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DJJ completes transition of juvenile offenders to Rockdale facility

CONYERS — The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice has completed the transition of youthful offenders from the Gwinnett County Regional Youth Detention Center to a newly renovated facility in Rockdale County.

Commissioner Avery D. Niles announced June 30 that the department had completed the shutdown of the facility in Gwinnett.

“After making our official closing announcement in early December, our transition staff began slowly reducing our juvenile population at the Gwinnett RYDC,” said Niles. “As of mid-June, DJJ was no longer accepting new juvenile offenders in Gwinnett.”

The Rockdale RYDC, located on Chambers Drive near the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, has the capacity to house 52 youthful offenders, according to Jim Shuler, director of communications for DJJ.

An RYDC like the one in Rockdale is designed for offenders who have been sentenced to a short term. All offenders assigned to the Rockdale facility will already have had their cases adjudicated, so the juvenile residents will be from all over the state.

The state also operates Youth Development Campuses where juveniles are sentenced to long-term placement.

Although the Rockdale facility is for short-term placements, it will provide the same type of programs available at Youth Development Campuses, including detailed education and treatment programs.

Juvenile offenders in custody in Georgia are given the opportunity to earn a high school diploma from a system accredited by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Correctional Education Association.