Shunda L. Dean, a Texas native, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and Corrections from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. After graduation Ms. Dean was afforded the opportunity to join the team of Smith County Juvenile Services as a part-time Case Aide in 1992, Throughout her tenure, Ms. Dean served as a Case Aide, Counselor, Juvenile Probation Officer and Probation Supervisor.
After nine years at Smith County Juvenile Services, Ms. Dean relocated to the state of Georgia in 2001 and began her career at DeKalb County Juvenile Court as a Juvenile Probation Officer; shortly thereafter, she was promoted to Probation Supervisor in 2004. In the latter part of 2014, Ms. Dean was promoted to Chief Probation Officer of the DeKalb County Juvenile Court under the leadership of Chief Judge Desiree Sutton Peagler.
Ms. Dean is a member of the National Association for Court Management (NACM), Georgia Council of Court Administrators (GCCA) and International Who’s Who of Professional Management. In 2007, she became a Certified Paralegal from the University of North Texas in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, she completed a Management Leadership Program from the University of Georgia/Carl Vincent institute of Government in 2014.
She was named Smith County Juvenile Services — Probation Officer of the Year in 1997; Smith County Juvenile Services – Supervisor of the Year in 1999; DeKalb County Juvenile Drug Court – Drug Court Initiative in 2003; DeKalb County Juvenile Drug Court — 5-year service award in 2009; Romae T. Powell Service Award in 2012, and Top Juvenile Drug Court in 2012.
The Probation Division
The probation division is responsible for supervising juveniles on probation and referring the child and the family to agencies in the community to help meet their needs. Probation Officers are responsible for conducting initial interviews with the child and their parents, and, if necessary taking the child through the court process. Probation Officers and Supervisors of the division are responsible for ensuring that youth placed under supervision are provided appropriate supervision and services to protect, restore, redirect and support youth in their communities. The division is currently comprised of 44 individuals who serve on one of the division’s five units: Intake, Special Services, Intensive Supervision, School-based Supervision or Programs. Each unit is led by one of the division’s five supervisors.
The Intake is responsible for entering delinquency and dependency cases presented to the court and providing intervention services to families who wish to redirect a child. In this unit, cases are entered and processed for court handling. Intake is also responsible for monitoring detention populations and diverting cases away from the court that are better handled by families, community resources and/or schools. The Intake Unit is unique in that the hours of operation are 8:00am – 6:00pm Monday – Friday. Intake has staff on-call after 6:00pm on weekdays and 24 hours daily on weekends and holidays to service the DeKalb County Community.
Intensive Supervision Unit
The Intensive Supervision Unit includes the accountability court caseloads and Commitment Alternative Program. The Intensive Supervision Unit is where cases that require special handling are supervised. These officers handle youth in danger of being committed to the State, youth assigned to all-male drug court caseload and youth assigned to the all-female mental health caseload.
Commitment Alternative Program (CAP)
Purpose and Overview
DeKalb County Juvenile Court CAP program is designed to reduce the number of youth who are committed to the DJJ and to Short Term Programs (STP). DJC is accomplishing its mission of providing services that will restore youth back in the community while holding them accountable for their actions while providing evidence based services. In doing so, this will have a lasting impact on their ability to be a law abiding and productive member or our community. The CAP program is a hybrid program consisting of community based and court based programming. The participants and their families will be required to attend MDT session to discuss the overall progress with core members consisting of program manager, mentoring agencies, probation officers. FFT providers and therapist. Participants and their families will attend assigned programs that are appropriate based on the assessments completed by the probation officer and therapist.
