The Office of Legal Services handles the legal interests of the agency and works closely with the Attorney General's Office in representing the Department in both state and federal courts. Legal Services is also responsible for responding to all requests for information received pursuant to the Open Records Act.
Open Records Requests
The Office of Legal Services handles all Open Records requests. Therefore, all requests should be sent in writing via mail, email or fax.
All youth records requests require a signed release. If the youth is under the age of 18, the release must be signed by the youth's parent or legal guardian.
All youth medical records requests require a signed release. If the youth is under the age of 18, the release must be signed by the youth's parent or legal guardian.
Code of Ethics
Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order on April 1, 2021, updating the Code of Ethics for state employees in the executive branch ("EO"). Per the EO, the attestation form (acknowledging receipt and review of the EO) must be signed by every existing DJJ staff member by June 30, 2021, and each new employee must sign within 30 days from hire. You can find the EO and Attestation Form on PowerDMS. Please contact the Ethics Officer if you do not have access to PowerDMS. Signing the attestation form is a condition of employment with DJJ.
Additionally, if you have a relative who is a vendor or lobbyist who has a current/pending matter with DJJ or has a current/potential business relationship with the State or DJJ, you must fill out a Conflict-of -Interest Disclosure Form for each applicable relative with an affidavit stating that you have not shared any non-public information gained from your employment with DJJ with the respective relative prior to completion of the disclosure form. You must make sure that these forms are kept up to date.
A "Relative" means a spouse, parent, grandparent, child, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, or half-sister.
A "Vendor" means a person or business entity that has a business relationship with an employee or an employee's agency or is actively engaged in the procurement of a contract with an employee's agency. This definition extends to third parties and subcontractors of other vendors.
A "Lobbyist" generally means a person who, either individually or as an employee of another person, receives or anticipates receiving compensation or reimbursement or payment of expenses specifically for undertaking to promote or oppose the passage of any legislation by the General Assembly, or any committee of either chamber or a joint committee thereof, or the approval or veto of legislation by the Governor. See O.C.G.A. § 21-5-70 (5).
A "Business Relationship" means a relationship that exists between an agency employee and a non-government business entity or person because the employee directly engages or supervises the work of the person or entity.
Regarding the recusal process, employees must recuse themselves from any proceeding in which they have a conflict of interest or their impartiality reasonably might be questioned due to their personal or financial relationship with a participant in the proceeding; have a financial interest in a business entity that is engaging as a vendor with DJJ; have a relative who has a financial interest as lobbyist or vendor with DJJ; or the employees have a business relationship with an agency of the State.
If the employee is uncertain whether the relationship justifies recusal, he/she must disclose it to Ethics Officer, and the Ethics Officer shall determine if a conflict of interest exists and whether the employee must recuse himself/herself. If the employee is recused, the Ethics Officer will assign the matter to another employee to handle.
The EO and Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form with affidavit can be accessed below. Please contact Ethics Officer Cindy Wang at [email protected] if you have any questions regarding the EO or the disclosure and recusal process.
Legal Services Staff
Cindy Wang - General Counsel
Jajuana Dewberry - Senior Staff Attorney
Shelton Marshall - Staff Attorney
Bindu Liang - Staff Attorney
Rebecca Weinberg - Policy Coordinator
Helene Foster - Legal Secretary
Jazmine Gammage - Part-time Paralegal
Service of Process Designee
Code Section 50-21-35 provides in relevant part:
(a) A chief executive officer of a state government entity shall provide a designee or designees for service of process for civil actions brought against the state under this article by publishing conspicuously on the homepage of the state government entity's website:
(1) The name and title of such designee or designees; and
(2) The office address of such designee or designees for service of process.
(c) A designee for service of process shall be present at the published office address no fewer than three days each Monday through Friday, excluding state observed holidays and other office closures, between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. eastern standard time or eastern daylight time, whichever is applicable.
The assigned Service of Process Designees for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice are:
Cindy Wang, General Counsel
Jajuana Dewberry, Sr. Staff Attorney
Bindu Liang, Staff Attorney
Shelton Marshall, Staff Attorney
Helene Foster, Legal Secretary
Mattie Robinson, Executive Assistant
Edith Darden, Executive Assistant