DJJ News Advisory: Governor Deal to Sign Juvenile Justice Reform Legislation at Elbert Shaw RYDC DJJ Staff  at:  5/1/2013  


Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Avery D. Niles is pleased to announce that Governor Nathan Deal will sign Georgia’s Juvenile Justice Reform legislation at the Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center in Dalton, Georgia on Thursday, May 2nd, at 10:00 AM.  


WHO:  Gov. Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal

            Bobby Hughes, Director, Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center

            Judge Michael Boggs, Court of Appeals

            Avery Niles, Commissioner, Department of Juvenile Justice

            Criminal Justice Reform Council members

            State legislators


WHEN:  Thursday, May 2nd, at 10:00 AM.  


WHERE:  Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center, Dalton, GA

(Located in Whitfield County) (There will be no public tours of the facility)
2735 Underwood Road, NE
Dalton, GA 30721-7499

Phone: 706-272-2309

*Follow Directions Below and Follow Security Check-In Instructions:


Directions from Atlanta:
Take I-75 North toward Chattanooga.

After approximately 90 miles take Exit 336   (SR 3/US Hwy 41/US Hwy 76-Dalton/Rocky Face). At the end of the exit ramp, turn right onto the North Bypass.

At the seventh traffic light, turn left onto Underwood Road.

The Elbert Shaw RYDC is on the immediate left.



  • In order to expedite clearance of all visitors through security before the Governor arrives, DJJ suggests you schedule your arrival about an hour early, around 8:45AM so we can begin sign-in and clearance to get you into our secure facility on time.

  • Please remember to bring a Georgia driver license and other photo-media I-D, required for entry.

  • As part of standard security protocols all cell phones must be locked in your vehicle as a condition of entry.  We realize this is an inconvenience for news media and we appreciate your understanding of the need for this standard security measure.

  • Once news media has cleared security, no one may leave the designated restricted area (multi-purpose room) identified as the media staging area for this event.



  • Rules for news media in a DJJ facility require that no photos will be taken, published or broadcast in a manner which would identify juvenile residents

  • Juvenile residents cannot be identified by name in media reports unless releases have been obtained by DJJ for this purpose.

  • No interviews can be conducted with juvenile residents unless DJJ Staff clearly indicate that signed parental permission has been obtained by DJJ for this purpose.

  • (It should be understood that violation of these rules will result in coverage permission to be withdrawn and news media would be escorted from the secure premises.  Reporters with questions regarding rules and procedures should immediately ask the nearest DJJ staff member to avoid any misunderstandings.  We want your visit to the Dalton RYDC to be a productive one.) 



  • News media will clear security and standby inside the RYDC all-purpose room until the Governor arrives.

  • 9:45 a.m. -- The Governor is escorted into the RYDC facility by DJJ Commissioner Avery D. Niles where he will be welcomed by RYDC Director Bobby Hughes and presented

  • with a brief history of the facility.

  • 10:00 a.m. – Commissioner Niles makes brief welcoming remarks, introduces Judge Michael Boggs

  • 10:03 a.m. – Judge Michael Boggs makes brief remarks, introduces Sen. Charlie Bethel

  • 10:06 a.m. – Sen. Charlie Bethel makes brief remarks, introduces Governor Deal

  • 10:09 a.m. – Governor Nathan Deal makes brief remarks

  • 10:13 a.m. – Governor Nathan Deal signs HB 242, photo ops

  • 10:18 a.m. – Governor Nathan Deal signs HB 182, photo ops

  • 10:25 a.m. – Governor Nathan Deal departs Dalton

  • Reporters will be escorted through security following the departure of Governor Deal.


MEDIA ADVISORY                                                                                                               

 Office of Communications

May 1, 2013                                                                                                                            

(404) 651-7774


Deal to sign public safety bills at Dalton youth detention center


Gov. Nathan Deal will sign two pieces of legislation related to public safety at the Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center in Dalton on Thursday, May 2, at 10 a.m.


WHO:                    Gov. Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal

                Bobby Hughes, director, Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center

                Judge Michael Boggs, Court of Appeals

                                Avery Niles, commissioner, Department of Juvenile Justice

                                Criminal Justice Reform Council members

                                State legislators


WHEN:                  Thursday, May 2, at 10 a.m.


