New commissioner of Ga. DJJ sworn in

Avery Niles (Hall County website)
Avery Niles (Hall County website)
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Friday, Nov. 2, 2012

ATLANTA -- News 12 has just learned a new commissioner has been sworn for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Niles had been chairman of the DJJ since March 2012. He has 27 years of experience in law enforcement and leaves his current position as warden of the Hall County Correctional Institution.

According to a news release, Gov. Nathan Deal called Niles a “stalwart, dedicated and dependable” leader.

“I am honored to serve Georgia in this capacity. We want to strengthen families and communities here,” said Niles in a news release. “I am committed to excellence in public safety and to provide effective intervention to improve the lives of youth entrusted to our department by the state,” the Commissioner said. “I thank the Governor and the DJJ Board for their confidence and I will work diligently to maintain their trust. We look forward to making real changes in the lives of our young offenders.”

Niles is replacing Gale Buckner, who stepped down in October. Buckner given the reins of the DJJ days after an inmate murder at the Augusta Youth Development Campus. She investigated the incident and called for many firings at suspensions after through inspections of DJJ facilities throughout the state. News 12's Sheli Muniz spoke with Buckner about her retirement in October.

He takes on the role a few weeks after five inmates escaped from the Augusta YDC. Several employees of that facility were suspended following that incident.

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