Purpose & Overview
In 2010, the DeKalb County Juvenile Court began a Mental Health Court. The JOURNEY Program facilitates the treatment female youth with an Axis I disorder, ages 13 to 16 years old, who have committed a misdemeanor or felony offense because of a mental illness. The JOURNEY Program requires a year- long commitment as it takes a holistic approach to providing appropriate treatment to the participants. Once accepted into the program, an individualized treatment plan is developed by a mental health treatment provider. Youth are required to follow the treatment plan which can include individual therapy, family and/or group therapy, medication management, community service projects, Etiquette Training and quarterly pro-social activities. Participant’s progress is tracked through a series of three phases. Once all phases have been successfully completed a graduation is held in recognition of the youth’s participation and progress achieved in the JOURNEY Program. After graduation, the JOURNEY Team will continue to monitor the youth during a 90-day aftercare program.
Purpose and Overview
The Judge, Court Staff, and the Drug Court Team are here to guide and assist youth in achieving and maintaining a drug free life and educational success. The DeKalb County Juvenile Court Rebound Program is a five-phase 12 to 15-month intervention program for juveniles who are on probation and who are having difficulty staying clean and sober. It is a collaborative effort between the Juvenile Court, District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Probation Department, School System, Treatment Providers and Families. A variety of programs and consistent supervision are geared toward supporting and helping youth maintain a drug-free life. The DeKalb County Juvenile Court Rebound Program involves frequent court appearances, random drug testing as well as group and family counseling. The Court awards incentives for satisfactory behavior and imposes sanctions for unsatisfactory behavior.
The Program Unit is comprised of probation staff that manage various court programs. The DeKalb County Juvenile Court is committed to rehabilitating the children within the community by designing and implementing programs to reduce delinquency. The programs are designed to target the current issues youth are facing in the community and work to establish character building, life skills, and assistance to parents in dealing with everyday issues. The partnership with the community along with DeKalb County Juvenile Court will serve the youth and help to create positive change in the present and future for our young men and women.
School Based Supervision Unit
The School-Based Supervision Unit is comprised of probation officers who are assigned to regions within the DeKalb County School System. The unit consists of School-Based Supervision Officers (SBPO’s) assigned to one of five regions of the DeKalb County School System (DCSS). These officers are assigned to school clusters and supervise youth who have been placed on formal probation by the Court that attend school in their cluster and youth who are not attending school in their cluster.
Sanctions & Incentives
Probation supervision is supported by several tools that assist with gaining compliance. Much like parents use allowances, gifts, chores, loss of privileges and other rewards and consequences; our Probation Division uses sanctions (consequences) and incentives (rewards) to aid in deterring negative behaviors while reinforcing positive behaviors. Some of the sanctions and incentives we use are outlined below. Sanctions
- Write Essays
- Complete Book Report(s)
- Referral to Community Service
- Written warning
- Participate in Programs
- Waiver Conference
- Alternative Placements
- Crisis Intervention
- Set Reviews (place on Judge’s calendar)
- Supervisory Conference
- Remove privileges (cell phone, games etc)
- Day Time Lock Up / Suspension Alternatives (suspension at the court)
- Early Termination
- Letters of Recommendation
- Judicial recognition/commendation
- Gift Cards
- Marta Cards
- DeKalb Community Service Board
- Department of Family And Children Services
- Department of Juvenile Justice
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Address: 4309 Memorial Dr. Decatur, GA 30032 Phone: 404-294-2700 Email: email@example.com
The Community Service Program strives to hold youth accountable for their actions with the hope that we are redirecting their focus on becoming law abiding, productive citizens. In collaboration of caring agencies and organizations, the DeKalb County Juvenile Court Community Service Program has been able to provide quality service to the community and its victims for over 30 years.