WHERE:                Multipurpose Center, Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center

                              2735 Underwood Road NE Dalton


Deal will sign additional legislation later tomorrow and Friday. Information on bill signing ceremonies provided below.


Thursday, May 2

Bill signing at the Colonnade Center

11 a.m.

Catoosa County Civic Center

264 Catoosa Cir.



Bill signing at Dade County High School

1 p.m.

300 Tradition Ln.



Bill signing at Walker County Civic Center

2 p.m.

10052 N Highway 27

Rock Springs


Friday, May 3

Bill signing at UniHealth Magnolia Manor South

10 a.m.

3003 Veterans Pkwy.







     DJJ Commissioner Announces New Board Member Appointment DJJ Staff  at:  4/26/2013  


 (ATLANTA - GA)  The Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is pleased to announce the appointment of a newly named DJJ Board member by Governor Nathan Deal.  Commissioner Avery D. Niles announced the appointment of Julia D. Neighbors to the Board of Juvenile Justice.

Board Member Neighbors currently serves as the project manager for JUSTGeorgia, a statewide juvenile justice coalition involved in the recent re-write of Georgia’s Juvenile Code and the promotion of healthier, safer communities and better outcomes for our children and youth.

As a former senior attorney with the Fulton County Office of the Child Attorney, Julia Neighbors brings additional child advocate experience to the DJJ Board. She also previously held the position of Executive Director of Fulton County Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc.

Board Member Neighbors currently serves on the board of directors for Georgia CASA, the Council of Intown Neighborhood Schools and the Historic District Development Corp.  She holds a Law Degree from Emory University and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Michigan.  Neighbors and her husband, Ken, live in Atlanta with their two sons, Kenneth and Kaden.

As DJJ’s newest Board Member, Neighbors was appointed by Governor Deal to represent Congressional District 5.  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.

Neighbors said, “Being at the table during this exciting time for Georgia juvenile justice is an honor and I am ready to serve.  I hope to help the Board and Commissioner in their efforts to implement the positive new measures that will come about as a result of the Juvenile Justice Reform bill.”

Commissioner Avery D. Niles expressed the appreciation of the agency and the Board for the Governor’s latest appointment to DJJ.  “We admire the viewpoint and experience this new Board Member will bring to our task,” said Commissioner Niles. “Julia Neighbors will bring fresh perspective to the Board and we wish her all the best as she faces the many challenges that will come with Georgia’s juvenile justice reforms. I can think of nothing more important to our communities and the future of our state than our common effort to help Georgia’s juvenile offenders become productive citizens.” 





     The Atlanta City Detention Center Junior Corrections Officer Program at the Rockdale RYDC DJJ Staff  at:  4/19/2013  


On April 13th, youth from the Atlanta City Detention Center Junior Corrections Officer Program visited the Department of Juvenile Justice Rockdale Regional Youth Detention Center to tour the facility and participate in a team building and educational program. DJJ Security Risk Group Coordinator Monique Brandenburg led the program and discussion for the seventeen youth and five staff members from Atlanta which included Deputy Chief John Jackson from the City of Atlanta Department of Corrections. Arkeysha McCullough and Fabienne Tate from DJJ helped assist Ms. Brandenburg with the program and escorting the youth and special guests.

Class participants were given a tour of the Rockdale RYDC facility, participated in team building exercises, and listened to inspirational stories written in letter form from previous residents of the facility. Ms. Brandenburg also gave a personal testimonial based on her life and work experience dealing with juvenile offenders and gangs.

This is the third class for the Atlanta Junior Corrections Officer Program which accepts high school students and at-risk youth and allows them to learn about the criminal justice system from exploring all branches of public safety from the inside out. The focus of each six week program is to promote a career in law enforcement for high school graduates and college bound students. Participants of this year's class will graduate on April 23rd.

The Department of Juvenile Justice is proud to participate in the Atlanta City Detention Center Junior Corrections Officer Program. For more information on this great program, click on





     Muscogee Multi-Service Center/Court Services Office at Superhero Day for Child Abuse Awareness DJJ Staff  at:  5/7/2013  


April is National Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month and staff from the District 8 Muscogee Multi-Service Center and Muscogee CSO were leading the charge as part of "Be a Child's Hero...Superhero Day on Broadway" in Columbus.

