Georgia Juvenile Facilities Memorandum Agreement
Memorandum of Agreement
Between the United States and the State of Georgia
Concerning Georgia Juvenile Justice Facilities
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION -1-
II. DEFINITIONS -3-
III. GENERAL PROVISIONS -8-
IV. EDUCATIONAL SERVICES -8-
A. General and Vocational Education -9-
B. Special Education -12-
C. Staffing -15-
D. Staff Training -16-
E. Educational Quality Assurance -16-
V. MENTAL HEALTH CARE -16-
A. Intake Screening and Assessment -17-
B. Evaluation -19-
C. Placement -20-
D. Treatment -21-
E. Suicide Prevention -24-
F. Staffing -25-
G. Staff Training -27-
H. Quality Assurance -28-
VI. MEDICAL CARE -28-
A. Admissions Screenings and Physicals -29-
B. Sick Call -29-
C. Treatment -29-
D. Medical Records -30-
E. Staffing -31-
F. Staff Training -32-
G. Quality Assurance -33-
VII. PHYSICAL AND PROGRAMMATIC CAPACITY -33-
A. Staffing and Staff Training -34-
B. Population and Physical Plant Capacity -35-
1) Risk Assessment Standards -35-
2) Capital Improvement and Expansion -37-
VIII. PROTECTION FROM HARM -38-
A. Classification -38-
B. Supervision of Youth -38-
C. Use of Force -38-
D. Protection from Staff Abuse -40-
IX. OTHER GENERAL CORRECTIONAL MATTERS -44-
A. Discipline -44-
B. Boot Camp Admissions and Practices -45-
C. Grievance Procedures -46-
D. Miscellaneous Correctional Issues -46-
X. JUVENILE JUSTICE QUALITY ASSURANCE -47-
XI. MONITORING -51-
A. Role of the OPB Monitor -51-
B. Monitoring by the United States -52-
C. Plan Development and Enforcement -53-
D. Resolution of Enforcement Disputes -56-
E. Termination of the Agreement -57-
Appendix A -A1-
Appendix B -B1-
Appendix C -C1-
Appendix D -D1-
Appendix E -E1-
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT
On March 3, 1997, the United States notified Governor Zell Miller and
other Georgia officials of its intent to investigate various juvenile facilities
in the State of Georgia under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons
Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997a,
et seq., and the pattern or
practice provision of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act,
42 U.S.C. § 14141. By letter dated March 6, 1997, Governor Miller
notified the then-Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights
Division that the State, through its Department of Juvenile Justice ("DJJ"),
would fully cooperate with this review.
During its year-long investigation and inspection of facilities, the
United States received complete cooperation and access to all requested
documents and facilities from DJJ Commissioner Dr. Eugene P. Walker, the
staff of DJJ, and the Georgia Attorney General's office.
On February 13, 1998, the United States, through the Acting Assistant
Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, issued a findings letter
in which it concluded that certain conditions in Georgia's juvenile justice
facilities allegedly violated particular constitutional and federal statutory
rights of juveniles.
Immediately upon their receipt of the United States' findings letter,
Governor Miller, Commissioner Walker, the Georgia Attorney General, and
their respective staffs expressed their intent to cooperate with the United
States in an effort to address the findings contained in the February 13,
The parties have engaged in good-faith negotiations to reach agreement
on this Memorandum of Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the "Agreement").
The parties agree that the provisions of this Agreement are necessary to
ensure compliance with federal law, while also preserving the State's legitimate
and significant interests in public safety, facility security, and in determining
the philosophy by which it shall operate its juvenile justice system within
federal constitutional and statutory limitations.
Furthermore, in entering into this Agreement, the parties have given
substantial consideration to its impact on public safety and the operation
of the juvenile justice system, and believe that this Agreement is narrowly
drawn to provide the least intrusive means necessary to address the issues
identified in the United States' investigation without adversely affecting
the State's significant interest in protecting the safety of the citizens
of Georgia through the use of secure juvenile detention facilities.
The United States further agrees that once juveniles are detained in
State facilities, the State of Georgia has a right to impose policies and
procedures for the protection of the public, the staff of DJJ, and the
juveniles within the State's custody. The parties agree that the relief
provided in this Agreement extends no further than is necessary to ensure
protection of youths' federal rights, and that so long as the State's policies
and procedures are in accordance with federal laws and meet constitutional
standards, the State of Georgia has the right to determine the philosophy
by which it shall operate its juvenile justice system.
The United States further recognizes that its letter notifying the Governor
of the results of its investigation focused, by virtue of statutory requirements,
on conditions the United States believed to violate federal law and, therefore,
did not fully discuss positive aspects of the State's juvenile justice
system or improvements to the quality of the State's juvenile justice programs
in recent years. The purpose of this Agreement is to effectuate and continue
that progress for the benefit of youths in the DJJ system and the citizens
of the State of Georgia.
1. "Department" or "DJJ" shall mean the Georgia Department of Juvenile
Justice. "Department of Juvenile Justice facility" or "DJJ facility" means
any secure juvenile facility operated by, or on behalf of, the Georgia
Department of Juvenile Justice, and shall include all Regional Youth Detention
Centers ("RYDCs"), 90-day programs (including boot camps), and Youth Development
Campuses ("YDCs"), including those facilities operated by private contractors
for the State.
2. "Direct care staff" means staff involved in the daily supervision
of youth, and include Juvenile Corrections Officers and their supervisors,
security staff, and cottage life supervisors.
3. "Long-term security unit" means any higher security unit with locked
cells used for housing youths who exhibit behavior problems for more than
72 hours. This shall include, but not be limited to, the Detention Unit
at the Macon YDC, Unit 14 at the Bill E. Ireland YDC, and the "Brig" at
the Irwin YDC, and similar units in other facilities.
4. "Major disciplinary infraction" means a violation of a facility rule
that imposes a serious risk of: (a) harm to persons; (b) substantial damage
to property; or (c) breach of facility security.
5. A "mental health and suicide risk screening" means, at minimum, an
interview with a youth and review of available records, in accordance with
a DJJ screening instrument and relevant policies, to identify immediate
mental health and suicide risks upon admission to a DJJ facility.
6. A "mental health evaluation" means, at minimum, a complete initial
psychological or psychiatric evaluation, performed by a psychiatrist or
psychologist, and any additional psychological or psychiatric testing,
in accordance with professional standards.
7. A "mental health needs assessment" means, at minimum, an interview
and review of available records and other pertinent information by a mental
health professional with at least a master's degree in a mental-health
related field, designed to identify significant mental health treatment
needs to be addressed during a youth's confinement.
8. A "plan of correction" shall mean a plan detailing steps to be taken
by a facility to correct deficiencies identified during quality assurance
activities, and shall include a timetable for implementation of the corrective
measures and a schedule for timely reinspection by the quality assurance
auditors to verify that the corrective measures have been implemented and
have effectively addressed the deficiencies.
