Decatur, GA – The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) held its annual spring high school commencement ceremony for youth enrolled in the DJJ School System on Friday, May 27. Twenty-four high school diplomas and 15 General Equivalency Degrees (GED) diplomas were awarded to qualifying students.

“We are committed to providing an education that empowers life-long learners to reach their potential and become college and career-ready,” said DJJ Commissioner Tyrone Oliver. “Obtaining a high school diploma or GED is an important achievement that will help guide them on a path towards achieving their goals and a bright future.”

DJJ is the 181st school district in Georgia. The Georgia Preparatory Academy (GPA) is the district’s middle and high school and Pathway to Success is the GED program within the school system. GPA and Pathway to Success are located at 28 campuses within DJJ’s Regional Youth Detention Centers (RYDCs), Youth Development Campuses (YDCs), and Education Transition Centers (ETCs) across Georgia. DJJ operates GPA with a curriculum that meets the education standards set forth by the Georgia Department of Education for all public schools.

DJJ facilities with graduates included the Atlanta, Eastman, Augusta, Milledgeville, Macon, and Muscogee YDCs, Gainesville, Metro, Waycross, Rome, and Cadwell RYDCs, and Chatham and Muscogee ETCs.

“We are very pleased that the hard work of our teachers and students is evident this semester with 24 high school graduates and 15 GED graduates,” said Zane Shelfer, DJJ Deputy Superintendent of Schools.

Following graduation, each student who remains in DJJ custody at a secure facility is enrolled in the Connections Graduate Program (CGP), which is designed to prepare the youth for college or a career. CGP instructors specialize in educational and employability development.

The Department of Juvenile Justice congratulates all youth graduates. 




The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is a multi-faceted agency that serves the state’s youthful offenders 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.   



Communications Glenn Allen