The Union Recorder

Local News

July 17, 2014

Bill Ireland YDC unit opening in January

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is currently renovating existing space in one building at the Bill Ireland campus in Milledgeville for future use as a remodeled 30-bed youth detention unit.

The newly remodeled Milledgeville unit is scheduled to begin operations at the Bill Ireland Youth Development Center facility sometime in early January 2015.

Current plans call for the remodeled Bill Ireland facility to be repurposed as DJJ's “Intensive Treatment Unit.” The department will provide an increased level of professional staffing for counseling and treatment purposes at the unit, according to DJJ Spokesman Jim Shuler.  

The new youth correctional unit will be constructed to house only male offenders from other DJJ facilities, reducing youth populations at other juvenile detention centers. The Special Management Unit (SMU) facility will help adequately address the most disruptive youth from other facilities.

Shuler said the DJJ is optimistic about the SMU's benefits to the overall juvenile rehabilitation goals.

Georgia juvenile justice administrators plan to bring in an advance team of correctional staff members this fall to complete their training before the official opening.

In late May, state Rep. Rusty Kidd (I-Milledgeville) expected the reopened facility to bring between 130 and 150 employees.

The unit under renovation previously shut down after sweeping DJJ budget cuts in fall 2009. The YDC employed more than 300 people at one time prior to the shutdown.


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