9. "Qualified mental health professional" or "QMHP" means a professional
with education, training and experience adequate to perform the duties
required in accordance with professional standards. At minimum, a QMHP
must have a bachelor's degree in a mental health-related field. When the
QMHP is required to provide individual counseling to mentally ill youths,
the QMHP shall have at least a master's degree in a mental health-related
field and appropriate training and experience in the provision of mental
10. A "Quality Assurance Program" shall have, at minimum, the following
a. Comprehensive audits by qualified professionals of relevant programs
at each DJJ facility to monitor compliance with DJJ policies and the terms
of this Agreement. A comprehensive audit shall be conducted at each facility
within one year of the implementation of the quality assurance plan, and
on a bi-annual basis thereafter. A comprehensive audit shall include, at
i. Review of a relevant documents (for example, medical, mental, institutional
records; incident, use of force, OC spray, and disciplinary reports; grievances;
unit logs, room check records, appointment books; lesson plans, IEPs, test
results; behavior management and treatment plans). Records shall be reviewed
for both adequacy of documentation and for quality of services.
ii. Interviews with relevant staff, including not only those staff directly
involved in the service being audited, but also other staff who may have
relevant information, including administrators.
iii. Interviews with youths.
iv. Observation of relevant activities (such as treatment team and IEP
meetings, classes, admission screenings, educational testings, physicals,
v. Steps to determine whether there are youths in the facility who should
be receiving the relevant service but are not, including random re-evaluations
of recent intakes and interviews of line staff who may be aware of youths
who should be, but are not, receiving the relevant service.
vi. Written findings and the development of plans of correction.
vii. Review of the adequacy of each facility's internal quality assurance
activities when relevant.
b. Regular unannounced site-visits, in addition to comprehensive audits,
to monitor compliance with DJJ policies and the terms of this Agreement,
and to conduct other quality assurance activities.
c. Monitoring and review of serious incidents relevant to the area of
care supervised by the quality assurance program, in accordance with written
guidelines that determine when such review is triggered. Such review shall
involve debriefings with relevant staff to determine whether policies,
practices or training should be modified to minimize the risk of such events
in the future.
d. System-wide and facility-based collection and analysis of relevant
data to measure compliance with DJJ policies and the terms of this Agreement.
e. Quarterly reports summarizing quality assurance activities, findings
III. GENERAL PROVISIONS
11. This Agreement shall apply to the administration of all DJJ facilities.
12. The State shall be responsible for assuring the fulfillment of all
responsibilities and obligations imposed by this Agreement upon State employees,
contractors, departments or other sub-units of the State government, including
provision of adequate resources for the fulfillment of these responsibilities
IV. EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
13. The State shall provide all youths confined in the DJJ facilities
with adequate general, vocational and special education in compliance with
the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 et
and regulations promulgated thereunder, Section 504, 29 U.S.C. § 794,
and regulations promulgated thereunder, Title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, and regulations
promulgated thereunder, Georgia state law, and this Agreement.
A. General and Vocational Education
14. The Department shall recruit and hire, from outside the Department,
a Director of Education, who shall be highly qualified for the position.
The Director shall begin employment on or before August 1, 1998. The Department
shall provide the Director of Education with sufficient staff and resources
to perform the tasks required by this Agreement, including:
a. Oversight of the educational programming in all DJJ facilities, including
development and implementation of policies and training programs.
b. Monitoring whether educational staffing and resources are sufficient
to provide adequate education to all DJJ youths and to ensure compliance
with this Agreement;
c. Development and implementation of a quality assurance program for
15. The Director of Education shall, in consultation with the State
Department of Education, develop and implement a curriculum for instruction
in DJJ facilities that meets the requirements of Georgia law for public
schools and the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education for
the provision of regular, special and vocational education services.
16. The Department shall not be eligible for waivers of any State Board
of Education requirements if the waiver would result in a reduction in
the amount or quality of educational services required of other public
17. The Department shall offer preparation for testing and testing that
leads to the attainment of a General Educational Development certificate
to qualified students in YDCs and all other qualified youths who have been
confined in DJJ facilities for at least 6 months. If a youth is released
before completion of the testing, the Department shall ensure that he or
she is provided with appropriate information on how to complete the examination
18. Within 72 hours of admission to a DJJ facility, each youth shall
receive adequate educational testing to determine educational level for
class assignment and the possibility of eligibility for special education
services. All youths shall be enrolled in educational programming within
72 hours of admission, even if educational testing or special education
evaluation has not been completed.
19. To the extent possible, students shall be assigned to classes according
to educational criteria.
20. The Department shall maintain daily school attendance records. The
Department shall devise appropriate criteria for the exclusion of students
from school and maintain a document that lists the number and names of
all students who were excluded from school. The Department shall also record
the name of the youth excluded, the name of the person who authorized his
or her exclusion, the reason for his or her exclusion, and the duration
of the exclusion.
21. The Director of Education shall develop and implement policies for
the provision of a reasonable level of educational services to youths who
are (a) in disciplinary isolation or (b) otherwise unable to attend school
for a significant period of time.
22. The Department shall provide adequate classroom space, administrative
space, instructional and reading materials, and supplies so that the Department
shall be able to implement the provisions of this Agreement.
23. In accordance with state law, the Department shall provide an appropriate
curriculum such that all youths will be eligible to receive academic credit
and educational advancement for their educational achievements at a DJJ
facility according to standards equivalent to those used by the public
schools. The Department shall provide appropriate records to the local
schools to facilitate transfer of such credits according to the general
practice of public schools in Georgia. The Department shall undertake efforts
to encourage schools to recognize course work completed in the DJJ educational
24. The Department shall provide all youths with adequate information
regarding the procedures to be followed in order to return to the youth's
home, or another, school. The Department shall provide a youth's school
records to the superintendent of the school system to which the youth returns,
and will make such records available to any other school upon request.
B. Special Education
25. The Director of Education shall develop and implement policies and
procedures, consistent with federal regulations, to identify students who
are receiving special education services in their home schools, or who
may be eligible to receive special education services but have not been
so identified in the past. The procedures shall include:
a. Guidelines for interviewing students to determine past receipt of
special education services.
b. Protocols, developed in conjunction with local school districts and
the State Department of Education, for expedited reporting of special education
status of students entering a DJJ facility.
c. Procedures identifying criteria under which staff or teachers must
refer a student for evaluation for special education eligibility, including
identifying criteria under which youths whose behavior has led to repeated
exclusion from class must be referred for evaluation.
d. Policies describing the required activities of Student Support Team
pre-referral and support team functions.
e. Policies describing the requirements for comprehensive evaluation
procedures to determine eligibility for special education services.
f. Policies describing the criteria for multidisciplinary team decision-making
regarding eligibility for special education.
26. The Department shall ensure that qualified professionals participate
in the process for determining special education eligibility, as required
by federal regulations.
27. If a youth is discharged from any DJJ facility before the educational
evaluation required in ¶ 25(e)-(f), is complete, the Department shall
forward to the superintendent of the youth's receiving school district
all information regarding screening and evaluations completed to date,
noting what evaluations are yet to be performed.
28. The Department shall substantially implement pre-existing valid
Individual Education Plans ("IEPs") and, when no such IEP is in existence,
shall hold team meetings to develop an IEP for qualified special education
students in accordance with federal regulations.
29. In developing or modifying an IEP, the Department shall assure that
the IEP reflects the individualized educational needs of the student.
30. When the nature or severity of a student's disability is such that
education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services
cannot be achieved satisfactorily, the Department shall provide an appropriate
alternate educational setting.
31. Each IEP developed or modified at a DJJ facility shall include documentation
of the team's consideration of the youth's need for related services and
transition planning. The Department shall employ or contract with appropriate
professionals to ensure the timely availability of related services to
youths in all DJJ facilities.
