DJJ: Augusta YDC will have new director by end of year; corrections officer fired

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email
Richmond County YDC

Jade Holder, 19, died after being attacked in the Augusta Youth Development Campus. (WRDW-TV / Nov. 9, 2011)

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Department of Juvenile Justice says the Augusta YDC will have a new director by the end of the month.

The DJJ also announced the firing of a corrections officer during a news conference Wednesday evening. According to a DJJ news release, Lt. Ricky Smiley was dismissed for "employee negligence in connection with the Dec. 2 assault."

His firing is in connection to the assault of a 15-year-old inmate earlier this month at the Youth Development Campus. That teen was taken to the hospital after getting into a fight with another inmate.

DJJ Commissioner Avery Niles says Smiley failed to follow up on his responsibilities as a lieutenant.

"This performance failure may have hindered the ability of other key staff members to prevent the assault and subsequent injury," Niles said in a news release.

Current Interim Director Melvin Womble has been suspended with pay because of the pending investigation.

The DJJ revealed that during the investigation into December's assault, an assault that happened on Nov. 4 was also revealed. This fight involved five inmates and left one 17-year-old inmate with a broken jaw. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called into investigate because the Nov. 4 incident went unreported to the YDC.

Niles says additional changes will be coming to the Augusta YDC soon.


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