Basic services, 2017

  • Overall

    Mostly state operated

  • Detention

    State operated

  • Probation

    Mostly state operated

  • Reentry

    Mostly state operated

Georgia's delinquency services are organized at both the state and local level. In most counties, community supervision and aftercare services are provided by the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), an independent juvenile corrections agency. DJJ administers all secure detention and the commitment to state public facilities.

In 13 urban counties, local juvenile courts administer community supervision and reentry services (Chatham, Clayton, Cobb, Dekalb, Dougherty, Floyd, Fulton, Glynn, Gwinnet, Hall, Spalding, Troup, and Whitfield Counties).

Twelve counties maintain a mixture of DJJ and local juvenile court service staff to provide community supervision services (Carroll, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Fayette, Gordon, Heard, Henry, Newton, Peach, Upson, and Walton Counties).

Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) administers commitment to state juvenile correctional facilities. DJJ also provides aftercare services for youth leaving those facilities for most counties.

Intake and diversion, 2016

Initial intake and court diversion decision is at the discretion of the prosecutor or the juvenile court intake officer, divided by offense.

Statutory time limits for pre- & post-petition court diversions exist.

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is not allowed in Georgia's juvenile correctional facilities. Confinement for non-punitive purposes is allowed for youth who pose a security risk or exhibit behavior that seriously threatens themselves or others after other progressive and positive responses have been used.  Confinement longer than 12 hours requires approval from the Assistant Deputy or Deputy Commissioner.  Confinement cannot continue beyond a scheduled sleeping period.  (Adapted from Georgia DJJ Policy)

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has the authority to release committed youth.

Risk assessment, 2020

Organization 2013 2017 2020
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

In Georgia, juvenile probation is administered mostly by the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), with some independent juvenile courts operating their own probation. Georgia state statute requires the use of a risk/needs assessment. Georgia adopted the Pre-Disposition Risk Assessment (PDRA) statewide, including those independently run probation departments. Information from the PDRA is used to guide diversion from formal process decisions and informal adjustment planning, develop/inform pre-disposition investigation reports and/or planning, develop probation disposition recommendations to the juvenile court, assign probation supervision level, and develop probation case plans. The state is able to aggregate case level data and uses it to support local reliability and validity testing of the PDRA, assist with probation administration and organizational planning, and for ongoing policy research.

Sex offender registration, 2015

Does not register

Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Pre-Disposition Risk Assessment

Mental health screening, 2014

Requires a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

Other: Residential Treatment

Mental health screening tool used
Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument –Version 2 (MAYSI-2), Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Mental Health Screening (DJJ Mental Health)

Georgia requires the use of a research based mental health screening tool for youth that receive services through the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). In the community, youth who are probation through DJJ are administered the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument, 2nd Edition (MAYSI-2) during their first face-to-face contact with DJJ staff. (Youth who are diverted or receive an information adjustment do not receive the MAYSI-2.) When a youth is admitted to a DJJ secure facility (detention or corrections), they are administered the DJJ mental health screening within two hours of admission. The screening is a proprietary instrument developed by DJJ, and was validated in 2009. It was revised in the fall of 2012 to include items required by the Prison Rape Elimination Act, and preliminary re-validation efforts have suggested that it continues to be valid with the added items. Both screening tools are required by DJJ policies and specifically named in the policy.

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

    Or collaboration dedicated to coordinating activities around implementing, evaluating, and sustaining EBPs

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

Georgia has recently enacted legislation to advance evidence based practices in juvenile justice. HB 242 defines EBP 'Evidence based programs or practices' means programs, practices, procedures, and policies that scientific research demonstrates a likelihood to prevent or reduce juvenile delinquency or recidivism. HB 242 created a Board of Juvenile Justice to adopt rules and regulations governing the management and treatment of children committed to DJJ to ensure that evidence based programs or practices,including the use of a risk and needs assessment and any other method the board deems appropriate, guide decisions related to placing a committed child in a facility or into the community, preparing a child's release into the community, and managing children probationers in the community.

The Board also requires the department to collect and analyze data and performance outcomes, including, but not limited to, data collected and maintained pursuant to subsection (n) of Code Section 49-4A-8 and prepare an annual report regarding such information which shall be submitted to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the chairpersons of the House Committee on Judiciary Non-civ and the Senate State Judiciary Committee." DJJ- The department's organization, operation, and implementation shall be based on the following: (1) Development of a comprehensive continuum of service options using evidence based programs or practices through flexible funding to allow providers to respond to the unique needs and capabilities of individual children and families; Services shall be based on evidence based programs or practices and be community centered and responsive to local needs with state and local and public and private entities forming cooperative partnerships that enhance informal support systems for families Rules and regulations adopted by the board under subsection (a) of this Code section shall recognize that a primary purpose of youth development centers and other juvenile detention facilities is to carry out rehabilitative programs using evidence based programs or practices to the end that children and youth housed in said centers shall such facilities develop their self-respect and self-reliance and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to become good citizens who are qualified for honorable employment."

Currently DJJ is not funding evaluation of local innovations as that would be the onus of local providers, however, local programming that receives juvenile justice grant funding from Criminal Justice Coordinating Council are required to undergo evaluation. However, Dr. Mark Lipsey began conducting SPEP on all DJJ programming in our secure facilities. Ultimately this will expand to DJJ programming provided in communities. 2. The Criminal Justice Reform Council will be reporting on these outcomes on an at least annual basis although I can’t recall if this is specific to statute. Governor creates Juvenile Justice Incentive Funding Committee allocates 5 million in state funds plus 1 million fed funds for EBP services and programs

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Study populations

The group(s) of youth being studied in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Re-offense events

Events that are used to measure recidivism in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Follow-up periods

Details regarding the length of time and frequency that youth are tracked in states that publicly report recidivism data.

36 months with interval and adult systems reporting


Additional levels of analysis provided in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • County

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Race/ethn.

  • Risk level

  • Initial offense

  • Re-offense

  • Prior history

The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) publishes recidivism data for youth placed under the supervision of DJJ. Recidivism is defined as adjudication for delinquent or criminal acts after a juvenile is released into the community while under DJJ supervision or after DJJ supervision. Youth are followed for at least 12 months from release up to a maximum of 36 months based on available data.

Data sources

Recidivism Report 2011
Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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