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Georgia-juvenile-justiceGeorgia Department of Juvenile Justice Case Study

Supervision, detention and educational services for youths referred by the Georgia juvenile court system; $321 million budget; 4500 employees

Client Need:

Whenever troubles with their staff members arose, supervisors in the department’s juvenile correctional facilities often reacted with a harshly punitive response. This approach was neither effective in solving disciplinary problems nor in keeping with the agency’s mission statement.

Our Solution:

Working with an implementation team made up of supervisory and management personnel from facilities across the state, we designed a Discipline Without Punishment process that was appropriate for this paramilitary organization. We created and conducted train-the-trainer workshops that enabled trainers to build skills and to get buy-in from tough, old-school supervisors and managers.

Successful Result:

The department successfully implemented a discipline process that emphasized personal responsibility and required supervisors to treat all employees with dignity and respect. After one year of experience, 91% of the agency’s managers and supervisors said they wouldn’t go back to the old traditional discipline system. Nine years later, the system continues to operate successfully.