The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is a multi-faceted agency that provides a wide range of services for youthful offenders across the state. Each day at 26 facilities and 98 court services offices, DJJ supervises, detains, and oversees treatment programs for youth referred by juvenile courts and in collaboration with other public, private, and community groups. In addition, as the state’s 181st school district, DJJ is one of Georgia’s largest educators, accredited by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Correctional Education Association (CEA), offering youth in custody the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and career vocational skills. Over 52,000 youth are served annually by the Department, including those who are placed on probation, sentenced to short-term incarceration, jointly shared with local counties, or those solely committed to DJJ by Juvenile Courts.
Depending on the severity of the offense, the juvenile court could dismiss your child's charge after an informal probation period; assign them a longer probation period and require that they meet its terms, such as working community service hours; or order a general commitment, which means that their legal custody is transferred to the State of Georgia for a period of no more than two years so that DJJ can plan their treatment and rehabilitation. More serious offenses than these could result in a commitment of five years. A DJJ Screening Committee will meet within ten working days of a judge's decision for commitment to determine where your child will go for treatment and rehabilitation.
DJJ does all it can to place children close to their families. It's likely that your child has been placed at the next nearest facility because either they need particular services that aren't available at the closest facility or because the closest facility is at capacity.