Home /  Resource Library  /  DJJ Fact Sheets  /  DJJ - Juvenile Justice Terms/Definitions

Juvenile Justice Terms/Definitions
Definitions of terms used in the Department of Juvenile Justice

Administrative Revocation
Aftercare Services
Community Schools
Contract/Attention Homes
Counseling/Case Management
Court Services
Designated Felony Commitment
Detention Programs
Group Homes
Informal Adjustment
Highly Intensive Team Supervision
Multi-Service Centers
Non-Secure Detention
Attention Home

In-Home Supervision

Electronic Monitoring

Probation Services
Senate Bill 440 (SB440)
Thirty-Day (30-Day) Sentence
Specialized Residential Services
State Youth Development Campuses
Violation of Aftercare
Violation of Alternate Placement
Violation of Probation
Wilderness Youth Development Programs
Youth Served
Adjudication – The process for determining if allegations brought forth in the juvenile court petition are true. An adjudicatory hearing is held to determine the facts of the case and an appropriate course of action.

Administrative Revocation – A DJJ internal procedure established to provide due process for a committed youth that is accused of violating his/her conditions of placement, which may be either an alternate placement or aftercare. Each committed youth on an alternate placement or on an aftercare plan signs Conditions of Placement. A completed Violation of Placement Form provides notice to the youth and parents of the specific condition(s) the youth has allegedly violated or failed to meet. During the preliminary hearing, the youth may admit guilt and waive a final hearing. During the final hearing, a judge with the Office of State Administrative Hearings can find the youth did or did not violate the condition(s) of his/her placement.

Aftercare Services – Services provided through the Court Services Program for those youth returning home from DJJ institutions or other programs. These support services promote a smooth transition of youth into the community through supervision, counseling and assistance in networking with appropriate agencies.

Commitment– A juvenile court disposition which places a youth in the custody of the DJJ for supervision, treatment, and rehabilitation. Under operation of law, the commitment order is valid for 2 years. DJJ makes the placement determination of whether the youth should be placed in the YDC or on an alternate placement. Most often, a youth is committed when probation and/or other services available to the court have failed to prevent a youth from returning to the court on either a new offense(s) or violation of probation.

Community Schools – Community schools are non-residential, community-based alternative schools for delinquent and unruly offenders. Linkages are developed with local community resources and, in particular, with the local school system in order to increase services to youth and facilitate their reentry into the educational system. Community Schools are located in Fulton, DeKalb and Chatham counties.

Contract/Attention Homes – Contract/Attention Homes, like group homes, provide residential treatment for delinquent and unruly youth whose home situation in contributing to their behavior. Services are provided in an atmosphere as much like home as possible, through contracts with private families, institutions or community facilities. The Community Detention Program and RYDCs have resulted in the virtual elimination of the use of adult jails for juveniles.

Counseling/Case Management – Involves developing a plan that the Juvenile Probation Parole Specialist (JPPS) pursues to rehabilitate the youth and prevent further involvement with the court. The worker provides counseling, supervision and may network with other resource providers in the community for appropriate program referrals.

Court Services – The Court Services Program was established in 1963. In most counties this program provides intake, probation, counseling, case management, supervision, detention planning and aftercare supervision. In some areas, county staff provides intake and probation or share services with the department.

Designated Felony Commitment – A juvenile court adjudication that a youth has committed certain felony acts and is a disposition in which a youth has met certain criteria, which indicates the youth requires restrictive custody. The juvenile court judge determines whether or not a youth requires restrictive custody as well as the length of time (from 12 to 60 months) a youth must be placed in a Youth development Campus facility. Commitments with restrictive custody have restrictions on terminations and reduce the intensive level of aftercare supervision. Under operation of law, the commitment orders with restrictive custody are valid for 5 years or until a youth is 21 years old.

Detention Programs– The Georgia Juvenile Proceedings Code, as amended, provides for the taking into custody and detention of a child prior to a juvenile court hearing. If: 1) secure detention is required to protect the person or property of others or the child, 2) the child may abscond or be removed from the jurisdiction of the court, 3) he or she has no parent, guardian or custodian or other person able to provide supervision and care and return he or she to court when required, or 4) an order for detention or shelter care has been made by the court pursuant to this code.

Group Homes – The Group Home (4) Placement is a placement for delinquent youth that come from unstable home situations. Group counseling as an integral part of all group home programs even though each home has a unique program.

Informal Adjustment – The court disposition of a case where a youth is alleged to have committed a delinquent act that is not serious in nature and appears amenable to non-adjudicatory courses if action. Prior to a petition being filed or on the court’s withdrawal of a petition, the case may be informally adjusted if certain prerequisites are met. If conditions favor an informal adjustment, an Informal Adjustment Agreement is prepared which is valid up to 3 months and may be extended by court order for an additional 3-month period. Informal adjustment alternatives are counseling and adjustment, counseling and advisement, referral to counseling and individualized agreements that may include mediation.

Intake – The process for determining whether the interests of the public or the juvenile require the filing of a petition with the juvenile court. Generally, a Juvenile Probation Parole Specialist receives, reviews, and processes complaints, recommends detention or release where necessary, and provides services for juveniles and their families, including diversion and referral to other community agencies.

