New Juvenile Justice Database in Georgia Puts Pieces of Puzzle in One Place

With the goal of presenting “the most current and accurate juvenile crime data available,” Georgia’s Governor’s Office for Children and Families (GOCF) launched a new website this week. The Georgia Juvenile Justice Data Clearinghouse aggregates data from multiple partners such as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

“It’s a way to synthesize the information so people can look at it and say, ‘OK, this is what we’ve got,’” said Joe Vignati, director of Justice Programs at GOCF.

“You’ve got pieces of the puzzle all over the place,” Vignati said. And not all counties are able to report their data yet. In fact, one county, Vignati said, is still using paper records.

Georgia’s First Lady, Sandra Deal, was the inaugural visitor to the website a few days ago. After signing on, she said, “I am confident that this effort will go a long ways in helping improve outcomes for Georgia’s Youth, “said Mrs. Deal.

The site is broken into three main sections: Reports and Dashboards, Interactive Map and Pre-made Maps, each providing multiple ways of exploring the data from spreadsheets to pie charts.

Georgia Governor’s Office of Children and Families Executive Director to Resign

The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange has obtained an email that says the Georgia Governor’s Office for Children and Families (GOCF) Executive Director Jennifer Bennecke will resign August 15. The email to GOCF’s advisory board members, says Bennecke will not return following maternity leave. According to advisory board member Judge Steven Teske, Bennecke is resigning for personal reasons. JJIE also received a letter to GOCF from the Georgia Office of Audits and Accounts saying it will perform a “special examination” of GOCF’s “performance and expenditures, including Children’s Trust Fund revenues, that may be considered in connection with potential mergers with other organizations.” Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue created GOCF in 2008 by joining together the Children’s Trust Fund Commission and the Children and Youth Coordinating Council into one organization.