions in their lives.

For more information on Juvenile Justice Reform in Georgia, please visit To learn more about available employment opportunities with the Department of Juvenile Justice go to



     DJJ at the 2015 GJSA Training Summit DJJ Staff  at:  9/11/2015  
DJJ at the 2015 GJSA Training Summit

On September 2nd through 4th, the Georgia Juvenile Services Association (GJSA) held its 2015 Training Summit at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront Hotel in Savannah, Georgia. The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is a proud sponsor of both GJSA and the 2015 GJSA Training Summit.

The special contributions of employees of the Department of Juvenile Justice for their work in helping juveniles in the state of Georgia were recognized by GJSA with the presentation of multiple awards at this year's Training Summit. Among those receiving awards this year were:

Special Recognition: Commissioner Avery D. Niles

Harold K Ables: Carl Brown, Special Assistant to the Commissioner

Supervisor of the Year: Michelle Stanley, Director I in Central Office

Outstanding Community Worker: Rodney Lawrence, JPPS II Muscogee CSO

Outstanding Facility Worker: Fra Johnson-Maddox, Assistant Director Atlanta YDC

Gail Hilley Award: Lora Duggan, Administrative Assistant Metro RYDC

Lora Duggan, Administrative Assistant for the Metro RYDC, was the Gail Hilley Award Winner for 2015

Michelle Stanley wins the Director of the Year Award

JPPS II Rodney Lawrence of Muscogee CSO winning the Outstanding Community Worker Award

The mission of the Georgia Juvenile Services Association is to create networking opportunities for Georgia Juvenile Services workers to learn and implement the best practices in Juvenile Delinquency prevention, supervision, treatment, and rehabilitation. This is accomplished by GJSA through advocacy, education, information sharing, and training.

Special Assistant to the Commissioner Carl Brown was this year's winner of the Harold K. Ables award, presented by GJSA to an outstanding worker in the field of Juvenile Justice in Georgia. It is awarded in memory of Harold K. Ables, who contributed to the founding of GJSA, and represents the dedicated service and high ideas held by Mr. Ables. Harold K. Ables (1931-1968) spent eleven years with the Floyd County Juvenile Court where he served as a Chief Probation Officer and Referee. Mr. Ables' sincere interest and concern for his fellow man was seen through his work with the youth of his community and church and was a strong believer in the worthwhile work done through the juvenile courts in our state. His work with the formation of GJSA was born of his interest in bringing together those working in the field of juvenile justice in Georgia to study and improve services rendered to the youth of the state.

Congratulations to all of the Department of Juvenile Justice award winners at the 2015 GJSA Training Summit. To learn more about the Georgia Juvenile Services Association, visit them on the web at





     PBIS at DJJ: Macon YDC at the Harriet Tubman Museum DJJ Staff  at:  9/9/2015  


Story support from Vanessa O'Donnell and the Macon YDC staff....

Recently, seven youth from the Macon YDC were afforded the opportunity to tour the Harriet Tubman Art Museum Center located in Macon Georgia. Part of the PBIS at DJJ program, each youth’s selection was based on positive behavior and academic accomplishments.

The Tubman Museum is a landmark institution in central Georgia and fulfills its mission by offering diverse exhibitions, innovative educational programming and cutting edge technology. The Tubman Museum not only educates its visitors regarding African American art, history, and culture, but also serves as a community resource.

The tour for the students of the Macon YDC was led by Ms. Tonya Parker, Director of Education and Outreach for Harriet Tubman Art Museum. Ms. Parker highlighted several interactive activities of the museum which helped to keep the students engaged. The tour included extensive backgrounds on the work of each artist as well as a series of mini-videos which depicted trials and triumphs of those seeking freedom from human servitude and bondage.

As part of the tour, each youth was provided a camera and was given the opportunity to take pictures of the various art exhibits throughout the museum. As part of a planned “scavenger hunt”, each student recorded information about the exhibits to reinforce important concepts presented by the museuem. Each youth also was required to write an essay describing their experience at the museum utilizing the pictures taken of the exhibits. The lessons learned by the students touring the Harriet Tubman Museum will be incorporated into a social studies assignment which will include a class project that will be presented to their peers.

