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.




     DJJ and the 2nd Annual Georgia Law Enforcement Appreciation Day DJJ Staff  at:  3/2/2016  


On March 2nd, the Department of Juvenile Justice was proud to participate in Law Enforcement Appreciation Day at the Georgia State Capitol. DJJ Commissioner Avery D. Niles and members of the Security Management and Response Teams (SMRT) and High Intensity Team Supervision (HITS) were on hand to honor Georgia’s highly trained and professional law enforcement officers.

Governor Nathan Deal and Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle spoke and praised the work of the approximately 54,000 Certified Peace Officers in the State of Georgia including nearly 14,000 Officers who work for agencies such as the Department of Juvenile Justice, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Corrections.

The Department of Juvenile Justice commends Georgia’s law enforcement officers for protecting our communities and for putting their lives on the line every day.




     Division of Community Services: EPICS Train the Trainer Course DJJ Staff  at:  3/2/2016  

Division of Community Services: EPICS Train the Trainer Course

Special thanks to DCS Program Coordinator Jimmie Lee Hooks for the story support

Last month, several members of the Division of Community Services participated and completed EPICS (Effective Practices in Community Supervision) Train the Trainer course at the DJJ Academy in Forsyth, Georgia. Taking place over five days with the support of the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute, the EPICS Train the Trainer course was held for the first time at the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice and the staff trained will be instrumental in the implementation of EPICS statewide at DJJ.

The purpose of the EPICS model is to teach probation officers, parole officers, and case managers how to apply the principles of effective intervention and core correctional practices to community supervision practices. The core correctional practices (or competencies) are organized into an overall framework to assist with the application of specific skills within the context of face-to-face contact sessions. This overall framework assists with the development and implementation of supervision plans to target the criminogenic needs of moderate to high risk offenders. With the EPICS model, the staff will follow a structured and deliberate approach while interacting with DJJ youth.

Specifically, each EPICS contact session includes four components:

• Check-In: Where the officer determines if the offender has any crises or acute needs, builds rapport, and discusses compliance issues.

• Review: Focuses on the skills discussed in the prior session, the application of those skills, and troubleshooting continued problems in the use of those skills.

• Intervention: The officer identifies continued areas of need, trends in problems the offender’s experiences, teaches relevant skills, and targets problematic thinking.

• Homework and Rehearsal: The offender is given an opportunity to practice new skill sets with a homework assignment and is given instructions to follow before the next visit.

The EPICS model is designed to use a combination of monitoring, referrals, and face-to-face interactions to provide the offenders with a sufficient “dosage” of treatment interventions and to make the best possible use of time to develop a collaborative working relationship. Using these techniques, EPICS helps translate the risk, needs and responsivity principles into a working practice.

As part of the model, Community Supervision Officers (or case managers) are taught to stay focused on criminogenic needs, especially the thought-behavior link, and to use a social learning, cognitive behavioral approach to their interactions with the youth. While not intended to replace other programming and services, EPICS is an attempt to more fully utilize staff as agents of change.

To be certified as an EPICS Trainer staff have to:

• Complete a 3-day general EPICS training
• Participate in coaching sessions conducted by University of Cincinnati Site Coach (5 month process)
• Submitting five (5) EPICS audio sessions (5 month process)
• Reach 85% proficiency in adherence of the EPICS model
• Attend a five (5) day train the trainer in Forsyth, GA. Two days in classroom setting and three days in a mock training. At the completion of the mock training staff will be expected to complete a written exam
• At the conclusion of the 5-day training, staff will be required to conduct an end-user 3-day EPICS training under the supervision of University of Cincinnati Correctional Institute staff (UCCI).
• The last phase of the EPICS trainer training lasts approximately 4-6 months and is comprise of two components. For the first component, the staff is expected to serve as a coach for the full coaching sequence. They will be randomly observed by UCCI staff. For the second component, staff will submit anonymous audios and corresponding completing ratings forms from the site they are coaching to UCCI for review. Staff members are also expected to code consistent to UCCI standards.
• For the EPICS trainer certification, the staff will have to complete all requirements in the training process.

