A Conversation with Georgia Juvenile Justice Commissioner Avery Niles, Part 1
In June 2013, a U.S. Justice Department survey found Georgia had one of the nation’s highest percentages of young offenders who said they had also become victims of abuse — including sexual abuse — in Georgia’s juvenile detention facilities.
A subsequent probe by the state Department of Juvenile Justice found a backlog of hundreds of cases in which the investigations of the complaints remained incomplete for longer than the maximum 45 days.
All of this raised questions for Juvenile Justice Commissioner Avery Niles, who had taken office in November.
Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Niles had been a Department of Juvenile Justice board member, and then its chairman.
Niles gave an extensive interview to WABE’s Denis O’Hayer in the commissioner’s office in DeKalb County. What follows is part one of their conversation.