Delinquency Cases

When a private citizen files a complaint alleging that a child has committed a delinquent or unruly act as defined by OCGA § 15-11-2, the intake officer prepares the case paperwork for the assistant district attorney assigned to Juvenile Court, who investigates and determines if there is probable cause to believe the child committed the act. When a child is charged by the police with a delinquent act, the police officer is responsible for conducting the investigation. After a child is charged by the police, the intake officer assesses the information to determine how the case should proceed. This assessment includes obtaining police reports, staffing cases with probation officers, the assistant district attorney, and other pertinent individuals. Under OCGA § 15-11-601 and 15-11-515, an intake officer may divert cases to informal processes such as mediation, counseling, informal adjustments, or may set the case for court to be heard by a judge.

If a child is charged with a delinquent offense and taken into custody by the police, the information is immediately processed and the intake officer makes a decision whether or not to detain or release the child. Intake officers utilize a Detention Assessment Instrument (DIA) to guide these decisions. If a child is detained for a delinquent offense, an informal detention hearing will be scheduled within 48 hours (or the next business day if the 48 hours falls on a holiday). These informal hearings are held by a judge for the purpose of officially making a decision on probable cause and further execution of the case. When the detention occurs over the weekend or during holidays, where an informal hearing cannot be set within 48 hours, an informal staffing is conducted by an intake officer with a judge to determine if there is probable cause to hold the child in detention until the hearing can be held.

Department of Juvenile Justice -

The mission of the Department of Juvenile Justice is to protect and serve the citizens of Georgia by holding young offenders accountable for their actions through the delivery of services and sanctions in appropriate settings and by supporting youth in their communities to become productive and law-abiding citizens.

Richmond County Court Service Office
971 Broad Street, 2nd Floor Suite A
Augusta, GA 30901
706-721-5678 (telephone)
706-721-5680 (fax)
Regional Youth Detention Center (Male)
3485 Mike Padgett Highway
Augusta, GA 30906
706-771-4910 (telephone)
706-771-4917 (fax)
Regional Youth Detention Center (Female)
423 Industrial Drive
Sandersville, GA 31082
478-553-2400 (telephone)
478-553-2404 (fax)

In support of this mission the functions of the Department of Juvenile Justice in Richmond County is as follows:

Intake Operations

  • Intake Operations are handled by DJJ staff responsible for receiving referrals from law enforcement officers, parents, school officials, and private citizens on children alleged to be delinquent, unruly, deprived, or who have been cited for traffic violations.

Diversion & Informal Adjustments

  • Delinquent and unruly complaints referred to DJJ are screened towards first seeking an informal adjustment of the matter where it is in the best interest of the child and the community. The juvenile complaint is examined to determine if the child is eligible for diversion/informal adjustment or mediation and is based on the totality of the child’s circumstances, which may include the child’s age at the time of the offense, nature of the act, ability of the parents to correct and provide treatment for the child, treatment resources available in the community, correction or discipline already provided by the parent or school system and the child’s level of remorse and the parents’ understanding the child’s need for correction. After considering these circumstances, the court officer may recommend dismissal, refer the child/family to another agency for services, informally adjust the case, file a petition or take other appropriate action.

Probation Division

  • The Probation Division of the Juvenile Court is divided into two types of functional units, Court Operations and Field Operations.
  • Court Operations - The unit’s primary function is conducting pre-disposition investigations and preparing social history reports for the disposition of delinquency cases that have come before the Juvenile Court for formal processing. In addition to investigating and writing reports, the court officers assigned to Court Operations also supervise youth who have been placed under Community Detention Orders pending the final disposition of their cases.
  • Field Operations - Field officers conduct risk classification and needs assessment and write individualized treatment plans for all youth placed on probation using the Juvenile Assessment and Risk Instrument System (JARIS). Field officers also provide ongoing supervision to those youth placed on probation by the Juvenile Court.