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3 Youth Development Center employees fired, 2 others transferred

Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 5:54 PM
Last updated 9:39 PM
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The Department of Juvenile Justice fired three more employees and demoted and transferred two others at the Augusta Youth Development Center on Friday as the fallout continues from last month’s death of an inmate at the facility.



The director of communications for DJJ, Emily Gest, said that two juvenile correction officers and one counselor were let go, and two assistant directors were demoted and transferred. Last month, Director John Brady and Marlon McCreary Sr., a guard at the facility, were fired. Two others, Capt. Victor Martin and Heather Gates, a security employee, remain on suspension, Gest said.

DJJ Commissioner Gale Buckner said Friday’s decisions were made because the employees either admitted to violating policy and procedures, or the violation became apparent during an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into the death of Jade Holder.

Holder, 19, was beaten in his cell Nov. 7 and died the next day. Michael Jarod Everidge, 17, was charged with the crime.

On Dec. 5, the GBI was called in to investigate a sexual assault of a 14-year-old by a 17-year-old. Devin Scott Ardoin was arrested in connection with this investigation.

A press release from Buckner said the employees were fired because their violations “compromised the safety and security of the institution and, in effect, compromised the staff’s ability to objectively and safely supervise youth.”

Buckner said two assistant directors were demoted and transferred instead of being fired because “their violations did not rise to the level for termination, but I did not have confidence in their current supervisory positions.”

As the investigation continues, Buckner said there might be more personnel changes.

“I am very pleased at the speed of the investigation,” she said. “We want no stone left unturned. We will not close it until we have resolved every issue that needs to be resolved.”

Buckner said there are 23 vacant positions at YDC and the agency is recruiting for those. They are also giving staff “refresher courses.”

The interim director, Gary Jones, is working out well, Buckner said, adding that Jones is working hard to “bring professionalism back to the staff.” She said they are searching for a permanent director and said she did not think Jones had applied for the job.

Buckner said the department wanted to make a statement with the personnel changes.

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johnette4
24
Points
johnette4 12/16/11 - 08:32 pm
0
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Hope these changes stick and

Hope these changes stick and help improve the facility, too bad a child had to die and another sexually assulted for this "clean up" to occur; they are already children with problems..and these places should help not further hurt these youths.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 12/17/11 - 04:23 am
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KUDOS to Ms. Buckner for her

KUDOS to Ms. Buckner for her decisive actions in terminating rogue state employees.

What a breath of fresh air!

corgimom
26221
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corgimom 12/17/11 - 08:43 am
0
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23 vacant positions. I cannot

23 vacant positions. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to work there. What a tough, terrible job.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 12/17/11 - 04:41 pm
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Chief Gary Jones has his

Chief Gary Jones has his hands full but if anyone can make the place better, he can do it. This place is sorely lacking in leadership as well as caring honest individuals. Many of our youth (not all) but many can still be saved instead of becoming part of the system for the rest of their lives and we need people in leadership roles within YDC that will do their best to ensure this is what we are striving for.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 12/17/11 - 06:03 pm
0
0
What percentage of the youth

What percentage of the youth incarcerated at AYDC come from fatherless living arrangements?

ispy4u
0
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ispy4u 12/18/11 - 02:57 pm
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About 95% of the staff are

About 95% of the staff are honest, hardworking dedicated employees. Unfortunately the 5% that was dishonest, were upper management staff. That is the main reason that the prior Captain and a lieutenant and several sergeants resigned or transferred out.

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