32. The Director of Education shall develop and implement a system to
promote parent, guardian, and surrogate parents' involvement in IEP development
and placement meetings. This shall include, at minimum, holding such meetings
through telecommunications technology or during times reasonably calculated
to accommodate the schedules of parents and guardians. The Department shall
post notices in each facility stating the rights of students, parents,
or guardians regarding education services, including special education
33. The Director of Education shall develop and implement an education
staffing plan to ensure adequate staff to comply with the terms of this
Agreement, and in accordance with Appendix B. This plan shall provide,
a. Sufficient numbers of certified general education and certified special
education teachers and staff, including substitute teachers and staff,
to provide all youths with the opportunity to attend school full-time (except
as provided in ¶ 21) and to obtain adequate educational services,
and to provide teachers with sufficient time to plan lessons and grade
assignments, participate in special education meetings, and where applicable,
undertake administrative tasks.
b. Sufficient psychologist services to provide psychologist participation
in the development of IEPs, administration of psycho-educational assessments,
consultation with teachers and staff, and individual counseling related
specifically to issues in youths' IEPs and educational plans.
c. Sufficient numbers of other counseling staff in all DJJ facilities
to adequately complement the counseling services provided by the school
d. An individual at each facility who shall be responsible for ensuring
compliance with all provisions in this Agreement related to educational
D. Staff Training
34. The Director of Education shall design and implement annual in-service
training requirements for education staff, of not less than four days per
year, to enhance their ability to implement their duties under the provisions
of this Agreement. This shall include, but not be limited to, training
regarding the identification of students who may need special education
and/or related services.
E. Educational Quality Assurance
35. The Director of Education shall be charged with quality assurance
of all educational services at all of the juvenile facilities. The Director
of Education shall develop and implement a written quality assurance program.
This program shall include a system of on-going review by the Director's
office of at least a representative sample of IEPs developed or modified
in DJJ facilities to monitor quality and assure compliance with the requirements
of DJJ policy and the IDEA.
V. MENTAL HEALTH CARE
36. The Department shall ensure that adequate mental health care and
treatment services are provided to youths in all DJJ facilities.
37. The Department shall recruit and hire, from outside the Department,
a Director of Mental Health, who shall be highly qualified for the position.
The Director shall begin employment on or before August 1, 1998. The Department
shall provide the Director of Mental Health with sufficient staff and resources
to perform the tasks required by this Agreement, including:
a. Oversight of the mental health care and treatment services in all
DJJ facilities. This shall include development and implementation of:
i. Policies and training programs.
ii. Programs and services required to meet the mental health needs of
youths, which may include programs relating to drug and alcohol abuse,
histories of sexual or physical abuse, and sexual offenders.
b. Monitoring whether mental health staffing and resources are sufficient
to provide adequate mental health care and treatment services to all DJJ
youths and to ensure compliance with this Agreement.
c. Development and implementation of a quality assurance program for
mental health care.
A. Intake Screening and Assessment
38. The Mental Health Director shall develop and implement a mental
health and suicide risk screening instrument for use in all DJJ facilities.
The Director shall also develop and implement a training program for staff
who will administer the screenings.
39. In accordance with the policies and screening instruments developed
by the Director of Mental Health, a qualified mental health professional
shall conduct an intake screening for each youth as soon as practicable
upon admission to any DJJ facility. When no such professional is on site
to conduct the screening, it shall be conducted by another staff member
who has received specific training in conducting such assessments. The
staff member shall as soon as is practicable then contact the mental health
professional and confer.
40. In accordance with policies developed by the Director of Mental
Health, each youth admitted to a YDC shall receive a timely mental health
needs assessment. The mental health professionals who administer the assessment
shall receive specific training in conducting such assessments.
41. A psychologist must review and sign the mental health needs assessment.
Pursuant to protocols issued by the Director of Mental Health, the psychologist
shall make appropriate referrals for further evaluation or treatment, or
take other appropriate steps.
42. The Director of Mental Health shall issue protocols to assure appropriate
action when an intake screening indicates that a youth is taking, or prior
to admission may have been prescribed, psychotropic medications. This shall
include appropriate steps to contact the prescribing psychiatrist when
necessary and referral to the facility's psychiatrist for evaluation.
43. The Director of Mental Health shall develop and implement protocols
for referral of youths for mental health evaluations based on the results
of the mental health and suicide risk screening or the mental health needs
assessment, other referrals from staff, or the conduct of the youth during
the course of confinement in a DJJ facility. These protocols shall require
referrals, at minimum, when:
a. A youth's mental health poses a risk of physical harm to himself
or others or the youth has been diagnosed as mentally ill.
b. The youth exhibits mental health problems but does not have a current
mental health diagnosis from a psychologist or psychiatrist.
c. The youth is determined to be taking psychotropic medications, or
has taken them in the recent past;
d. The youth requires a change of medication prescribed as a result
of any mental health condition.
44. If a need for mental health treatment is indicated, the youth shall
receive adequate treatment, which shall include:
a. In a YDC, treatment in accordance with a treatment plan developed
for the youth, as described in ¶¶ 47-54.
b. In an RYDC, the psychologist or psychiatrist must document findings
and a plan of treatment that takes into account the extent of the youth's
mental health needs and the likely length of the youth's stay in the facility.
This plan may include treatment team planning and must include appropriate
periodic monitoring of any psychotropic medications.
45. The Department shall identify youth whose severe mental illness
requires treatment that cannot be provided adequately in an RYDC, YDC or
short-term program. Such youths shall be identified through a needs assessment
upon or prior to admission to a YDC (pursuant to criteria developed by
the Director of Mental Health) or by a determination by a treating psychologist
or psychiatrist at any DJJ facility at any time. Once a youth has been
designated as in need of an alternative placement, the Department shall
as soon as is practicable provide for placement in a forensic psychiatric
facility or other setting consistent with the youth's mental health needs.
46. The Director of Mental Health shall develop and implement a plan
to provide an adequate number of appropriate alternate placements, which
may include forensic units or cottages at existing facilities, special
forensic facilities, and/or placements in private facilities or a psychiatric
hospital. The plan shall provide for at least 100 mental health slots for
appropriate alternative mental health placements by fiscal year 2001. The
Director shall monitor the utilization of such placements and the number
of referrals to assure the maintenance of an adequate number of alternative
47. Each youth receiving psychotropic medication or otherwise in need
of mental health treatment in a YDC shall have a treatment plan in accordance
with professional standards and practice. The treatment plan shall be developed
by a treatment team pursuant to policies developed by the Director of Mental
Health, which shall include identification of the required members of the
48. The Director of Mental Health shall develop and implement protocols
for the required content of treatment plans, which shall include, at a
a. That the treatment plan be individualized;
b. An identification of the psychiatric or psychological issues to be
c. A description of any medication or medical course of action to be
pursued, including the initiation of psychotropic medication;
d. A description of planned activities to monitor the efficacy of any
medication or the possibility of any side effects;
e. A description of any behavioral management plan or strategies to
f. A description of the counseling or psychotherapy to be provided;
g. A determination of whether the type or level of treatment needed
can be provided in the youth's current placement;
h. A determination of whether family counseling is required as a part
of the youth's treatment;
i. A plan for monitoring the course of treatment; and,
j. A transition plan for when the youth leaves the care of DJJ, which
shall include providing the youth and his or her parents or guardian with
information regarding mental health resources available in the youth's
home community; making referrals to such services when appropriate; and
providing assistance in making initial appointments with service providers.
However, nothing in this Agreement shall make the Department responsible
for providing mental health services to youths no longer in the custody
of the Department.
49. The Department shall ensure cooperation by all facility staff in
implementing all treatment plans. Each facility shall take necessary steps
to ensure that all relevant staff are aware of, and implement, their responsibilities
under the treatment plan. The Department shall take reasonable steps to
implement the plan including, for example, reasonable steps to enable family
participation in family counseling when indicated by the treatment plan.