The event, organized by Children's Tree House and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), included a Superhero 5K and 1K fun run, bouncy houses, Child Identification Kits, puppet shows, a sidewalk chalk contest, a costume contest, and vendor tables.

JPPS III Meshonda Moore and Ervin Christie

JPPS III Ervin Christie and Dr. Floretta Thornton-Reid of Building Towards Wellness Community Coalition, Inc.

Staff present included Herman Archie (District 8 Director), Ervin Christie (JPPS III, Muscogee MSC), and Meshonda Moore (JPPS III, Muscogee CSO). The Muscogee Staff handed out information about the Department of Juvenile Justice to parents, children, and other community partners.

All proceeds from the event benefited the Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services, Inc, Chattahoochee CASA, and Children's Tree House --Advocacy Center programs. For more photos from the Super Hero event, click on:





     DJJ Honors Crime Victims During National Crime Victims' Rights Week in April DJJ Staff  at:  4/16/2013  

DJJ Honors Crime Victims during
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in April

Atlanta, GA – “New Challenges and New Solutions” is the ‘2013-theme’ for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week across the state and across the country this April 21 through 27.  “It’s an important opportunity for all us to pause and remember victims who have suffered as a result of crime,” said Commissioner Avery D. Niles of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

“Victim advocates from a task force of twelve state agencies we call our ‘Multi-Agency Victim Services Partnership’ are inviting crime victims everywhere to attend Georgia’s annual Victims’ Rights Week ceremony and Open House,” said Commissioner Niles.

The event is scheduled Tuesday, April 23rd at State Offices South, at Tift College in Forsyth. The ceremonies begin at 10:00AM in Roberts Chapel, followed by the Open House at noon.

This annual ceremony and event are held to honor crime victims and to increase public awareness about victims’ rights. Then from 12:00 to 4:00PM, the Open House is designed to allow victims and the public to learn more about important services offered by each participating state agency. DJJ Commissioner Niles said crime victims can meet with Department of Juvenile Justice leadership and staff. 

“At DJJ we work 24-seven to maintain secure facilities for Georgia’s juvenile offenders – and to preserve public safety for Georgia citizens,” said the Commissioner. “As we hold Georgia’s most violent youth accountable for their actions, we can never lose sight of the victims of their crimes.”

Thousands of Georgia families are affected by crime every year.  Crime victims in attendance will have opportunities to meet with leaders from all the sponsoring state agencies at the Open House and to receive information on many victim services:                                             

  • Learn how to submit Victim Impact Statements

  • Register to receive notifications on offender’s status

  • Learn how to complete claims processing

  • Receive current offender information, including inmate location and maximum release and parole dates.

  • Learn how to navigate the Department of Corrections and State Board of Pardons and Paroles’ websites

On April 23rd, the Georgia Office of Victim Services also conducts a “Victims Visitors’ Day” in conjunction with the annual ceremony and Open House for the Department of Corrections and the State Board of Pardons and Paroles’. Each year, crime victims come to register for notifications about offender’s status and to receive information about claims processing. Victims who want to meet with DOC and PAP agency staff to discuss offender information should contact the Department of Corrections and Parole Board’s Office of Victim Services by calling 404-651-6668 or 1-800-593-9474.

The Department of Juvenile Justice will also have staff available to help educate crime victims about their rights and the juvenile justice process, and to provide information about referrals to community services.  

“DJJ is responsible for rehabilitating young offenders,” said Commissioner Niles.  “But it’s also our job to protect the victims of juvenile crime so they too can begin to rebuild their own lives.  As victim advocates we recognize that about 50-percent of crimes go unreported so only a fraction of victims may get all the help they need.  In Georgia, we’ll continue to reach-out and afford victims the fairness, dignity and respect they deserve.”

The Multi-Agency Victim Services Partnership: Administrative Office of the Courts, Commission on Family Violence, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Public Safety, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Governor’s Office for Children and Families, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, State Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia.

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