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Surprise inspections at Augusta YDC continue

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Department of Juvenile Justice Com­missioner Avery D. Niles is continuing surprise inspections at the Au­gusta Youth Development Campus and asking employees to report unethical behavior to the department’s tip line.

When Niles dropped in unannounced at the facility last week, he reminded staff that its success depended on strict adherence to policy, according to a news release.

“My inspection objectives are to talk to staff members, see if they’re getting the support they need from the central office and to judge for myself if our staff is following the rules 24/7 in order to meet DJJ goals for a safe and secure facility,” Niles said.

This month, four employees were fired and the facility’s interim director was suspended with pay. Many other personnel changes have occurred at the facility since 19-year-old Jade Holder died in his cell in November 2011 and five youths escaped in October of this year.

Niles has emphasized warnings on policy violations across the agency since being appointed in November. He said other actions and personnel changes could be expected.

The staff is being asked to use an online tip form to further crack down on policy violations and unethical behavior. The reporting system was devised by the department in the summer and is available to employees and the public.

“If they see something, they can also say something to help safeguard this workplace while protecting their identity, too,” Niles said of the tip line. “But one thing is certain: It’s very hard to correct our problems if no one is willing to step forward from the inside and let us know what those problems are.”

To access the tip form, visit the department’s Web site at

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Brad Owens
Brad Owens 12/21/12 - 09:36 am

Sounds like Commissioner Avery D. Niles has the right idea. It is about time we had "get tough" person in charge that will hold the staff to the standards and boot anyone who can't or won't toe the line.


single parent
single parent 12/21/12 - 09:59 am

Do you work there or know anybody that does Brad? It is not what it seems from the outside looking in and that is a real fact!

kc fan
kc fan 12/21/12 - 10:58 am
This may work in schools.

The same drop in "surprise" observations should be used in school systems. Get tough with the students and teachers and provide a tip/suggestion line. Ask the teachers questions about what needs to be changed or modified, not the administration. Some of them have been out of touch with the classroom for many years!

Brad Owens
Brad Owens 12/21/12 - 12:46 pm
Single Parent

I have been friends with a State Inspector for DJJ for many years and he has been telling me about the problems since 2005, so yes I do know someone who does this for a living and he has said it is the worst in the State. And they also tell me it is a leadership failure as well as a poorly trained, paid and active staff. Plus I k ow folks that worked out there for almost 20 years, so I have some insight into the problems.

I wish I could get a first hand look for myself however.

OpenCurtain 12/22/12 - 04:06 pm
Sounds simple To Me.

Run it like a Prison, and use the Ga. Prison Management Handbook
and policies.

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