50. All mental health treatment shall be documented in accordance with
professional standards in a youth's medical record.
51. Prior to initiating a prescription for psychotropic medications,
a psychiatrist shall give and document a complete psychiatric examination,
including an initial psychiatric exam, mental status exam, differential
diagnosis, review of the youth's medical chart, a DSM-IV five-axis diagnosis,
and clinical recommendations.
52. The Director of Mental Health shall issue and implement protocols
to require that youths prescribed psychotropic medications at DJJ facilities
be given information regarding the risks and potential side effects of
the medication. The protocol shall also direct when such information should
also be provided to the youth's parents or guardians. Compliance with this
requirement shall be documented in the youth's chart.
53. The Director of Mental Health shall issue and implement protocols
to assure that each youth receiving psychotropic medication shall be seen
by the treating psychiatrist for periodic reassessment and monitoring in
accordance with professional standards.
54. The Director of Mental Health shall issue and implement protocols
for the administration of appropriate tests (including, for example, blood
tests, EKGs, and Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale tests), to monitor
the efficacy and side effects of psychotropic medications in accordance
with professional standards.
E. Suicide Prevention
55. The Director of Mental Health shall issue and implement uniform
regulations for the detection of and appropriate response to suicide risks
in all DJJ facilities, which shall provide:
a. That youths generally shall not be isolated in response to suicide
risk or significant or substantial suicidal threats or gestures;
b. That suicidal youth shall be immediately referred to an appropriate
mental health professional for evaluation.
c. That as soon as practicable, any youth determined to be at continued
risk for suicide shall have a written, individualized suicide prevention
plan developed by a qualified mental health professional and implemented
by the facility.
56. The Director of Mental Health shall develop and implement a staffing
plan to ensure adequate mental health staff to comply with the terms of
this Agreement, and in accordance with Appendix B. The plan shall identify
the numbers and qualifications of staff needed and shall provide, at minimum,
a. Each youth in need of psychiatric services, including monitoring
of the use of psychotropic medications, shall be under the care of a licensed
psychiatrist. Where available, the psychiatrist shall be a board-certified
in child and adolescent psychiatry. When no board-certified child and adolescent
psychiatrist is available, the Director of Mental Health shall ensure the
psychiatrist receives periodic training related to child and adolescent
psychiatry and shall arrange for a board-certified child and adolescent
psychiatrist to provide consultation. The Department shall employ or contract
for sufficient psychiatric services to permit a psychiatrist to fulfill
the following functions:
i. Conduct needed psychiatric evaluations prior to placing a youth on
ii. Monitor, at least monthly, the efficacy and side effects of psychotropic
medications, including consultation with facility medical, counseling and
line staff when appropriate.
iii. Participate in treatment teams in conjunction with facility staff.
iv. Provide individual counseling and psychotherapy when needed, in
coordination with facility psychologists.
v. Evaluate and treat in a timely manner all youths referred as possibly
in need of psychiatric services, including emergency evaluation of youths
believed to be at potential risk for suicide or self-harm.
vi. Provide adequate documentation of treatment in the facility medical
b. In each YDC, there shall be at least one full-time qualified mental
health professional who shall function as the treatment coordinator for
the youths in that facility.
c. In each RYDC there shall be a qualified mental health professional
who shall who shall function as the treatment coordinator for the youths
in that facility and who shall conduct mental health and suicide risk screenings.
d. In each YDC and RYDC, there shall be sufficient numbers of qualified
mental health professionals to perform the following functions:
i. Conduct mental health and suicide risk screening (or review of screening)
for all new intakes upon admission.
ii. Perform evaluation of youths believed to be in psychological distress
or at risk for suicide or self-harm, and referral for treatment team meetings,
psychiatric consultation or hospitalization as appropriate.
iii. Participate in treatment planning when required to do so by the
policies promulgated by the Director of Mental Health in ¶ 47.
iv. Implement the mental health services required in this Agreement.
v. Review every incident report involving youths identified as having
mental health problems.
G. Staff Training
57. The Director of Mental Health shall design and implement pre-service
and annual continuing education requirements for mental health staff appropriate
to the staff member's responsibilities.
58. All direct care staff at DJJ facilities shall receive pre-service
and annual refresher training in suicide prevention, side effects of psychotropic
medications, and methods for managing the behavior of youths with mental
H. Quality Assurance
59. The Director of Mental Health shall create and implement a written
quality assurance program which shall include, at minimum, activities to
monitor the involvement of mentally ill youth in major disciplinary infractions
and use of force incidents.
60. The Director of Mental Health shall also create policies for quality
assurance activities within each DJJ facility, including review of both
documentation and quality of treatment.
VI. MEDICAL CARE
61. The Department shall ensure that adequate medical care is provided
to youths in all DJJ facilities.
62. The Department shall continue to employ a Medical Director. The
Department shall provide the Director with sufficient staff and resources
to perform the tasks required by this Agreement, including:
a. Oversight of medical care in all DJJ facilities, including monitoring
the performance of private medical contractors and the development and
implementation of policies and training programs.
b. Monitoring whether medical staffing and resources are sufficient
to provide adequate medical health care and treatment services to all DJJ
youths and to ensure compliance with this Agreement.
c. Development and implementation of a quality assurance program for
A. Admissions Screenings and Physicals
63. The Medical Director shall develop and implement policies and procedures
to ensure that youths in DJJ facilities are provided timely, uniform and
adequate physicals, including a uniform set of screening and laboratory
tests, and shall ensure that test results are available to health care
personnel in a timely manner to permit adequate treatment of residents.
B. Sick Call
64. The Department shall provide all youths with reasonable access to
physicians for medical care through a reasonable sick call system. The
Medical Director shall create and implement policies setting forth the
requirements of facility sick call systems.
65. The Department shall provide adequate medical care to all youths
in its facilities, including:
a. Adequate dental care services, including treatment necessary to prevent
loss of teeth and ameliorate pain and, for youths committed to YDCs, cleaning
and restorative services according to professional standards;
b. Timely access to appropriate medical specialists and hospitalization
when indicated; and
c. Twenty-four-hour infirmary services at each YDC.
66. DJJ administrators other than the Medical Director shall not overrule
medical decisions made by physicians, including medical decisions to refer
a youth for specialty consultation or dental services.
67. The Medical Director's office shall review and update, where appropriate,
agency health policies to encompass all aspects of the health program in
D. Medical Records
68. Every medical encounter, including all sick call encounters, shall
be documented in a progress note in the youth's medical record.
69. The Medical Director shall develop and implement a plan to assure
that when a youth leaves a DJJ facility, a copy or complete medical summary
of the youth's medical records will be transferred upon request to the
youth's destination facility or, when appropriate, to the youth or youth's
family in the case of release.
70. The Medical Director shall develop and implement a medical staffing
plan to ensure adequate medical staff to comply with the terms of this
Agreement, and in accordance with Appendix B. This plan shall provide,
a. At each RYDC, a registered nurse shall be on duty at least 8 hours
a day, seven days a week. Each facility shall have round-the-clock medical
coverage on at least an on-call basis.
b. At each YDC, registered nurses shall be on duty twelve hours a day,
seven days a week. During the day shift, there shall be at least two registered
nurses on duty.
c. At each RYDC, a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner shall
be employed one-quarter-time for each 50 youths housed at the facility.
