The DJJ Healthy Way: Newsletter of the Office of Nutrition and Food Services DJJ Staff  at:  9/3/2015  

The DJJ Healthy Way: The Official Newsletter of the
DJJ Office of Nutrition and Food Services

The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice's Office of Nutrition and Food Services has launched an exciting new newsletter called The DJJ Healthy Way. Chock full of news about the fantastic work of DJJ food workers and planners in facilities around the state, The DJJ Healthy Way is also a helpful information tipsheet on healthy recipes, diets, and educational food trends. If it involves health and wellness at DJJ, The DJJ Healthy Way will be your supermarket of knowledge for the youth DJJ serves as well as its employees.

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





     Georgia Preparatory Academy School Year 2015-2016 Menu DJJ Staff  at:  9/1/2015  


Story details from Food Service Administrator Lauren Gean

The Georgia Preparatory Academy has implemented a new menu for School Year 2015-2016. Compliant with the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs of the United States Department of Agriculture, this year's menu includes new menu items and more variety for our students at breakfast.

This year's breakfast menu promotes pairing protein with carbohydrates, fruit, and milk to help keep our students alert during the important morning sessions at school. Pairing protein foods such as flavored yogurt, cheese sticks, eggs, and meats, with whole grain carbohydrates, will help keep the youth fuller longer until their next meal. Some of the newer breakfast products include various cereals, yogurt, croissant sandwichs with egg and ham, and banana bread oatmeal.

With the lunch and dinner menus, the Office of Nutrition and Food Service went above and beyond to creatively improve meal choices to meet the demands of even the most critical appetites. New entrees include such specialities as chicken curry casserole, crunch Hawaiian turkey wrap, buffalo chicken bites, chicken and waffles, chicken alfredo, and New Orleans chicken served with broccoli and rice. For those youth who love vegetables, the menus include lemon roasted carrots, cumin roasted broccoli, oven baked potatoes, and carrot fries.

Even the youth snacks for 2015/2016 have a exciting new feel and taste. The popular morning breakfast bars and and afternoon peanut butter and jelly sandwiches remain, but a rotating menu of seven different tasty and nutrititional snacks (including newly added kettle corn) highlight a diverse food selection.

It is important to note that these new menus are not only delicious for the youth, but that they also serve an important nutritional purpose. The United States Department of Agriculture sets guidelines and requirements for each of the five food groups -- fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, and grains -- and also sets minimum and maximum limits for calories, sodium levels, saturated fat percentages, and specifies the minimum amounts of each vegetable subgroup (red/orange, dark green, starchy, beans/lentils, and other) that must be offered per week. Additionally, a choice of 1% low fat and fat free milk must be offered at breakfast and lunch and all grain items must be at least 51% whole grain rich.

In short, all meals must provide the healthy boost needed for all of the youth of the Georgia Preparatory Academy and Department of Juvenile Justice. That all of the meals and snacks are delicious and enjoyed by our youth is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Office of Nutrition and Food Services.

For the newest menus, click on . To learn more about food services at our facilities, visit





     DJJ Central Office Employee of the Month: Sophia Thomas DJJ Staff  at:  9/1/2015  

Congratulations to Sophia Thomas-- Selected Central Office Employee of the Month for September 2015!

It is with pleasure that the Nomination Committee announces the Employee of the Month for September, Ms. Sophia Thomas.

Sophia Thomas has been selected for Employee of the Month due to her attention to detail, her strong knowledge of DJJ’s procurement practices and her willingness to assist in getting the job done on time and correctly the first time.

Ms. Thomas earned her Georgia Certified Purchasing Associate (GCPA) certification from DOAS in May 2014 and then her Request for Proposal Certification in September 2014. She has been wearing two hats for several months. She previously was responsible for approving the requisitions that were entered into PeopleSoft to ensure the chartfield coding was correct. In April 2015, she was promoted into the AOC II position for Finance. Since her promotion, Ms. Thomas has been instrumental in assisting Interim Purchasing Manager, Gayle Porster, with approving Purchase Orders (PO) and requisitions in PeopleSoft. She keeps accurate records and provides educational explanations as to why requisitions and POs cannot be approved as submitted.

From mid-May to mid-July, Fiscal Year End to Fiscal Year Beginning season, she has been given the responsibility of ensuring that all POs are correctly coded, paid, closed or de-encumbered. Her calmness under pressure, ability to follow up and pay close attention to detail and ability to multi-task in addition to her knowledge of DJJ’s Policies & DOAS’ Procurement rules are an asset to the Finance Division and the Department. She is an unsung hero.

Congratulations Ms. Sophia Thomas 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.





     Office of Investigations: August 2015 Swearing-In Ceremony DJJ Staff  at:  9/1/2015  

Office of Investigations:
August 2015 Swearing-In Ceremony

"..without malice or partiality.."

On August 31st, the Department of Juvenile Justice Office of Investigations held a swearing-in ceremony for its newest group of investigations. A full house of DJJ facility and community directors were on hand to see Charles Harris, Felipe Brown, Charlene Durrence, and James Hilderbrand become official investigators for the agency.

Commissioner Niles said the swearing in of new DJJ investigators as they take the oath to perform their duties "..without malice or partiality.." is one of the most significant official ceremonies the Commissioner can undertake. .


 "The use of deadly force by a sworn officer, it's one of the most critical things -- When you have to take a persons life -- or to defend a persons life," Commissioner Niles said.



"That's why we make a point of conducting these swearing in ceremonies in a public forum," he said, "so everyone realizes just how serious is the authority that goes with this job."

As the Commissioner swore in four new investigators he spoke about Teamwork at DJJ. "One of the nice things about teamwork is that you always have partners on your side."







     DJJ and the State Financial Management Certificate Program: Primary Accounting Series Graduation Ceremony DJJ Staff  at:  8/21/2015  

DJJ and the State Financial Management Certificate Program: Primary Accounting Series Graduation Ceremony

On August 20th, the Carl Vinson Institute of Government held a Graduation Ceremony at the Empire Room of the Sloppy Floyd building in Downtown Atlanta for state employees who passed the Primary Accounting Series of the State Financial Management Certificate Program. Department of Juvenile Justice Chief Financial Officer Sonja Allen-Smith was in attendance as DJJ proudly graduated four employees from this prestigious and vigorous training: Sonya Gordon, LaTonya Richardson, Ashley Baker, and Christopher Lampley.

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government Primary Governmental Accounting Series assists employees in gaining a better understanding of how to apply Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to transactions and events that occur in a government setting. The series consists of three classes which include Introductory Governmental Accounting I, II, and Intermediate Governmental Accounting. Both introductory classes are designed for governmental accounting paraprofessionals and accountants. The Intermediary class is designed for accountants and senior level financial management personnel.

As participants progress through the courses, they learn increasingly complex accounting principles and concepts. At the conclusion of each class, participants must successfully complete an examination with a score of at least 70%. Individuals who attend and successfully complete all three courses receive a certificate and are recognized in a graduation ceremony such as the one held on August 20th.

For more than 85 years, the Carl Vinson Institute of Government has worked with public officials throughout Georgia and around the world to improve governance and people's lives. From Georgia's early days as a largely agrarian state with a modest population to its modern-day status as a national and international force in business, industry, and politics with a population of almost 10 million, the Institute has helped government leaders navigate change and forge strong directions for a better Georgia.

DJJ Graduates Ashley Baker and Christopher Lampley. Not pictured Sonya Gordon and Latonya Richardson

Congratulations once again to all of the Department of Juvenile Justice graduates.





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