Who Can Help
It is with the help of agencies and organizations throughout DeKalb County that youth are being held accountable, rehabilitated, trained and educated. The Juvenile Court is always looking for volunteers to help with the process. Any agency or organization looking to become a community service site must:
- Be a nonprofit organization
- Provide a safe and non-hazardous work environment
- Accept youth on a non-discriminatory basis
- Provide supervision of youth at all times
- Agree to seek medical attention for youth, if needed
- Youth who are required to perform community service hours must meet the following criteria:
- Youth between the ages of 13 to 17 years old
- Reside in DeKalb County
- No adjudications for a sex offense or a serious weapons offense
- No physical or mental disabilities that will prevent them from performing the required hours
- Must have custodial or parental support
Purpose & Overview
The DeKalb County Juvenile Court is committed to rehabilitating the children within the community by designing and implementing programs to reduce delinquency. The programs are designed to target the current issues youth are facing in the community and work to establish character building, life skills, and assistance to parents in dealing with everyday issues. The partnership with the community along with DeKalb County Juvenile Court will serve the youth and help to create positive change in the present and future for our young men and women.
Purpose and Overview
Students who are accepted into the GED Program have expressed a desire to fulfill their secondary education requirements and obtain their diploma. Due to internal and external circumstances, the traditional school setting may not be the proper setting for some students. DeKalb County Juvenile Court’s GED Program is designed to provide readiness and support for youth ages 16-18 in hopes of completing their high school education and achieving their goal of obtaining their secondary credentials.
DeKalb County Juvenile Court will have GED Support classes are held Monday-Thursday from 9am-1pm.
- Sessions are held in Classrooms 1&2 with break-out sessions held at the Instructors’ discretion in Classroom 3.
- Court ordered youth are REQUIRED to attend the independent study sessions held on Friday 9am – 1pm weekly. The independent study is available to complete lessons and prepare for upcoming lessons. Youth from the community are strongly encouraged to attend the independent study sessions, however it is not mandatory.
- All youth are REQUIRED to be in class on time and ready for instruction at 8:45am.
- Youth arriving to class after 9:15 am, must report to JPA in order to gain entry into the session.
- The JPA will be responsible for monitoring the class.
- MARTA cards will be provided for any youth with indigent needs.
- Youth are expected to attend all sessions as indicated in their individualized academic plan.
- All students must receive and provide documentation of 40 hours of instruction time in order to take the GED examination.
- At any point that the youth is unable to attend class, the reasons for the absence should be communicated to the Juvenile Program Administrator (JPA), who will notify the GED instructors and Probation Officers.
- Habitual absence from the program will not be tolerated and could lead to dismissal from the GED program.
- Students who have 5 unexcused absences may be removed from the class. Prior to removal a parent/ instructor conference will be scheduled.
- Referrals will be accepted year round. The DeKalb County Juvenile Court GED class schedule will closely resemble the DeKalb County Schools schedule regarding holidays and breaks.
Requirements of GED are to:
- For court youth- a referral must be submitted to the Juvenile Program Administrator or Probation Officer assigned to the program.
- For youth not in the juvenile system an application must be submitted to the Program Administrator or designee.
- Youth must submit their school withdrawal letter/forms from the last school attended.
- A picture ID must be submitted.
- Youth must complete the TABE test so that their instructional needs may be evaluated.
- Youth must meet with Program Administrator or designee and agree to the terms of the GED program.
It is important that all youth possess skills in order to compete in today’s job market. Participants attend leadership development courses; job training and work readiness, MS Office Suite, typing classes, and all must complete a Customer Service Certification class.
GED program hosts a number of events throughout the year to reinforce the importance of education and work ready skills such as “Dress to Impress,” college tours, community service, public speaking events, and graduation.
Purpose & Overview
Interns may be college or university students, high school students, or post-graduate adults. Generally, an internship consists of an exchange of services for experience between the student and an organization. Students can also use an internship to determine if they have an interest in a particular career, to create a network of contacts, or to gain school credit. Some interns find permanent, paid employment with the organizations for which they worked upon completion of the internship. This can be a significant benefit to the employer as experienced interns often need little or no training when they begin regular employment.
