DJJ History: Seven Years of the Atlanta YDC

June 6, 2019

Photo support from Atlanta YDC Nurse Lisa Mestas

In 2012, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) announced the opening of the agency's newest Youth Development Campus, the Atlanta YDC. The renovated 80-bed correctional facility was designed to serve the juvenile detention and rehabilitation needs of Metro-Atlanta.  Before its existent, the closest YDC facilities were located in Macon, Augusta, and Columbus.

DJJ retrofitted the former Department of Corrections adult work-release center that initially stood on the same site for more than 20-years.  The choice to go with a renovation rather than new construction represented substantial savings to taxpayers and helped to ease population pressures at other juvenile detention centers around the state.

When it opened, the Atlanta YDC was a completely re-designed and safety-upgraded juvenile detention facility which utilized the best protective protocols which included high levels of staff monitoring, redundant double-strand fence lines, close-circuit camera systems, and a control room.  These measures were state of the art in 2012 and are now common in all DJJ secure facilities.

In the seven years since its opening, the Atlanta YDC has hosted a wide variety of programs and events that have helped expand the horizons of the youth who have taken part.  Some of the more memorable moments include:

DJJ Education: Smart Driver and Cinema Drive

Atlanta YDC: Poet Tree

DJJ Youths Graduate from the Home Depot Career Planning Workshop

Atlanta YDC: Wellness Week

DJJ Youths Participate in Second Annual High Museum Art Contest and Exhibition

Atlanta YDC Graduates and Community Partners Elect a New Toastmaster

Additional programming at the Atlanta YDC includes real-world vocational education such as Forklift Operator Training and Gas Metal Arc Welding Certification.

The Department of Juvenile Justice would like to congratulate everyone at the Atlanta YDC who has helped to serve the youth of metro Atlanta and Georgia with professionalism and dedication. Special recognition goes out to those individuals who have spent five or more years at the facility, including:

  • Nancy Flott
  • Dr. James Freeman, MD
  • Deloise Brown
  • Glyvona Cox
  • Angela Garrett
  • Amy Grant
  • Dr. Jason Thomas
  • Celeste Wells
  • Dr. Charles Johnson, DDS
  • Dr. Louis Anderson, PhD
  • Kydric Smith
  • Sheryl Kennedy
  • Beverly Jones
  • Shannon Wilson
  • Dr. Simone Garwood, PhD
  • Yolanda Boyer
  • Sandra Marrongelli
  • Andy Patrick
  • Alesia Johnson
  • Toinette Phillips
  • Thomas Anderson
  • Gary Clay















About the Author