2018 Georgia Code
Title 49 - Social Services
Chapter 4A - Department of Juvenile Justice
§ 49-4A-8. Commitment of delinquent children; procedure; cost; return of mentally ill or developmentally disabled children; escapees; discharge; evidence of commitment; records; restitution
(a) When the court does not release a delinquent child unconditionally or place him or her on probation or in a suitable public or private institution or agency, the court may commit such child to the department as provided in Article 6 of Chapter 11 of Title 15; provided, however, that no delinquent child shall be committed to the department until the department certifies to the Governor that it has facilities available and personnel ready to assume responsibility for delinquent children.
(b) When the court commits a delinquent child to the department, it may order such child conveyed forthwith to any facility designated by the department or direct that such child be left at liberty until otherwise ordered by the department under such conditions as will ensure his or her availability and submission to any orders of the department. If such delinquent child is ordered conveyed to the department, the court shall assign an officer or other suitable person to convey such child to any facility designated by the department, provided that the person assigned to convey a girl must be female. The cost of conveying such child committed to the department to the facility designated by the department shall be paid by the county from which such child is committed, provided that no compensation shall be allowed beyond the actual and necessary expenses of the party conveying and the child conveyed.
(c) When a court commits a delinquent child to the department, the court shall at once electronically submit a certified copy of the order of commitment to the department, and the court, the juvenile probation officer, the community supervision officer, the prosecuting and police authorities, the school authorities, and other public officials shall make available to the department all pertinent information in their possession pertaining to the case, including, but not limited to, any predisposition investigation report as set forth in Code Section 15-11-590 and any risk assessment. Such reports shall, if the department so requests, be made upon forms furnished by the department or according to an outline provided by the department.
(1) When a delinquent child has been committed to the department, the department shall, under rules and regulations established by the board, forthwith examine and study such child and investigate all pertinent circumstances of his or her life and behavior. The department shall make periodic reexaminations of all such children within its control, except those on release under supervision of the department. Such reexaminations may be made as frequently as the department considers desirable, and every such child shall be reexamined at intervals not exceeding one year. Failure of the department to examine such a child committed to it or to reexamine him or her within one year of a previous examination shall not of itself entitle such child to discharge from control of the department but shall entitle such child to petition the committing court for an order of discharge; and the court shall discharge him or her unless the department, upon due notice, satisfies the court of the necessity of further control.
(2) The department shall keep written records of all examinations and reexaminations, of conclusions based thereon, and of all orders concerning the disposition or treatment of every delinquent child subject to its control. Records maintained by the department pertaining to a delinquent child committed to the department shall not be public records but shall be privileged records and may be disclosed by direction of the commissioner pursuant to federal law regarding disseminating juvenile criminal history records only to those persons having a legitimate interest therein; provided, however, that the commissioner shall permit the Council of Juvenile Court Judges to inspect and copy such records for the purposes of obtaining statistics on juveniles.
(e) Except as provided by subsection (e.1) of this Code section and subsection (c) or (d) of Code Section 15-11-602, when a delinquent child has been committed to the department for detention and a diagnostic study for the purpose of determining the most satisfactory plan for such child's care and treatment has been completed, the department may:
(1) Permit such child liberty under supervision and upon such conditions as the department may believe conducive to acceptable behavior;
(2) Order such child's confinement under such conditions as the department may believe best designed to serve such child's welfare and as may be in the best interest of the public;
(3) Order reconfinement or renewed release as often as conditions indicate to be desirable;
(4) Revoke or modify any order of the department affecting such child, except an order of final discharge, as often as conditions indicate to be desirable; or
(5) Discharge such child from control of the department pursuant to Code Section 15-11-32 and subsection (c) of Code Section 15-11-607 when it is satisfied that such discharge will best serve such child's welfare and the protection of the public.
(1) When a child who has been adjudicated for the commission of a class A designated felony act or class B designated felony act as defined in Code Section 15-11-2 is released from confinement or custody of the department, it shall be the responsibility of the department to provide notice to any person who was the victim of such child's acts that such child is being released from confinement or custody.
