The horrors of bullying burst into the news again this week with the report of an 8-year-old Carroll County girl having her hair pulled so hard that her scalp ripped. Bullying has always been a major problem, but its prevalence appears to have increased with the growth of social media sites and the Internet, experts say. And it has not been an easy problem to solve.
Georgia is trying to give young criminal offenders an advantage as they seek to enter the workforce. Those convicted of juvenile offenses frequently face hurdles when looking for a job. That can be discouraging and can lead them to become repeat offenders.
A new board member of the Board of Juvenile Justice has been sworn in. The Department of Juvenile Justice said in a news release that Gov. Nathan Deal administered the oath of office to Kelly Stewart Thursday. She was appointed to the 15-member board by the governor.
Juvenile Justice officials say the number of unresolved sex abuse investigations at Georgia's juvenile detention centers goes far beyond the 20 that prompted suspensions of 18 investigators and their supervisor. Commissioner Avery Niles said Sunday that officials have learned of 700 unresolved internal investigations over an 18-month period.
Department of Juvenile Justice officials say seven juvenile corrections officers have either resigned or were fired in the wake of a safety and security investigation. The six officers and their supervisor worked at the DeKalb Regional Youth Detention Center and they made up the entire overnight security staff for the facility.
Department of Juvenile Justice spokesman Jim Shuler said Tuesday that Ricky Rich has been named as the department's new Director of Investigations. His appointment comes after 19 investigators and their supervisor were suspended over unresolved probes into allegations of sexual misconduct at sate youth detention facilities.
Department of Juvenile Justice officials say workers who were suspended over unfinished investigations were warned at least twice that they were not in compliance with department protocol. Department spokesman Jim Shuler has said internal investigations are supposed to be concluded within 45 days. The unresolved cases were filed in 2012.
Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Avery D. Niles ordered his staff Friday to investigate the prevalence of sexual misconduct in the department’s facilities. It comes after a federal report named Georgia as having one of the worst rates in the country for youth inmate sexual abuse.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to sign into law a sweeping overhaul of the state's juvenile justice system. The regulations are aimed at reducing the number of repeat juvenile offenders and the costs associated with them.