2021 Georgia Code
Title 49 - Social Services
Chapter 4A - Department of Juvenile Justice
§ 49-4A-3. Department of Juvenile Justice Created; Commissioner of Juvenile Justice; Organization and Operation of Department

Universal Citation: GA Code § 49-4A-3 (2021)
  1. There is created the Department of Juvenile Justice and the position of commissioner of juvenile justice. The commissioner shall be the chief administrative officer of the department and shall be both appointed and removed by the board, subject to the approval of the Governor. The commissioner of human services shall not also serve as the commissioner of juvenile justice. Subject to the general policy and rules and regulations of the board, the commissioner shall supervise, direct, account for, organize, plan, administer, and execute the functions of the department.
  2. The department shall provide for supervision, detention, and rehabilitation of delinquent children committed to the state's custody. The department shall also be authorized to operate prevention programs and to provide assistance to local public and private entities with prevention programs for children at risk. In lieu of commitment, the department shall be authorized to provide for specialized treatment for children adjudicated for delinquent acts involving sexual offenses or controlled substances and who may have behavior disorders. 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;
    2. Services implemented so that each child and family served can have a personal relationship with staff, providers, and workers, which staff, providers, and workers shall be trained and treated as professionals, have a range of multidisciplinary skills, and have manageable caseloads;
    3. 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;
    4. Systems that are accountable, with desired outcomes specified, results measured and evaluated, and cost-efficient options maximized;
    5. Intersystem communication and collaboration that are encouraged and facilitated through coordination of systems so that gaps and unnecessary duplications in planning, funding, and providing services are eliminated;
    6. Being consumer driven and responsive to the changing needs of individual communities; and
    7. Encouraging the central location of various services whenever possible.

(Code 1981, §49-4A-3, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1983, § 24; Ga. L. 1997, p. 1453, § 6; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 2-4/HB 228; Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 3-3/HB 242.)

The 2013 amendment, effective January 1, 2014, in subsection (a), deleted the former second sentence, which read: "The Department of Juvenile Justice shall be the successor entity to the Department of Children and Youth Services and the change is intended to be one of name only; and the commissioner of juvenile justice shall be the successor to the commissioner of children and youth services and the change is intended to be one of name only.", substituted "department" for "Department of Juvenile Justice" in the second and last sentences, substituted "shall not" for "may not" in the third sentence, and deleted "of juvenile justice" following "the commissioner" in the last sentence; in subsection (b), in the introductory paragraph, substituted "delinquent children" for "juvenile delinquents" in the first sentence, substituted "children" for "juveniles" in the second sentence, and rewrote the third sentence, which read: "Additionally, the department will be authorized to provide for specialized treatment for juvenile offenders, in lieu of commitment, who have been found to be sex offenders or drug abusers and who may have behavior disorders"; inserted "using evidence based programs or practices" in paragraph (b)(1); inserted "based on evidence based programs or practices and be" in paragraph (b)(3); substituted "Being consumer driven" for "The department shall be consumer driven" in paragraph (b)(6); and substituted "Encouraging" for "The department shall encourage" in paragraph (b)(7). See editor's note for applicability.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 5-1/HB 242, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on January 1, 2014, and shall apply to all offenses which occur and juvenile proceedings commenced on and after such date. Any offense occurring before January 1, 2014, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such offense and shall be considered a prior adjudication for the purpose of imposing a disposition that provides for a different penalty for subsequent adjudications, of whatever class, pursuant to this Act. The enactment of this Act shall not affect any prosecutions for acts occurring before January 1, 2014, and shall not act as an abatement of any such prosecutions."

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