(2) The department and employees of the department shall not be liable for damages incurred by reason of the department's failure to provide the notice required by paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(3) When a child convicted of a felony offense in a superior court is released from confinement or custody of the department, the department shall provide written notice, including the delinquent act or class A designated felony act or class B designated felony act committed, to the superintendent of the school system in which such child was enrolled or, if the information is known, the school in which such child was enrolled or plans to be enrolled.
(4) The department and employees of the department shall not be liable for damages incurred by reason of the department's failure to provide notice required by paragraph (3) of this subsection.
(f) As a means of correcting the socially harmful tendencies of a delinquent child committed to it, the department may:
(1) Require participation by such child in moral, academic, vocational, physical, and correctional training and activities, and provide such child the opportunity for religious activities where practicable in the institutions under the control and supervision of the department;
(2) Require such modes of life and conduct as may seem best adapted to fit and equip him or her for return to full liberty without danger to the public;
(3) Provide such medical, psychiatric, or casework treatment as is necessary; or
(4) Place him or her, if physically fit, in a park, maintenance camp, or forestry camp or on a ranch owned by the state or by the United States and require any child so housed to perform suitable conservation and maintenance work, provided that the children shall not be exploited and that the dominant purpose of such activities shall be to benefit and rehabilitate the children rather than to make the camps self-sustaining.
(g) When funds are available, the department may:
(1) Establish and operate places for detention and diagnosis of all delinquent children committed to it;
(2) Establish and operate additional treatment and training facilities, including parks, forestry camps, maintenance camps, ranches, and group residences necessary to classify and handle juvenile delinquents of different ages and habits and different mental and physical conditions, according to their needs; and
(3) Establish aftercare supervision to aid children given conditional release to find homes and employment and otherwise to assist them to become reestablished in the community and to lead socially acceptable lives.
(h) Whenever the department finds that any child committed to the department is mentally ill or has a developmental disability, as defined in Code Section 15-11-2, the department shall have the power to return such child to the court of original jurisdiction for appropriate disposition by that court or may, if it so desires, request the court having jurisdiction in the county in which the juvenile detention facility is located to take such action as the condition of the child may require.
(1) A child who has been committed to the department for detention in a juvenile detention facility or who has been otherwise taken into custody and who has escaped therefrom or who has been placed under supervision and broken the conditions thereof may be taken into custody without a warrant by a sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, police officer, probation officer, or any other officer of this state authorized to serve criminal process upon a written request made by an employee of the department having knowledge of the escape or of the violation of conditions of supervision. Before a child may be taken into custody for violation of the conditions of supervision, such written request shall be reviewed by the commissioner or his or her designee. If the commissioner or his or her designee finds that probable cause exists to believe that such child has violated his or her conditions of supervision, he or she may issue an order directing that such child be picked up and returned to custody.
(2) The commissioner may designate as a peace officer who is authorized to exercise the power of arrest any employee of the department whose full-time duties include the preservation of public order, the protection of life and property, the detection of crime, or the supervision of delinquent children or children in need of services in its institutions, facilities, or programs, the supervision of delinquent children or children in need of services under intensive supervision in the community, or any employee who is a line supervisor of any such employee. The commissioner also may designate as a peace officer who is authorized to exercise the power of arrest any employee of a person or organization which contracts with the department pertaining to the management, custody, care, and control of delinquent children or children in need of services retained by the person or organization if that employee's full-time duties include the preservation of public order, the protection of life and property, the detection of crime, or the supervision of delinquent children in the department's institutions, facilities, or programs, or any employee who is a line supervisor of such employee. The commissioner may designate one or more employees of the department to investigate and apprehend children who have escaped from a juvenile detention facility or who have broken the conditions of supervision; provided, however, that the employees so designated shall only be those with primary responsibility for the security functions of such facilities or whose primary duty consists of the apprehension of youths who have escaped from such facilities or who have broken the conditions of supervision. An employee of the department so designated shall have the police power to investigate, to apprehend such children, and to arrest any person physically interfering with the proper apprehension of such children. An employee of the department so designated in the investigative section of the department shall have the power to obtain a search warrant for the purpose of locating and apprehending such children. Additionally, such employee, while on the grounds or in the buildings of the department's institutions or facilities, shall have the same law enforcement powers, including the power of arrest, as a law enforcement officer of the local government with police jurisdiction over such institutions or facilities. Such employee shall be authorized to carry weapons, upon written approval of the commissioner, notwithstanding Code Sections 16-11-126 and 16-11-129. The commissioner shall also be authorized to designate any person or organization with whom the department contracts for services pertaining to the management, custody, care, and control of delinquent children or children in need of services detained by the person or organization as a law enforcement unit under paragraph (7) of Code Section 35-8-2. Any employee or person designated under this subsection shall be considered to be a peace officer within the meaning of Chapter 8 of Title 35 and shall be certified under that chapter.