Highly Intensive Team Supervision – These programs were initiated to minimize out-of-home placements by providing daily contact with youth that extended into evening hours. Electronic Monitoring is often used in conjunction with intensive supervision techniques.

Multi-Service Centers – are located in Fulton, DeKalb, Chatham, Muscogee and Bibb counties. They provide an array of services that are specifically tailored to hold youth accountable for their actions and to develop and improve their competency skills, while ensuring the safety of the community. The goals and objectives of a MSC include measurable, cost effective services, reducing secure detention, and reducing recidivism. Multi-Service Centers are open extended hours and provide supervision, case management, services and programs for youth assigned to the MSC. In addition to these services, each MSC operates an Highly Intensive Team Supervision to serve youth committed to DJJ or those released by the court and served in a detention alternative. Youth served by the MSC attend the MSC programming or participate in community resources based on their DJJ Conditions of Placement, Service Plan, and Level of Service.

Non-Secure Detention – The Community Detention Program provides a non-secure alternative to detention in a Regional Youth Detention Center. The program consists of three services:

  • Attention Home – bed spaces located with private families, group homes or other institutions.

  • In-Home Supervision – allows the youth to remain at home while awaiting court hearings or out-of-home placement.

  • Electronic Monitoring – uses technology and monitoring equipment to allow all juvenile offenders to remain in the community in lieu of detention.
Probation Services – Ensure that the youth complies with the requirements of the court.

RYDC – Regional Youth Detention Centers (22) provides temporary, secure care and supervision of youth who are charged with crimes or who have been found guilty of crimes and are awaiting disposition of their cases by juvenile court. Additionally, some youth are held in Regional Youth Detention Centers while awaiting a community-based placement more suitable to his/her assessed needs.

Senate Bill 440 (SB440) – Refers to the School Safety and Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 1994 (SB440). Among other things, this legislation modified the jurisdiction of the juvenile court to provide that the superior court has exclusive jurisdiction over children ages 13-17 who are alleged to have committed one of the following offenses (commonly referred to as the "Seven Deadly Sins"): aggravated child molestation, aggravated and sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, murder, rape, voluntary manslaughter, or armed robbery with a firearm. Prior to indictment, the district attorney may elect to send the case to juvenile court.

Thirty-Day (30-Day) Sentence – Refers to the Georgia Juvenile Proceedings Code 15-11-66, which states that "…if the child is adjudicated for the commission of a delinquent act, the court may in its discretion in those cases involving: (A) a violation of probation involving another adjudicated delinquent act and upon the court making a finding of fact that the child has failed to respond to the graduated alternative sanctions set forth in paragraph (2) of this subsection; (B) an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult; or (C) an offense that would be a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature if committed by an adult and involving bodily injury or harm or substantial likelihood of bodily injury or harm, in addition to any other treatment or rehabilitation, order the child to serve up to a maximum of 30 days in a youth development center, or after assessment and with the court's approval, in a treatment program provided by the Department of Juvenile Justice or the juvenile court.”

Specialized Residential Services – This program provides residential treatment services for delinquent and unruly youth that need more specialized care than the Department of Juvenile Justice programs currently provide. These youth require either long-term residential placement or specialized treatment services emphasizing mental health care. Services are purchased from the private sector.

State Youth Development Campuses (YDC) – Six (6) residential institutions providing academic, recreational, vocational, medical, mental health, counseling and religious services for those youth committed to the Department, or convicted of an offense under Senate Bill 440.

Violation of Aftercare – Can be an allegation that a youth violated one or more of his/her conditions of aftercare or may be a finding within the administrative revocation process.

Violation of Alternate Placement – Can be an allegation that a youth violated one or more of his/her conditions of alternate placement or may be a finding within the administrative revocation process.

Violation of Probation - An allegation that a youth failed to comply with or abide by one or more of his or her terms or conditions of a valid Court Order of Probation. A Violation of Probation complaint constitutes a new offense filed against the youth.

Wilderness Youth Development Programs – The Wilderness Youth Development Programs are outdoor-based treatment programs for youth committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice. Purchased from the private sector, these programs provide alternatives to placement in a Youth Development Campus through a wilderness experience. Upon completion of the wilderness experience, youth return home or to another community placement on aftercare status.

Youth Served – The number of youth served during a specific time period includes all youth active at the beginning of the time period plus those admitted during the time period. For example, during FY07 the RYDCs served 14,986 youth, of which 1,186 youth were active at the end of the preceding fiscal year, plus 13,800 youth who were admitted to the RYDCs during FY07.


   Quick Links
Why parents are important
What is an RYDC and YDC
Visitor Information
DJJ Ombudsman
About Victim Services
Victim Notification and Services
Forms and Publications
Help Us To Improve
How DJJ is Organized
About the Commissioner
About the Board

Click here to view GEMA Emergency Phone App.  


Subscribe to our newsletter to stay current with the latest DJJ news and announcements.


3408 Covington Highway - Decatur, GA - 30032
(click here for Directions)
Phone: 404-508-6500 / Fax: 404-508-7289
Copyright © . All rights reserved by Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. (WF53F)
DJJ DJJ RSS DJJ Facebook DJJ Twitter DJJ Youtube Click here to open 'Team Georgia website'.