New year brings changes to Augusta YDC

Richmond County YDC
Jade Holder, 19, died after being attacked in the Augusta Youth Development Campus. (WRDW-TV / Nov. 9, 2011)
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Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The new year has brought changes to Augusta's Youth Development Campus.

Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Avery D. Niles announced on Monday that Interim Director Melvin Womble has been dismissed from his duties at the Augusta YDC.

Womble, who was the former assistant director of security, was named for the position following the resignation of former YDC Director Ronald Brawner in November 2012. He acted as as temporary director for two months while the DJJ Central Office launched an extensive search for a full-time replacement.

Commissioner Niles said in a press release, "During the joint DJJ-GBI investigation that followed the escape at the YDC, Interim Director Womble was made responsible for improving safety and security deficiencies in areas which lead to the escape. However, a serious youth assault also occurred on the YDC campus, which subsequently launched new investigations into problems with the timely reporting and incident coding of special incident reports at the facility."

Niles says a new director is expected to be named soon.

The Augusta YDC also has a new assistant director of security and a new captain of corrections officers.

Commissioner Niles says James L. Reid, the new assistant director of security, has a long enforcement and military background.

Donnell Collins, the new captain of corrections officers, comes from the Augusta area and has a military and juvenile justice background. He also has experience in DJJ Emergency Operations and Transportation and has worked as a corrections officer at DJJ's Metro Regional Youth Development Campuses and at both the Augusta YDC and RYDC.

Niles says he plans to introduce the new management team at an upcoming news conference.

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