(3) For the purposes of investigation of children who have escaped from juvenile detention facilities of the department or of children who are alleged to have broken the conditions of supervision, the department is empowered and authorized to request and receive from the Georgia Crime Information Center any information in the files of the Georgia Crime Information Center which will aid in the apprehension of such children.
(4) An employee designated pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection may take a child into custody without a warrant upon personal knowledge or written request of a person having knowledge of the escape or violation of conditions of supervision, or a child may be taken into custody pursuant to Code Section 15-11-501. When taking a child into custody pursuant to this paragraph, a designated employee of the department shall have the power to use all force reasonably necessary to take such child into custody.
(5) The child shall be kept in custody in a suitable place designated by the department and there detained until such child may be returned to the custody of the department.
(6) Such taking into custody shall not be termed an arrest; provided, however, that any person taking a child into custody pursuant to this subsection shall have the same immunity from civil and criminal liability as a peace officer making an arrest pursuant to a valid warrant.
(j) The department shall ensure that each child it releases under supervision or otherwise has suitable clothing, transportation to his or her home or to the county in which a suitable home or employment has been found for him or her, and such an amount of money as the rules and regulations of the board may authorize. The expenditure for clothing and for transportation and the payment of money to such child released may be made from funds for support and maintenance appropriated by the General Assembly to the department or to the institution from which such child is released or from local funds.
(k) Every child committed to the department, if not already discharged, shall be discharged from custody of the department when he or she reaches his or her twenty-first birthday.
(l) Commitment of a child to the custody of the department shall not operate to disqualify such child in any future examination, appointment, or application for public service under the government either of the state or of any political subdivision thereof.
(m) A commitment to the department shall not be received in evidence or used in any way in any proceedings in any court, except in subsequent proceedings for delinquency or being in need of services involving the same child and except in imposing sentence in any criminal proceeding against the same person.
(n) (1) The department shall conduct a continuing inquiry into the effectiveness of treatment methods it employs in seeking the rehabilitation of maladjusted children. To this end, the department shall maintain a statistical record of arrests and commitments of its wards subsequent to their discharge from the jurisdiction and control of the department and shall tabulate, analyze, and publish in print or electronically annually these data so that they may be used to evaluate the relative merits of methods of treatment. The department shall cooperate and coordinate with courts, juvenile court clerks, the Governor's Office for Children and Families, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, and public and private agencies in the collection of statistics and information regarding:
(A) Juvenile delinquency;
(B) Arrests made;
(C) Detentions made, the offense for which such detention was authorized, and the reason for each detention;
(D) Complaints filed;
(E) Informations filed;
(F) Petitions filed;
(G) The results of complaints, informations, and petitions, including whether such filings were dismissed, diverted, or adjudicated;
(H) Commitments to the department, the length of such commitment, and releases from the department;
(I) The department's placement decisions for commitments;
(J) Placement decisions to institutions, camps, or other facilities for delinquent children operated under the direction of courts or other local public authorities;
(K) Community programs utilized and completion data for such programs;
(M) Data collected by juvenile court clerks pursuant to Code Section 15-11-64; and
(N) Other information useful in determining the amount and causes of juvenile delinquency in this state.
(2) In order to facilitate the collection of the information required by paragraph (1) of this subsection, the department shall be authorized to inspect and copy all records of the court and law enforcement agencies pertaining to juveniles and collect data from juvenile court clerks.
(o) When a child committed to the department is under court order to make certain restitution as a part of his or her treatment by the court, the requirement that the restitution be paid in full shall not cease with the order of commitment. The provision of the order requiring restitution shall remain in force and effect during the period of commitment, and the department is empowered to enforce such restitution requirement and to direct that payment of funds or notification of service completed be made to the clerk of the juvenile court or another employee of that court designated by the judge.