The Department of Juvenile Justice once again congratulates our newest EPICS trainers and thanks them for their continued dedication.

Front row from left to right: Rochelle Taylor (JPM), Lily Gleicher (Master Trainer, UCCI), Virginia McCranie (JPPSII)
Back row from left to right: Jimmie Hooks (Program Coordinator), Marcus Graves (Ops Analyst), Jay Minor (JPPSIII), Lucricia Washington (JPPSIII), Terry Isaac (Ops Support Manager), John Rogers (JPPSII), Stacey Hammonds (JPPSII)




     DJJ Good News: Future Leaders of DeKalb DJJ Staff  at:  3/1/2016  

DJJ Good News: Future Leaders of DeKalb

Special thanks to DeKalb RYDC Director Audrey Stokes for the story support

At the Department of Juvenile Justice, the facilities known as the Regional Youth Detention Centers (RYDC) exist to provide temporary housing, education, and support for local youth who are awaiting full time placement. As a result, it is not that surprising that youth come and go at the DeKalb RYDC on a daily basis.

However, in 2015, the DeKalb RYDC found itself hosting youth longer than expected with extended transitioning times. In response to having more time with individual youth, the DeKalb RYDC staff decided to develop a mentoring program called “Future Leaders of DeKalb” or F.L.O.D.

For the first class of “Future Leaders of DeKalb”, youth were chosen who were originally scheduled to transition to a Youth Development Campus or who had displayed more aggressive behavior. Twelve youth were chosen to participate in F.L.O.D. Class 001 and assigned as a mentee to a staff member from the DeKalb RYDC Leadership Team.

At the start of the “Future Leaders of DeKalb” program, the organizers implemented a check-in and check-out process that required youth mentoring on a daily basis. During each session, team members gave each youth assignments, a list of expectations, and encouragement to become a great example for the other youth of the facility.

The programming for “Future Leaders of DeKalb” was also top-notch. Motivational speakers from the community visited the DeKalb RYDC to give outside perspective and encourage the youth. Instructors also were on hand to teach youth about the nature of leadership and how leadership will impact their entire lives. Etiquette and anger management classes were also offered to the youth.

Within a few weeks of the start of F.L.O.D., the staff at the DeKalb RYDC began noticing positive changes in the behavior of the youth who participated. The total number of negative incidences decreased and the facility was calmer and had more of a positive atmosphere.

The DeKalb RYDC saw a 24% reduction in the number of physical interventions after four months of implementing “Future Leaders of DeKalb”. The excitement and inspiration of the program encouraged other youth to want to sign up for the next session. Participants of Class 001 were excited about graduating from the program and vowed to continue promoting positive behavior to other youth.

The Department of Juvenile Justice strongly supports this positive and successful mentorship program and is proud of the hard work and dedication of the entire DeKalb RYDC Team.




     Veteran DJJ Executive Carl Brown Announces Retirement DJJ Staff  at:  2/29/2016  

Veteran DJJ Executive Carl Brown Announces Retirement

At the February meeting of the DJJ Board, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Carl Brown, officially announced his retirement from the Department of Juvenile Justice after 30+ years of service. Brown, who is former Deputy Commissioner of Operations and has held numerous executive level positions of responsibility under several Commissioners, began his DJJ career in 1987.

Brown said he made his decision to retire following extensive prayer and discussion with his family. “It was not an easy decision. DJJ is all I know, pretty much,” Carl told the Board. He said he was thankful for being blessed to serve the Department for so long.

“And I’m thankful for the support to help preserve the mission of the agency,” Carl said. “But it’s time to move on to other challenges. Don’t know what those challenges are at this time, but God has a plan.”

Board member Dr. Thomas Coleman said, “Carl is one of the quietest heroes I know. Carl Brown knows the name of every youth he worked with. I call him a solid hero.”

Board Chairwoman Elaine Snow called Carl Brown, “a soft spoken man with a beautiful soul and a beautiful heart.”

Commissioner Avery D. Niles congratulated Carl Brown for his three decades of service to the State of Georgia and for helping so many youth overcome their overwhelming challenges during that time.

Carl Brown will retire from the Department of Juvenile Justice in May.




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