The state Department of Juvenile Justice has created an online tipline where people can report problems at Georgia’s youth detention centers. The sources will be kept confidential.
The website will allow employees at state youth detention centers and the public to report complaints anonymously.
Department spokesman Jim Schuler says they are looking for tips on gang activity, unsafe conditions and any violations by center staff.
He says “That can impact both the safety and security of detainees and the staff at our secure facilities and court services offices. Now if they see something, they can also say something to help safeguard their workplace. And they can do this while protecting their identity too.”
Schuler says this is part of Commissioner Gail Buckner’s effort to make the system more secure.
He says “She launched agency reforms with a task force, making unscheduled inspections of all the DJJ secure facilities and all the court-services offices. And she’s still making return inspection visits and revising out-dated policies to bring the agency up to professional standards. And that is an ongoing process.”
Tipsters can report suspicious activity at http://www.djj.state.ga.us.
Eleven employees, including the director of the Augusta youth detention center, were fired, quit or were demoted after a teen died at that facility.
The Southern Center for Human Rights says this is a good first step, but the Department of Juvenile Justice needs to do more to end violence at its facilities.