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 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.
The Governor’s Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform is recommending Georgia establish a two tiered system for felonies committed by juveniles younger than 17. The recommendations now head to the General Assembly.