These mid-level practitioners shall conduct initial physical examinations,
as well as diagnose and treat sick or chronically ill residents.
d. In each YDC, one full-time physician's assistant or nurse practitioner
shall be employed for every 100 youths residing in the YDC. These mid-level
practitioners shall complete initial health evaluations and physicals,
supervise the nurses, direct the primary and preventative care for the
residents, and manage the health unit to focus on program improvement and
staff development under the direction of the central office Medical Director.
e. Each DJJ facility shall provide sufficient physician services to
permit the physician to adequately see patients referred from sick call,
provide required supervision of the care of chronically ill youths, and
review the work quality of facility nursing and mid-level professional
F. Staff Training
71. The Medical Director shall develop and implement a comprehensive
training plan for DJJ medical personnel, which shall include pre-service
training requirements, annual in-service training requirements, and such
other continuing education deemed appropriate. The training requirements
shall cover areas appropriate to the staff's position and function. The
topics covered in such training shall include:
a. For nursing staff: assessment and management of health problems commonly
seen at sick call; the routine follow-up of problems identified in the
initial health history, physical examination, and screening tests; and
proper implementation of the State Clinical Guidelines.
b. For Nurse Practitioners, Physician's Assistants and Physicians: the
evaluation and management of significant acute and chronic conditions found
among youths in the facilities; and proper implementation of the State
c. For line or other staff who may conduct initial medical screenings:
training in the proper administration of the medical screening instrument.
G. Quality Assurance
72. The Medical Director shall create and implement a written quality
73. The Medical Director shall also create policies for quality assurance
activities within each DJJ facility, including review of both documentation
and quality of treatment.
VII. PHYSICAL AND PROGRAMMATIC CAPACITY
74. The Department shall provide adequate direct care staff in every
DJJ facility to protect youths from harm; provide adequate security for
the facility; safely evacuate the facility in the event of a fire; and
to provide a sufficient level of supervision to allow youths reasonable
access to medical services, exercise, recreation and adequate time spent
in out-of-cell activities.
75. Within a reasonable time, the Department shall provide and maintain
adequate living, sleeping, classroom and recreational space for youths
in every DJJ facility. This shall include assuring that every youth shall
be provided a bunk in a room with no more than one other youth, except
in dormitory settings or in exigent circumstances of limited duration.
A. Staffing and Staff Training
76. The Department shall develop and implement a staffing plan for direct
care staff to ensure adequate staff to comply with the terms of this Agreement,
and in accordance with Appendix B.
77. The Department shall present a plan to provide for adequate training
for all DJJ direct care staff, including pre-service training, annual in-service
training, and the equivalent of pre-service training for all current direct
care staff who have not previously received the DJJ pre-service training
or its substantial equivalent. The United States acknowledges that the
DJJ has begun implementing a plan for comprehensive training of juvenile
corrections officers that may form the basis of this plan. This plan shall:
a. Set forth minimum competency standards for DJJ employment.
b. Set forth a time line under which all staff shall meet the training
requirements as outlined in the plan.
c. Provide for sufficient training resources to assure compliance with
the requirements of this Agreement.
d. Acknowledge that Office of Quality Assurance staff (provided for
in ¶ 114) or other DJJ staff may conduct random or unannounced visits
to DJJ facilities to ensure that staff are carrying out their duties in
accord with the training required by the plan and described in this section
of the Agreement.
B. Population and Physical Plant Capacity
78. The United States acknowledges that the State has undertaken a significant
expansion of its physical facilities in recent years and has plans for
further expansions. Based upon these plans, the State shall submit a plan
under this Agreement to reduce crowding in its facilities. At a minimum,
this plan shall include:
a. State-wide uniform detention standards based on a Risk Assessment
instrument and protocols that evaluate youth for placement in alternative
detention programs based on the individual risk factors of the youth, and
development of a continuum of alternatives to RYDC detention.
b. Commitments to expand the physical capacity of RYDCs and YDCs.
1) Risk Assessment Standards
79. The Department shall create a Risk Assessment instrument for pre-adjudication
detention decisions and related policies on the use of the Risk Assessment
instrument. The Risk Assessment policies shall identify youths who may
not legally be held in secure detention facilities, youths whose risk factors
make use of non-secure detention alternatives appropriate, and youths whose
risk factors make secure detention mandatory. The Department shall require
that youths appropriate for non-secure placement be so placed when such
placements are available and shall forbid placement of youths in secure
facilities when such placement is prohibited by the requirements of the
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5601
and its implementing regulations.
80. The Department shall compile statistics regarding the use of alternative
placements, including: the number of youths determined to be appropriate
for alternate placements; the number of such youths actually placed in
alternate placement settings; and the number placed in RYDCs.
81. To effectuate the Risk Assessment Standards, reduce the harms associated
with crowding in the secure detention facilities, and seek to prevent the
secure detention of status and certain other offenders, the Department
shall create and implement a plan for the development of a continuum of
alternatives to detention in RYDCs. At a minimum, this plan shall provide
sufficient alternatives in every RYDC catchment area to ensure compliance
with the requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5601 et seq. and its implementing regulations,
and shall provide for the creation of at least 380 additional alternative
placement slots for youth who would otherwise be confined in RYDCs between
fiscal year 1999 and fiscal year 2001.
2) Capital Improvement and Expansion
82. The State shall develop and implement a plan for the expansion of
its physical facilities. The parties agree that the State's on-going capital
improvement project may form the basis of the physical plant expansion
plan required by this paragraph. The plan shall set forth specific time
tables indicating the extent of the increase in capacity and the number
of youth to be housed in each facility. The United States acknowledges
that, prior to the initiation of its investigation, the State developed
plans to replace and demolish the Fulton County Detention Center. The State
commits that it will begin tearing down the building formerly housing the
Fulton County Detention Center during fiscal year 1999. Once that is completed,
the United States shall consider all matters concerning the Fulton County
Detention Center closed and at an end.
VIII. PROTECTION FROM HARM
83. The Department shall provide youths in all DJJ facilities with reasonably
safe living conditions and shall protect them from abuse.
84. The Department shall issue and enforce classification criteria regarding
room assignments in RYDCs and YDCs. The criteria shall include risk factors
based on age, maturity, size, offense history, present offense charge,
and any special needs of the youth.
B. Supervision of Youth
85. The Department shall ensure that youths confined in locked rooms
during the day or at night, and all youths sleeping in dormitories, are
visually checked at least every 30 minutes by line staff. To monitor compliance
with this requirement, the Department shall install and maintain in good
working order, Morse Watchman or similar devices in all living units and
require supervisors to regularly conduct random audits of the records produced
by the devices.
C. Use of Force
86. The Department shall ensure that youths are not subject to unreasonable
restraints or excessive force in accordance with DJJ Policy 9.6, attached
as Appendix C and hereby incorporated by reference, as clarified as follows:
a. A Unit or Shift Supervisor shall be responsible for periodic reassessment
of the youth to determine whether the youth's behavior can be controlled
without the continued use of restraints. The Supervisor shall document
such periodic assessments and the reason for continuing the restraint.
87. The Department shall ensure that youths are not subject to unreasonable
or excessive application of chemical sprays, in accordance with current
DJJ Policy 1019, attached as Appendix D and hereby incorporated by reference.
88. The Department shall develop and implement specific policies and
training materials that shall instruct staff of the permissible and preferable
responses to common behavior problems, including at minimum:
a. Youths persistently kicking or banging their cell doors;
b. Youths obstructing their toilets and flooding their cells or hallways;
c. Youths persistently refusing to refrain from loud or noncompliant
The Department shall undertake periodic reassessment, in conjunction
with the Office of Quality Assurance ("OQA"), provided for in ¶ 114,
to determine whether additional policies and training are appropriate to
respond to other common behavior problems identified by OQA or other DJJ
D. Protection from Staff Abuse
89. The Department shall take appropriate steps to ensure that youths
in all DJJ facilities are protected against staff abuse.
