DJJ Holds Anniversary Celebration for Valdosta Youth Center
Decatur, GA – The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) held a first-anniversary celebration for the Southwest Key's Evening Reporting Center on Monday, November 8. The center in Valdosta, Ga., is an evidence-based program designed to provide structure and supervision to juvenile justice system-involved youth at risk of recidivating.
"This program is about helping young people thrive," said DJJ Commissioner Tyrone Oliver. "I am thankful for our partnership with Southwest Key and their commitment to serving the agency's youth. Southwest Keys have been a tremendous asset not only to the Lowndes County community but also to DJJ as we strive to transform the lives of the youth in our care."
The Evening Reporting Center has an 88 percent non-re-offend rate. The program keeps youth, ages 12 to 17, engaged in pro-social learning opportunities, including homework assistance, work-readiness training, recreation, counseling, and family engagement. Since its doors opened on August 24, 2020, approximately 22 out of 39 youth have completed the program.
"The Evening Reporting Center is vitally important for youth," said Judge James F. Council, Jr. "This program provides an opportunity for children in the community to be off the street and somewhere safe, to learn, and have people that care about them. Thank you for coming into and helping our community."
Youth are enrolled for 90 days and are referred to the program by DJJ. The program uses a balanced and restorative justice approach by focusing on youth accountability, community safety, and competency development. The Evening Reporting Center operates from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year.
Southwest Key Programs is a non-profit organization designed to create opportunities and improve the quality of life for thousands of youth and families each day by providing safe shelter, alternatives to incarceration, career development, and quality education.
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The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is a multi-faceted agency that serves the state's justice-involved youth up to 21 years of age. The Department's mission is to transform young lives by providing evidence-based rehabilitative treatment services and supervision, strengthening youth and families' well-being, and fostering safe communities. Visit us online at www.djj.georgia.gov.