- Gain experience and an occupational appreciation for the role of Juvenile Probation Officer and Juvenile Program Administrator
- Gain practical knowledge of the Juvenile Court process and probation supervision
- Gain an understanding of the basic philosophy of the court and the need for the balance approach model
- Demonstrate some of the theoretical concepts of casework and the helping process of real life situations and broaden students’ knowledge based upon career choices in the helping
- Profession and Law enforcement
- Must be attending an accredited school of higher learning and in good standings with the school
- Time commitment preferred is a full semester with a minimum of 10 hours/week
- Complete application process
- Have an interest in the court system
- Must arrange to receive credit by consulting with college advisors or internship director
- Possess strong written and verbal communication skills
- Have the ability to work with diverse populations
- Maintain high level of confidentiality
Purpose and Overview
The purpose of Mediation is to give the participants the opportunity to solve the conflict themselves with the assistance of the Mediator. The Mediator does not make any decisions for the participants but is there to help the participants come to an agreement that works for them.
Delinquent mediation is an opportunity for the victim(s) of a crime or offense and the person(s) who committed the offense, to meet face to face. A mediator will help the parties talk about how the offense affected each of their lives. The mediators are neutral. They help people explore and negotiate their own solutions. First time court involved crimes and offenses appropriate for mediation are: school related offenses, shoplifting, and neighborhood conflicts. Please click on the following link for additional information regarding delinquent mediation.
Deprivation mediation is an informal process whereby people can resolve disputes between themselves without going to court. A mediator leads the session and helps the parties come to a mutual agreement rather than having a judge decides the issues. The role of the mediator is to assist the parties in their negotiations by identifying obstacles to settlement and ways for overcoming them. Each party is encouraged but not required to bring independent legal counsel to the mediation sessions. Some of the issues involved in the deprivation mediations are: visitation, family reunification, and placement of the children. Please click on the following link for additional information regarding deprivation mediation.
Purpose and Overview
Since 1997, the DeKalb County Juvenile Court in collaboration with the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, has provided DeKalb County high school students the opportunity to be mentored by local judges and attorneys, learn about the legal system, and gain self-confidence and practice in public speaking, all while serving the DeKalb County community as Teen Court volunteers. Teen Court volunteers perform the role of prosecuting and defense attorney, bailiff, judge, and juvenile probation officer through a real justice program that offers juvenile offenders of minor offenses the chance to learn from their mistake without going through the traditional court process.
- Current high school sophomore or junior
- Recommendation of school teacher/counselor
- Permission of parent/guardian
- Completion of interview, program orientation and training
- Ablilty to commit to program dates
- Improved conflict resolution and communication skills
- Greater understanding of the legal system and judicial process
- Opportunity to earn community service hours
- Great addition to resume and college application
Complete the Teen Court application and attach your most recent high school transcript or report card. The completed application and copy of most recent transcript or report card must be submitted to the Probation Division at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Selected students will be invited to attend the orientation and participate in the Teen Court program for the new school year. Mandatory orientation will be held at the DeKalb County Juvenile Court (Courtroom 4). There will also be a Swearing In and Meet and Greet with the Chief Judge.
Teen Court Application
Teen Court Schedule
Purpose and Overview
DeKalb County Juvenile Court examined the accountability of teens and their driving behaviors and determined that youth needed to take more responsibility for their actions. As a result, Traffic Court began offering a program in which teens participate for a reduced fine. There are several components to the program: 1) Youth must attend and provide certificate of completion to a Defensive Driving course 2) Youth must complete 10 hours of community service (approved by the court) 3) Youth must submit an essay on what has led them to the court process, what their experience was like, and how it will affect their future decisions. Upon completion of the program, the youth shall have no points assessed to their license and their fine will be reduced.
Purpose and Overview
The Youth Diversion Program’s purpose is to provide a community based alternative to the formal court process in which first time misdemeanor offenders will be held accountable and make citizens aware of the needs of youth in their community and to encourage them through training and support to address those needs.
The primary objectives of YDP are to:
- Provide youth accountability for their actions
- Divert youth from further involvement within the juvenile justice system
- Educate youth on the impact their actions have on themselves and other (i.e., victims and the community)
- Build programs that directly respond to the community’s issues of disorder, crime and violence