90. Each youth entering an RYDC or YDC shall be given an orientation
which shall include simple directions for reporting abuse and assuring
youth of their right to be protected from retaliation for reporting allegations
91. The Department shall ensure that every child who reports to a facility
infirmary with an injury shall be questioned by a health care staff, outside
the hearing of officers or other youths, regarding the cause of the injury.
If in the course of the youth's infirmary visit a health care staff suspects
abuse, the health care staff shall immediately contact the Office of Quality
Assurance and adequately document the matter in the youth's medical record,
fill out an incident report, and log the incident.
92. The Director of OQA shall create a system for reporting allegations
of abuse, including policies directing how, when and to whom allegations
of abuse shall be referred (including policies regarding reporting to the
Department of Family and Children Services, law enforcement officials,
other DJJ officials, and facility administrators).
93. Every allegation of abuse shall be reported to OQA. OQA may request
a preliminary investigation to be conducted by an appropriate investigator
at the facility from which the allegation arose. OQA shall then conduct
an independent investigation of the allegation unless the preliminary investigation
demonstrates that the allegation is unfounded. This determination shall
be based upon training and guidelines issued by the Director of OQA. The
Director of OQA shall also issue a policy describing the qualifications
and investigative training required of such facility-based investigators
and shall make arrangements for the provision of such training.
94. Within the Office of Quality Assurance, the Department shall recruit
and hire, from outside the Department, an Assistant Director for Investigations
who shall be qualified to conduct and supervise investigations of child
abuse in institutional settings. The Department shall hire sufficient numbers
of qualified investigators to permit investigations of all allegations
of abuse, and shall provide them with appropriate training. The Department
shall consult with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and other professional
investigative agencies periodically to maintain the quality of its investigative
95. Abuse investigations shall also be initiated by OQA staff review
of grievances, incident reports, use of force reports, and injury reports
when it appears that abuse may have occurred but was not reported. Abuse
investigations may also be initiated by OQA staff as a result of staff
tours of facilities and interviews with youths, parents or staff.
96. The Director of OQA shall issue policies regarding steps that must
be immediately taken upon the reporting of an allegation of abuse in order
to preserve evidence and protect youths pending an OQA investigation.
97. The Director of OQA shall develop and implement an Investigations
Manual and training program for abuse investigations. The training shall
include specific instruction by qualified individuals on the conduct of
abuse investigations relating to youth, and investigations within a correctional
setting, and shall include an annual in-service training requirement.
98. The Investigations Manual shall require, at minimum:
a. An interview with the alleged victim and perpetrator.
b. Identification and interview of all possible witnesses, including
other youth and staff in the building or unit at the time of the incident.
c. Examination of the youth and staff member's institutional and personnel
records, including any prior allegations of abuse against the staff person
whether substantiated or not.
d. Examination of any potentially relevant medical records.
e. Determination whether any facility staff knew of, but did not report
the alleged abuse, or provided false information during the investigation.
99. The OQA shall produce a written report of each investigation. The
report shall describe steps taken during the investigation, the information
obtained, and the factual conclusions reached by the investigators finding
the allegation substantiated, not resolved, or unfounded.
100. Upon receipt of the investigative report, the Commissioner or the
Commissioner's designee shall approve or disapprove the report's conclusion
that the allegation was substantiated, not resolved or unfounded, or shall
order further investigation. Only the Commissioner shall have the authority
to disapprove a report's conclusion that the allegation of abuse was substantiated.
In such cases, the Commissioner must explain the reason for such a decision
101. Staff discipline for any substantiated abuse shall be determined
by the Commissioner of DJJ or the Commissioner's designee.
102. The OQA shall keep records of all its investigations, and any disciplinary
action taken in response to the investigation, including investigations
that do not substantiate abuse.
IX. OTHER GENERAL CORRECTIONAL MATTERS
103. In all DJJ facilities, the Department shall implement a uniform
positive behavior management system which shall provide for positive incentives
for good behavior as well as disciplinary measures for misbehavior. The
positive behavior management system shall be explained to all youths during
an orientation session, which shall also set forth basic facility rules
and the possible sanctions for violating those rules. The rules shall be
posted conspicuously in facility living units and youths shall have access
to written policies upon request.
104. The Department shall adopt a policy for punishments that are permitted
in DJJ facilities and shall prohibit the use of any disciplinary measure
not included in the policy. The policy shall also designate the maximum
permissible extent or duration of the punishment.
105. The use of isolation shall be limited to major disciplinary infractions
and shall not exceed 72 continuous hours, absent extraordinary circumstances
and authorization from the facility director and notification of the Office
of Quality Assurance (provided for in ¶ 114). The Department shall
assure that each youth placed in isolation for more than 24 hours shall
receive daily visits from a counselor or mental health staff, at least
one hour of large muscle exercise each day, and such access to educational
services as is provided for in the policies promulgated pursuant to ¶
106. Disciplinary hearings shall be afforded youth pursuant to current
DJJ Policy 11.5, attached as Appendix E and hereby incorporated by reference.
Isolation may be used as an immediate response to out-of-control behavior
until the youth's behavior no longer poses a threat, but shall not be used
as punishment unless a youth has first received a due process hearing.
107. Youths assigned to long-term security units shall be provided comparable
access to education, exercise, recreation and other out-of-cell activities
as other youths, absent compelling justification related to an individual
youth's behavior. Youths in such units shall be given concrete behavioral
criteria under which they may be released to the general population and
shall be reassessed at least weekly to determine whether the youth may,
consistent with the State's legitimate security interests, be removed from
the security unit.
B. Boot Camp Admissions and Practices
108. The Department shall develop and implement a plan to accommodate
youth sentenced to short-term programs, such as boot camps, who, because
of physical disabilities, mental retardation or mental illness, may be
harmed by participation in certain activities.
109. The Department shall create guidelines for, and specific training
regarding, punishments or "on-the-spot corrections" that will be permitted
in boot camp programs.
C. Grievance Procedures
110. The Department shall assure that youths in all DJJ facilities shall
have access to a reasonable grievance procedure.
111. Youths shall be able to file grievances directly with facility
administrators through confidential means, without mediation through line
D. Miscellaneous Correctional Issues
112. Youths shall be permitted to have reading material in their rooms
in addition to a Bible, unless and until that privilege is abused.
113. The Department shall develop and implement uniform policies limiting
the amount of time youths may be locked in their rooms during waking hours
and on weekends.
X. JUVENILE JUSTICE QUALITY ASSURANCE
114. The Department shall create an Office of Quality Assurance ("OQA")
within the Department of Juvenile Justice to consolidate and supplement
quality assurance activities already undertaken by the DJJ. The Department
shall recruit and hire, from outside the Department, a Director of the
Office of Quality Assurance, who shall be highly qualified for the position
and shall serve as a Deputy Commissioner. The Director shall begin employment
on or before August 1, 1998. The Department shall provide the Director
with sufficient staff and resources to perform the tasks required by this
a. Monitoring compliance with DJJ policies in all DJJ facilities, with
emphasis on policies relating to issues addressed in this Agreement.
b. Conducting audits and other quality assurance activities as described
in ¶ 117.
c. Reviewing and, where appropriate, investigating allegations of staff
d. Assuring the implementation and adequacy of the educational, medical
and mental health quality assurance programs required by this Agreement.
e. Coordinating quality assurance activities performed by various DJJ
offices to prevent unnecessary duplication of efforts.
