Georgia’s new top judge says the state is already seeing the benefits of several years of criminal justice reform. Hugh Thompson took over as the Georgia Supreme Court’s chief justice in August. He said in an interview with GPB the adult prison population is stabilizing. He also said he’s keenly interested in following the juvenile justice reforms the General Assembly enacted earlier this year.
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.
Health officials say they're looking to hire a for-profit company to oversee the care of some of the state's most vulnerable children. Youth advocates and pediatricians say so-called "managed care" could help better coordinate their health care.
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.
The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded DeKalb County more than $859,000 in grants to help juvenile offenders re-enter the workforce. Officials say Face Forward grants were awarded to 28 community-based organizations across the country, including youth programs run by the DeKalb County government.
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.
Commissioner Avery Niles Friday confirmed the appointments of Fred E. Stephens and Dick Yarbrough to the Georgia Board of Juvenile Justice.Yarbrough is a newspaper columnist and retired vice president of BellSouth Corp. Stephens is assistant chief of police for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.