Programs and Administration

Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant

The Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant, funded by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, is a $750,000 diversionary grant to provide evidence-based treatment services for youth at-risk of commitment to DJJ custody with the goal of reducing felony, short-term program (STP), and total commitments to Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), and reducing new instances of secure detention admissions. The goals of the grant are to:

  • Reduce felony commitments to the Department of Juvenile Justice and Short Term Program (STP) commitments in Muscogee County
  • Increase the use of evidence-based practices in Georgia's juvenile justice system by initiating community-based juvenile justice programs
  • Reduce the rate of recidivism of youth involved in Georgia's juvenile justice system
  • Reduce the annual secure detention rate in Muscogee County
  • Reduce the annual secure confinement rate in Muscogee County
  • Demonstrate cost savings to the citizens of Georgia through the provision of research-informed services to youth in the juvenile justice system

Muscogee County Juvenile Court contracts with Evidence-Based Associates to provide two evidence-based treatment services, Functional Family Therapy (FFT) and Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST).

FFT is an individual-based family intervention that addresses delinquency, violence, substance use, and/or disruptive behavioral disorders by reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors. FFT therapy on average last about 12 weeks and is provided in the home with all family members present.

MST is an intensive individual-based family intervention that addresses the environmental factors that impact chronic and/or violent youth offenders. MST averages 16-20 weeks, is provided in the home but also provides for advocacy for the child in the school and community.

Georgia uses the PDRA to determine the criminogenic risk of justice-involved youth. These evidence-based programs are intended to serve youth scoring medium-or high-risk.

For FY 2018, the grant served 125 youth. 16% of those youth were deemed high risk and 84% were medium risk. Of those 125 youth, 81% successfully completed the program and 15% unsuccessfully discharged. The other 4% were administratively removed. Reasons for administrative removal include being in foster care and not meeting the medium to high risk on the risk assessment.

Currently, the FFT program has a recidivism rate of 30%, meaning of the participants that successfully complete the program, 30% commit a new offense, meaning 70% do no re-offend.

C.H.I.N.S Panel

A complaint alleging a child is a child in need of services may be filed with the Department of Juvenile Justice to address such issues as:

  • Certain behaviors or conditions occurring within a family or school environment indicate that a child is experiencing serious difficulties and is in need of services and corrective action in order to protect such child from the irreversibility of certain choices and to protect the integrity of such child's family.

The C.H.I.N.S Panel along with the Court will:

  • Make family members aware of their contributions to their family's problems and to encourage family members to accept the responsibility to participate in any program of care ordered by the court.
  • Provide a child with a program of treatment, care, guidance, counseling, structure, supervision, and rehabilitation that he or she needs to assist him or her in becoming a responsible and productive member of society.
  • Ensure the cooperation and coordination of all agencies having responsibility to supply services to any member of a family referred to the court.