Each year the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice receives inquiries from concerned parents and communities on youth gang activities and teenage behavioral health issues. We hope the provided Q&A is informative.
Q: What are signs that your teenage daughter might be involved in a gang?
A: Like males, when most females get involved in gangs, there is likely a peer, friend, or someone they are dating who has introduced them into the gang. The identifiers displayed are also the same as with males, such as nicknames, symbols, tattoos, graffiti, or clothing. Additionally, the more involved with the gang the person becomes, the less engaged they will be in family, school, and pro-social activities. Parents should remain aware of their child’s social media presence, note any changes in their child’s behavior, and be mindful of who their child is hanging around with.
Q: Does DJJ visit communities to discuss gang activities?
Through a training initiative with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, DJJ travels throughout the state to educate local school systems on juvenile gang trends to help educators and administrators develop prevention and intervention strategies. Learn more by visiting GEMA online at Gema.georgia.gov.
Q: My child's grades have been dropping, and he has withdrawn from his friends. I'm worried that he may not be mentally well. Do you know where I can turn for help?
A: A good place to start is with a call to your child's school counselor. The counselor can connect you with the Georgia APEX program at https://DBHDD.georgia.gov, which offers statewide mental health assessments and treatment. You should also contact your family insurance provider to see if mental health consultations are covered under your plan.
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Please email the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice your gang or youth behavior/mental health questions to [email protected].