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




     The DJJ Healthy Way: March 2016 Newsletter DJJ Staff  at:  3/9/2016  

The DJJ Healthy Way: March 2016 Newsletter

The March 2016 edition of The DJJ Healthy Way, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice's Office of Nutrition and Food Services Newsletter, is now available for viewing. In this month's newsletter, DJJ celebrates National Nutrition Month and shines a spotlight on Nutrition Technology.

To download the latest version of The DJJ Healthy Way Newsletter, click HERE. To learn more about food services at our facilities, visit




     DJJ Commissioner Avery Niles "Georgia Focus" Interview: Commissioner DJJ Staff  at:  3/4/2016  
DJJ Commissioner Avery Niles "Georgia Focus" Interview: Commissioner's Youth Council

During the weekend of March 5th and 6th, the Georgia News Network will air the "Georgia Focus" public affairs program on radio stations across Georgia. This weekend's entire broadcast will focus on the Commissioner's Youth Council, beginning with an in-depth interview with Commissioner Avery D. Niles about Georgia Juvenile Justice Reform, a discussion with youth inspirational speaker Dr. Brandon Cooke, and a dialogue with Youth Council Members Brittany from Macon and Bryce from Sumter. This radio special is an overall informative and positive view of an innovative juvenile justice program, the caring staff who created it, and the youth who ultimately benefit from it.

To download a list of stations broadcasting the interview this weekend, click here. To view the interview online via the DJJ YouTube Channel, click here.





     DJJ Central Office Employee of the Month: Kathy Sidwell DJJ Staff  at:  3/4/2016  

Congratulations to Kathy Sidwell
Selected Central Office Employee of the Month for March 2016!

Congratulations Kathy Sidwell on being selected as employee of the month for March 2016.

Kathy has been with the Department for 12+ years performing duties as the Administrative Operations Coordinator 2 in the Office of Human Resources. Kathy is an exemplary employee who consistently does an excellent job with tasks that are critical to the success of HR and the Department.

In addition to providing non-routine administrative support for the HR Director, Deputy HR Director, and five HR Managers in the areas of maintaining and reconciling HR budget and other accounting records, coordinating equipment installation and repairs, and monitor usage and order supplies, Kathy also processes personnel transactions, coordinates fingerprinting and completes fingerprint data entries of new DJJ Central Office Staff. She processes invoices to the copier vendor (RICOH), fingerprinting vendor (COGENT); and to the Department’s Employee Assistance Program vendor, Cameron and Associates, Inc. (CAI). In addition, Kathy manages the agency’s drug test invoices and billing records, as well as, the Faithful Service Awards and ensures that retiring employees receive retirement memorabilia upon requests.

Kathy is always willing to support and educate co-workers and managers on HR processes. She is an excellent employee whose performance reflects innovation, passion, and a customer-centered focus; and is therefore, deserving of this award.

Please join us in congratulating Ms. Kathy Sidwell for a job well done.


The Employee of the Month Committee

DJJ’s Employee of the Month Recognition Program
– How Nominees Are Selected

Beginning January 2015, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice kicks-off its first “Employee of the Month” program for Central Office employees. Names of nominees are selected by the DJJ Executive Team from members of their units or divisions and submitted to be recognized as the Central Office Employee of the Month. Included with the nomination is a one page write-up detailing why the staff member should be given consideration to be selected Employee of the Month.

Then each month, the Nomination Committee makes their selection for the employee to receive public appreciation the following month. The written nomination is reviewed and signed by Commissioner Avery D. Niles and posted for public recognition on the DJJ “News & Views” website. Each nominee selected by the committee will be recognized at a monthly DJJ Board Meeting and entitled to use the Employee of the Month parking space reserved at Central Office.

The DJJ Central Office Employee of the Month award is intended to recognize and support those stand-out DJJ team members who bring additional motivation, determination and vigor to the workplace through their personal ethics, advocacy, positive attitudes and innovative solutions to impact the professional challenges faced by their dedicated colleagues and the troubled youth they serve.




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