Indictment in Beating Death at Georgia Youth Detention Center

Michael Everidge was indicted this week in the November beating death of an inmate at an Augusta, Ga. youth detention center. The Richmond County District Attorney brought felony murder charges against 17-year-old Everidge for the death of 19-year-old Jade Holder. Everidge was charged as an adult.

The Department of Juvenile Justice and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation launched a joint investigation in November after Holder was beaten in his cell at the YDC. He died in the hospital the next day.

Firings and Contraband at Georgia’s Troubled Youth Detention Centers

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is wrapping up its criminal investigation at the state’s youth prison in Augusta and plans to present its findings to Richmond County prosecutors by mid-February. The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is pulling together its own findings after unannounced visits to Augusta and the state’s 25 other jails and prisons for youth offenders in recent weeks, DJJ Commissioner Gale Buckner said Thursday. Those findings — which have already led to disciplinary actions and policy changes — have been shared with leadership at each institution and should be consolidated into a single report, also by mid-February, for Gov. Nathan Deal and DJJ board members. “We’ve had a lot of personnel changes at Augusta, and it’s not over,”

Buckner told the DJJ board during a meeting of its members on Thursday. At least a dozen staff members have already lost their jobs at Augusta in the aftermath of the Nov.

Razor wire fence borders the Metro Regional Youth Detention center in Atlanta, Ga. JJIE Staff, 2010. File photo.

Employee Misconduct and Violence High At Augusta Georgia Youth Detention Facility

The Augusta, Ga., youth detention facility where a 19-year-old inmate was beaten in November and subsequently died ranks second among Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facilities in employee misconduct, contraband and altercations between youth and staff. Only the Eastman YDC, according to reports obtained by The Augusta Chronicle, surpassed the Youth Development Campus (YDC) in Augusta. Jade Holder was severely beaten in his cell in Unit 43 of the Augusta YDC Nov. 7. He was pronounced brain dead at the hospital and died the following day.

Teen Accused of Killing Cop Appears In Court

A Riverdale Ga. teen charged in the shooting death of a Clayton County sheriff’s deputy has appeared in Clayton County Superior Court. Investigators say Jonathan Bun has already confessed to killing Clayton County Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Daly. Daly, 55, was shot and killed after he pulled over a Honda Civic that Bun was riding in. He was attempting to take the 17-year-old into custody for a January armed robbery at a gift store in College Park.

Congressional Earmarks Fund Georgia Programs for Kids; Future Earmarks in Jeopardy

The Justice Department has published the list of OJJDP congressional earmarks for the 2010 fiscal year.  Twenty-one programs in Georgia got funding for a total of $3.2 million.  Here are some of the largest awards along with congressional sponsors:

$500,000   City of Valdosta    Sponsors: Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
$300,000   Georgia Bureau of Investigation     Sponsor:  Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
$250,000    University of West Georgia    Sponsors:  Rep. Phil Gingrey(R-Marietta), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
$250,000    Rockdale County    Sponsors:  Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Lithonia), Rep. David Scott (D-Jonesboro), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
$250,000    Project Rebound, Inc.    Sponsor:  Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Albany)
$200,000    City of Moultrie Police Department    Sponsors:  Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Macon), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
$150,000    Truancy Intervention Project Georgia, Inc.     Sponsor:  Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

Earmarks may be on the endangered list next year, according to Youth Today, which tracks federal earmarks for youth projects.  Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Tea Party supporters want a ban on earmarks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) are also on board. President Obama wants to limit earmarks, and some congressional Democrats facing reelection in 2012 are under pressure to stop the practice. Earmarks aren’t the only source of federal funding for juvenile justice projects. Another $2,480,463 in competitive grants also went to agencies based in Georgia. Here’s that list from OJJDP:

$349,969     Family drug court programs in Chatham County Juvenile Court
$300,000   GBI law enforcement strategies to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation
$409,390    Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at the GBI
$296,104     Juvenile Drug Courts and Mentoring Initiative in Columbus
$625,000     Young Adult Guidance Center, Inc. for the Second Chance Act Juvenile Mentoring Initiative
$500,000     The Center for Working Families, Inc. for Strategic Enhancement to Mentoring Programs

In addition, $42 million was allocated to the Boys and Girls Clubs for mentoring programs across the nation through their headquarters in Atlanta

Child Sex Crimes: New Arrests, More Money

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Decatur is getting a fresh infusion of money from the Justice Department to fight child prostitution and other forms of sex exploitation.  A 300- thousand dollar grant will go towards reaching children in trouble and arresting adults who exploit them, according to the Office of Justice Programs.

To emphasize the work that’s being done in the Atlanta area, federal prosecutors released new information about three men who were sentenced and four others arrested for child sex crimes, including these cases:

Former Baptist Minister Gregory Hunter, who got 18 years in prison for producing a pornographic webcast of a 9 year old girl. Former doctor Adam Lebowitz, convicted of child porn and trying to entice a child to have sex
Michael Young and James Lampru,arrested at hotels where they arranged to have sex with a 12-year-old girl

Earlier this week, a 280 page report from Attorney General Eric Holder detailed a national strategy to fight child sex exploitation. The GBI has received other grants to fight Atlanta’s child prostitution and pornography problems.  In 2009, the GBI got $1,438,937.00in Recovery Act funds for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  During the first half of last year, the ICAC made 96 arrests and helped local law enforcement with 60 cases. Read more:

Project Safe Childhood

Internet Crimes against Children Task Force

News Release from Department of Justice