115. To meet the above requirement, the Department shall hire, at minimum,
13 staff members in fiscal year 1999, and an additional 12 in fiscal year
116. The Director of the Office of Quality Assurance shall work closely
with the Commissioner of the DJJ. The Director shall be removable by the
Commissioner only with the prior approval of the Board of Juvenile Justice.
117. The Director of OQA shall create and implement a written quality
assurance program, as defined in ¶ 10 with the following elaboration
a. The comprehensive audits required by ¶ 10(a), shall include,
i. Inspection of institutional, medical and educational records, unit
logs, incident reports, use of force reports, major disciplinary report,
documentation of room checks by line staff, etc.
ii. Interviews with staff, administrators and youths at each facility.
iii. Where appropriate, interviews with the parents or other care givers
of youth confined in DJJ facilities.
iv. Inspection of the physical plant.
v. Interviews with juvenile court judges, public defenders and other
officials having regular contact with the facility or its residents.
vi. Determination of compliance with DJJ policies relating to: suicide
prevention, staffing levels and youth supervision, use of force, disciplinary
practices, positive behavior management programs, grievance procedures,
use of chemical and mechanical restraints, fire safety, adequacy of youth
recreation and exercise, sanitation, youth access to hygiene items and
clothing, the effectiveness of alternatives to detention, youth-on-youth
violence, implementation of classification criteria, conditions in security
units, adequacy of counseling and rehabilitative services, and the adequacy
of all facility documentation.
vii. A written report recording the findings of the audit.
b. Additional unannounced, periodic site visits at each facility. OQA
staff shall have complete and unfettered access to all DJJ facilities,
records, staff and residents. All DJJ staff shall be informed of their
obligation to cooperate in all OQA operations.
c. Investigation of significant incidents (as defined by the Director
of OQA), which shall include, at minimum: deaths; serious injuries or hospitalizations;
suicides and serious suicide attempts; escapes or other serious breaches
of security; and medical emergencies. The investigation shall result in
a written report to the Commissioner of DJJ and shall include findings
and recommendations. The Director of OQA shall issue protocols for coordination
of such investigations with other law enforcement, administrative disciplinary,
or other quality assurance investigations.
d. Review of all incidents of use of force, chemical sprays, mechanical
restraints, and the use of isolation in excess of 24 hours. OQA shall be
sent copies of every Use of Force and OC Spray report. The Director of
OQA shall establish criteria under which such incidents shall be independently
investigated for compliance with DJJ policies. Such criteria shall include,
at minimum, review of all incidents of use of force resulting in serious
injury or hospitalization, all use of chemical sprays, and all use of restraint
e. Policies and procedures for auditing chemical spray canisters and
reliably determining whether the canister has been discharged. Facility
supervisory staff and OQA auditors shall routinely conduct such audits.
If it appears that a canister has been used without required documentation,
OQA shall be notified and shall conduct an investigation.
f. Review of grievances raising significant issues (as defined by the
Director of OQA).
g. Requirements that when, through audits, investigations or other quality
assurance activities, the OQA finds substantial non-compliance with the
requirements of DJJ policies or this Agreement, a plan of correction shall
XI. MONITORING AND ENFORCEMENT
A. Role of the OPB Monitor
118. The Governor's Office of Planning and Budget shall contract with
an independent contractor who shall be responsible for monitoring of the
State's compliance with this Agreement by July 1, 1998. The parties shall
jointly select the OPB Monitor. The Monitor may be terminated only for
good cause, unrelated to the Monitor's findings or recommendations, and
only with prior notice to and the approval of both parties. Neither party,
nor any employee or agent of either party, shall have any supervisory authority
over the Monitor's activities, reports, findings or recommendations.
119. The OPB Monitor shall have education, training or experience in
the field of juvenile justice. The Monitor may also have education, training
or experience in general or special education, adolescent health and mental
health needs (particularly the needs of institutionalized adolescents),
and institutional abuse and incident investigations.
120. The OPB Monitor shall have full and complete access to any DJJ
facility and to the records, staff and residents of each facility.
121. The OPB Monitor shall have full and complete access to the Commissioner
and his designees and to the staff and records of the Office of Quality
Assurance. The Commissioner shall direct all employees to cooperate fully
with the Monitor.
122. The Monitor shall be permitted to initiate and receive ex parte
communications with all parties.
123. The OPB Monitor shall provide the parties with reports describing
the steps taken by the Department to implement this Agreement and evaluating
the extent to which the Department has complied with the requirements of
the Agreement. Such reports shall be issued every six months, unless the
parties agree otherwise.
124. The OPB Monitor shall have a budget and staff sufficient to allow
the OPB Monitor to carry out the responsibilities described in this Agreement,
and may contract with such experts or consultants as he or she may deem
B. Monitoring by the United States
125. To ensure the enforcement of this Agreement, the United States
shall have certain access and enforcement rights.
126. The United States shall have full and complete access to any DJJ
facility, and to the records, staff and residents of those facilities.
The United States shall have the right to conduct unannounced visits to
any DJJ facility. The United States shall have the right to conduct confidential
interviews with staff, residents, former residents and the parents and
care givers of residents and former residents. Any confidential information
or documents obtained pursuant to this paragraph shall not be disseminated
to any person not a party (or an employee or contractor of a party) to
this Agreement, including the media, unless consented to by the parties.
Such information may, however, be used in any proceedings to enforce the
requirements of this Agreement.
127. The United States shall have the right to communicate ex parte
with the staff of the Office of Quality Assurance and the OPB Monitor.
128. The United States shall be provided copies of all audits and periodic
reports produced by the Office of Quality Assurance.
129. The United States shall be provided copies of all reports produced
by the OPB Monitor.
130. Upon request by the United States, the State shall provide the
United States with copies of any reports or other DJJ or facility documents
reviewed by the Office of Quality Assurance or the OPB Monitor.
C. Plan Development and Enforcement
131. This Agreement requires the State and DJJ officials to develop
certain plans, policies, procedures and protocols (collectively "plans").
These plans shall be developed in accordance with the time table set forth
in Appendix A. The plans shall be sufficiently detailed to permit the United
States to determine whether the plan is adequate to achieve the requirements
of this Agreement. The United States may make reasonable requests for clarifications
or further details.
132. Where indicated in Appendix A, the plan shall be developed in consultation
with one or more consultants. The State shall notify the United States
of each consultant it plans to retain, and the United States shall have
15 days to object to the consultant. If there is an objection, the parties
shall make good faith reasonable efforts to agree upon a consultant for
each plan. If no agreement is reached within 15 days of the United States'
objection, the State and the United States shall each nominate up to three
consultants and the Monitor shall select one or more.
133. Any consultant shall provide advice to the Department as it develops
the required plan, and may, at the Department's discretion, draft a proposed
plan for State approval or modification. The Department's plan shall be
provided to the United States according to the timeline in Appendix A.
Within 14 days, the United State may request, and the consultant shall
provide, verbal or written comments on the plan.
134. Within 45 days of receiving the plan or the consultant's comments
on the plan (whichever is later), the United States shall submit to the
State any suggestions, comments or objections. The State and the United
States will then conduct discussions in a good faith attempt to resolve
any disputes over the content of the plan. If the parties are unable to
reach agreement on a final version of the plan, the procedure for resolution
of disputes, by first applying mediation prior to any court enforcement
in ¶ 138, shall apply. 135. A plan shall become enforceable once it
has been approved by the parties.
