Commissioner Announces New Chairman to Head Georgia’s DJJ Board

Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice logo. Clay Duda/JJIEGeorgia Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Gale Buckner confirmed the Board’s election of Avery Niles to head the state’s DJJ Board. Niles fills the Chairman post formerly held by long-time Board member Ed Risler, who stepped down earlier this week following the expiration of his term last summer.

Niles, a 23-year veteran of the Hall County Sheriff’s Department and current warden of the Hall County Correctional Institution, was appointed to the Board by Gov. Deal in July 2011. As Chairman, Niles will “help guide Board Members as they serve in their advisory capacity to DJJ, providing leadership and counsel to the Commissioner to help improve Georgia’s juvenile justice system,” according to a DJJ release.

“I am honored to serve in this capacity,” Niles said. “I want to thank the Board for their confidence and I will work diligently to maintain their trust.”

Representing the 9th Congressional district, Niles will hold the position for at least the next two years, at which time he will be eligible for re-election by the Board.

The Board is made up of 15 members representing each of the Congressional districts around the state. Appointments are made by the governor and confirmed by the State Senate.

“The Georgia Juvenile Justice mission is to protect and serve the citizens of Georgia by holding young offenders accountable for their actions so they can become contributing members of society,” DJJ Commissioner Buckner said, congratulating Niles on the appointment. “We look forward to making real changes in the lives of our young offenders with help from a smooth transition of Board leadership ahead.”

A resident of Clermont, Ga., Niles is a graduate of Leadership Hall County, the Georgia Police Academy and the FBI National Academy. He serves as a deacon at Antioch Baptist Church and is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree in mortuary science while attending the Georgia law enforcement Command College in Columbus, Ga.

During the routine Board meeting on Thursday, Buckner also confirmed Gov. Deal’s appointments of two new members to the Board: Willie Bolton, representing the 10th Congressional District, and Frank Rozier from the 1st Congressional District.

Bolton fills the seat of former Chairman Ed Risler.

“We admire the professionalism Chairman Risler brought to this task,” Buckner said at the meeting, expressing appreciation for Risler’s more than 10-years of service on the Board. “And we wish all the best for our new appointees who are about to face the many challenges that lie ahead for the Department of Juvenile Justice.”

The Board seat for the 1st Congressional District was vacant before Rozier’s appointment.

Photo credit: Clay Duda/JJIE

New Chairman, Appointments for Georgia’s DJJ Board

UPDATE: Commissioner Announces New Chairman to Head Georgia’s DJJ Board


At the request of the Governor’s Office, long-time Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Board Chairman Ed Risler has stepped down after more than 10 years of service on the Board.

In an e-mail sent Monday to Board members and top officials at the DJJ, Risler said it was “a personal honor and privilege” to have served on the Board and commended the state’s DJJ employees for their “dedication and service.”

Risler’s departure comes after the expiration of his term in summer of 2011. During his tenure, Risler worked with five separate DJJ Commissioners.

The 15-member DJJ board is made up of representatives from Congressional districts around the state.

Risler’s Board seat representing the 10th Congressional district will be filled by Willie Bolton, current Warden for Athens-Clarke County.

The Board is set to vote on a new Chairman at tomorrow’s meeting

“The Board and the [DJJ] Commissioner greatly appreciate his years of service to the DJJ and the state,” DJJ spokesman Jim Shuler said. “This is routine Board business."

The DJJ Board acts in an advisory capacity, establishing general policy to be followed by the state’s DJJ, according the website. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate.

Additionally, Franklin Rozier will join the Board as a representative of the First Congressional District, a seat currently vacant. More appointments are expected from the governor in the coming months.

Risler hailed from the 10th Congressional District, a slice of the state represented until early 2011 by current Gov. Nathan Deal.

Photo credit: Clay Duda/JJIE