As the youth of Macon YDC toured the museum, they were asked to think about their own life experiences relative to the experiences of the people living during the time of Harriet Tubman. Participants described the museum as “exciting, educational and adventurous,” and very much appreciative of the opportunity to explore and celebrate the history of many African Americans through art, history, and culture.

Some of the other quotes from the Macon YDC youth included:

“It was awesome to be granted the opportunity to learn and have a wonderful time learning.”

“I learned a lot of things but what really intrigued me was the Harriet Tubman exhibit. I never knew Harriet Tubman wasn’t her real name. It was Armanita Ross. I want to thank you all who helped organize this event. It was great!”

“I learned a lot of wonderful things. One of my favorite things was I learned Ray Charles was born in Albany, Ga. It really caught my attention because I was born in Albany and I have lived there for more than 15 years and I had no idea he was born there. This experience taught me so much. I had fun and I want to go back there again someday.”

Special thanks to the staff at the Harriet Tubman Art Museum Center, the staff at the Macon YDC, the PBIS at DJJ staff, and all those who helped to make this tour a reality.





     2015-2016 DJJ State Charitable Contributions Campaign Kickoff DJJ Staff  at:  9/9/2015  


On September 9th, the Department of Juvenile Justice hosted the 2015-2016 State Charitable Contributions Campaign (SCCP) Kickoff at its Central Office in Decatur, Georgia.

Led by 2015-2016 SCCP Chair and COO Sonja Allen and the State Charitable Contributions Campaign volunteers, the goal for this year's campaign is for the Department of Juvenile Justice to raise more than $20,000 agency wide with 100% employee participation. This goal was based on the generous totals raised by DJJ during last year's campaign. Among the lead volunteers for this year include:

Sonja Allen, CFO, Chairperson
Alline Wade-Simon, Coordinator
Natasha Bray, Co-Coordinator
Allyson Richardson
ShaRon Lovett-Ozuem
Chevene Slocum
Melody Stanfield
Catherine Ice
Bonita Jackson
Nicole Hood
Sabrina Scott
Carla Slaton
Dale Barfield
David Schwartz
Adrienne Dunson
Nicole Gaultney
Chelesa Bowen

Created in 1982 by the state assembly, the Charitable Contributions Program provides employees with the opportunity to donate to eligible and creditable charities through regular payroll deductions, cash, check or money order. To ensure everyone is well informed about the campaign and how your donation dollars will be used, DJJ staff will receive more detailed information about the 2015-16 program during the campaign kickoff on the 9th of September.

With our help, SCCP works to strengthen communities by supporting health and human service programs. These programs include services to the sick and elderly, counseling for the troubled, job training for the homeless, and youth development activities. SCCP is the one way we can have an impact on a wide range of programs. It is efficient and effective and our contributions go a long way to meet the needs of people less fortunate.

Please take time to read your 2015-16 brochures thoroughly. And please, make that critical decision to help your fellow Georgians, or support an international charity through a payroll deduction or lump sum contribution. I can assure you that it will make a difference in someone's life.

The on-line pledge site will be available for you to make your pledge September 1-October 31st.


1. Visit to be linked to your pledge portal. Paper pledges may be obtained from your Campaign Coordinator.


2. You may choose to give as little as $1 per pay period for payroll deduction, or make a one-time case, check, or credit card donation.


3. Using the official SCCP charity listing, select which charities you want to support and how to divide up your pledge.

How far does your dollar go?

$1 per month can protect 15 children from life threatening diseases.
$10 per month can provide 1200 people with their heart health status
$20 per month can change the lives of 240 animals.

Ready. Set. Give. Thank you, and please, give from your heart.

Visit the official site for the Department of Juvenile Justice's State Charitable Contributions Campaign at:





First Page   Prev. Page   Next Page   Last Page   

Archived Posts
Latest News

RSS Feed

Juvenile Justice News and Views