136. An enforceable plan may be modified at any time under the following
a. If the State desires to modify a plan, it shall notify the United
States of its intent and the proposed amendment.
b. If the United States does not object within 30 days of the notification,
the plan shall be so modified. Otherwise, the plan shall remain in its
present enforceable form until agreed to by the United States.
c. If the United States does object, the parties shall conduct good-faith
discussions to resolve the dispute with the mediation assistance of the
D. Resolution of Enforcement Disputes
137. The parties agree to file this Agreement with the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division,
in conjunction with a complaint and a joint motion, pursuant to Fed. R.
Civ. P. 41(a)(2), for the conditional dismissal of the case. The dismissal
shall be conditioned upon the State's achieving substantial compliance
with the terms of this Agreement, and shall attach the Agreement to such
motion. The motion shall request that the case be placed on the Court's
inactive docket. If the State fails to substantially comply with the terms
of this Agreement, and if efforts to resolve and mediate the enforcement
dispute pursuant to ¶ 138 are unsuccessful, the United States may
take appropriate legal enforcement action, including filing a motion to
restore the case to the Court's active docket.
138. If the United States believes that the State has failed to substantially
comply with its material obligations under a plan or the terms of this
Agreement, it shall so notify the State in writing. The parties shall conduct
good-faith discussions to resolve the dispute and may agree in writing
to adopt a plan of correction or otherwise modify the plan or Agreement.
If the parties are unable to reach agreement within 30 days of the United
States' filing of objections, the parties shall submit the dispute to mediation.
The Monitor shall select the mediator within 10 days. The parties shall
attempt in good faith to mediate the dispute for a minimum of 30 days prior
to initiating any court action to resolve the dispute. In the event that
the State's non-compliance threatens the immediate health and safety of
youths, or in other exigent circumstances, the United States shall attempt
to expeditiously reach agreement with the State regarding the emergency
conditions, but shall reserve the right to seek immediate judicial relief.
E. Termination of the Agreement
139. The parties agree that the systemic and comprehensive nature of
this Agreement shall require that implementation of the terms of this Agreement
take place over a number of years, as provided for in the timelines and
terms of this Agreement.
140. The parties agree that the Agreement shall become subject to termination
as soon as the State has fully and faithfully implemented all requirements
of the Agreement and such full compliance has been maintained for one year.
141. Once the State has determined that it is in full and faithful compliance
with the agreement and that full compliance has been maintained for no
less than one year, the State shall advise the United States in writing.
Thereafter, the parties shall promptly confer as to status of compliance.
If, after a reasonable period of consultation and the completion of any
evaluation the United States may wish to undertake, including tours of
the facilities and programs, the parties cannot resolve any compliance
issues, the State may file a motion with the Court to dismiss the complaint
with prejudice. If the State moves for dismissal, the United States will
have an adequate time after the receipt of the State's motion to object
to the motion. If the United States does not object, the Court may grant
the State's motion. If the United States does make an objection, the Court
shall hold a hearing on the motion to determine whether the conditions
in ¶ 140 have been met.
142. Nothing in ¶¶ 140 and 141 shall preclude the parties
from jointly stipulating to the termination of portions of this Agreement
at any time.
Agreed to by:
FOR THE STATE OF GEORGIA:
FOR THE UNITED STATES:
Attorney General of the United States
State of Georgia
EUGENE P. WALKER
BILL LANN LEE
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
of Juvenile Justice
United States Department of Justice
THURBERT E. BAKER
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
State of Georgia
Special Litigation Section
MELLIE H. NELSON
Special Litigation Section
KEVIN K. RUSSELL
JUDY C. PRESTON
Special Litigation Section
Plan Development and Implementation Timelines
||Deadline for Plan
||Deadline for Plan Implementation
|Creation of DJJ curriculum
|Criteria for class exclusion
|Isolation education requirements
|Special Education Identification
|Parent IEP participation system
|Education staffing plan
||See Appendix B
|Education staff training requirements
|Education quality assurance plan
|Suicide Risk Screening instrument and policies
|YDC Mental Health Needs Assessment policies
|Protocols regarding admission of youth on psychotropic medication
|Mental Health Evaluation referral protocols
|Alternate mental health placement plan
|Treatment plan content protocols
|Medication side effects notification protocols
|Psychotropic medication monitoring protocols
||Deadline for Plan
||Deadline for Plan Implementation
|Suicide prevention policies
|Mental health staffing plan
||See Appendix B
|Mental health staff training plan
|State mental health QA plan
|Facility Mental Health QA policy
|Uniform protocols for physical examinations
|Uniform protocols for sick call
|Medical records transfer system
|Medical staffing plan
||See Appendix B
|Medical staff training plan
|State medical QA plan
|Facility medical QA policy
|Physical and Programmatic Capacity
|Direct care staffing plan
||See Appendix B
|Direct care staff training plan
|Risk Assessment instrument and policies
|Detention Alternatives Plan
|Physical Plant Expansion Plan
||Deadline for Plan
||Deadline for Plan Implementation
|Juvenile Justice Administration Plans and Policies
|Morse Watchman installation
|Policies on specific common behavior problems
|Positive Behavior Management Plan
|Uniform discipline policies
|Boot camp accommodations plan
|Boot camp discipline guidelines
|Time in cells regulations
|Abuse Reporting System
|Facility abuse investigator training
|Abuse investigations training plan and manual
|OQA Quality Assurance Plan
Pursuant to the requirements of this Agreement, the State must develop
certain staffing plans. For the purposes of meeting the requirements of
this Agreement, the plans shall provide, at minimum, the staff increases
stated below according to the time frames indicated. These staff increases
are exclusive of any other staffing enhancements that may be undertaken
due to increases in the population of the DJJ system or the opening of
new facilities, and are in addition to any enhancements in the Governor's
recommendations for the FY 1999 budget.
1. Mental Health Services
During FY 1999 and FY 2000, through contractual arrangement, the Department
will add one qualified mental health professional ("QMHP") in each RYDC
to perform mental health and suicide risk screenings.
An additional number of psychologists and psychiatrists will be contracted
with to perform further necessary evaluation and/or testing, and to provide
all required psychological and psychiatric coverage. By the end of FY 2000,
this will create an average of eight hours of psychological/psychiatric
services per week in RYDCs and an average 20 hours of psychological/psychiatric
services per week in YDCs (actual level of services may vary from facility
to facility depending upon the facility population level).
The Department will hire 35 additional special education teachers by
June 1, 1999.
3. Juvenile Corrections Officers
The Department will hire an additional 128 juvenile corrections officers
("JCOs") during fiscal year 1999 in order to increase the staffing of the
third shift at RYDCs and YDCs, according to the following schedule: 43
JCOs shall be hired by January 1, 1999; 43 additional JCOs shall be hired
by March 1, 1999; and 42 additional JCOs shall be hired by May 1, 1999.
Between FY 1999 and FY 2001, an additional amount of registered nurse
services will be provided for each RYDC and YDC by contractual arrangement,
to insure the coverage provided for in ¶ 70(a)-(b) of this Agreement.
Between FY 1999 and FY 2001, additional physician assistant services
will be provided for in each RYDC and YDC by contractual arrangement, to
insure the coverage provided for in ¶ 70(c)-(d) of this Agreement.
Between FY 1999 and FY 2001, contractual arrangements will be provided
for the dental services required by ¶ 65(a) of this Agreement. This
shall include, at minimum, provision of an average of 20 hours per week
of dental services in YDCs and an average of 5 hours of dental services
per week in RYDCs (actual level of services may vary from facility to facility
depending upon the facility population level).
An additional 44 counselors will be hired by the Department by January
Use of Force Policy
Chemical Spray Policy
Due Process Policy