Newly sworn-in Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Commissioner Gale Buckner announced a series of appointments and staff changes Monday. According to a DJJ press release, Buckner hired four new high-level employees and promoted another. Among the newly hired were Shawanda Reynolds-Cobb, who takes over as Deputy Commissioner of Administrative Services; Tracy D. Masters, as the new Director of Legal Services; Carol Jackson as the new Director of Legislative Affairs and Diane Avery as Board and Constituent Liaison. Buckner promoted current DJJ Deputy Commissioner Jeff Minor to Assistant Commissioner. Minor will be second-in-command at the DJJ, according to the press release, but will continue to oversee the Offices of Budget Services and Human Resources.
As Georgia faces its greatest budget crisis since the Great Depression, the state Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has been forced to make drastic budget cuts. The last three years have seen a reduction of more than 20% in state funding. And future cuts of up to 10% for FY 2012 are possible. Jeff Minor, long time DJJ Chief Financial Officer, explains these losses in stark terms:
In FY 2009, DJJ’s base budget totaled nearly $343 million. By 2011, the budget was down to $266 million. The FY 2012 budget faces further cuts, from $15.4 million in a best case scenario to $25.7 million in a worst case scenario. Over a three year period, the cuts could total nearly 30%. In addition, says Minor, the agency lost more than $80 million in one-time budget cuts, largely absorbed through staff furloughs and hiring freezes.