Samia Fields
Grants Manager

4309 Memorial Dr.
Decatur, GA 30032
(404) 294-2700

Samia Fields  is a native of Boston, Massachusetts and relocated to Atlanta with her family in 2008. Ms. Fields has worked in adult corrections and in the juvenile justice field for many years.  She has previously served as a Child Advocate, Restorative Justice Coordinator, Court Case Management, Accountability Court Liaison, and a Mental Health Counselor. Ms. Fields is also well versed in Grant Writing and Program Management. She has many years of experience working in the non-profit sector and as an independent contractor. Ms. Fields attended Georgia State University where she received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology. She went on to earn a Masters of Arts Degree at Argosy University in Forensic Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Consulting.

The grants portion of the division holds the responsibility of securing funding for many of the initiatives and programs that DeKalb Juvenile Court embarks upon. Grants over the last few years has become an integral part of ensuring services are available for the youth and families we serve and supporting the court's mission.

Programs

  1. Community Service
    1. Introduction

      The Community Service Program strives to hold youth accountable for their actions with the hope that we are redirecting their focus on becoming law abiding, productive citizens. In collaboration of caring agencies and organizations, the DeKalb County Juvenile Court Community Service Program has been able to provide quality service to the community and its victims for over 30 years.

      Who Can Help

      It is with the help of agencies and organizations throughout DeKalb County that youth are being held accountable, rehabilitated, trained and educated. The Juvenile Court is always looking for volunteers to help with the process. Any agency or organization looking to become a community service site must:

      • Be a nonprofit organization
      • Provide a safe and non-hazardous work environment
      • Accept youth on a non-discriminatory basis
      • Provide supervision of youth at all times
      • Agree to seek medical attention for youth, if needed

      Who Qualifies

      • Youth who are required to perform community service hours must meet the following criteria:
      • Youth between the ages of 13 to 17 years old
      • Reside in DeKalb County
      • No adjudications for a sex offense or a serious weapons offense
      • No physical or mental disabilities that will prevent them from performing the required hours
      • Must have custodial or parental support

      Community Service Agency Information Form 2014 Community Service Brochure 2014

  2. Incompetency Cases
    1. Purpose and Overview

      The DeKalb Juvenile Court is committed to ensuring that each youth who becomes involved with the juvenile justice system receives the most appropriate services available. In 2003, the Mental Health Coordinator position was developed to serve as a plan manager for youth that have been found not competent to stand trial for an offense they have committed.

      A recent study conducted by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (2006) found that 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system suffer from mental health disorders and that 27% of youth are experiencing disorders so severe that their ability to function is significantly impaired.

      What is Mental Competency?

      Mentally competent means a youth has sufficient present ability to understand the nature and objectives of the proceedings, against him or herself, their relation to the proceedings, and are able to render assistance to the defense attorney.

      How is Mental Competency determined?

      An evaluation is ordered and conducted by a qualified examiner who considers whether a child is mentally competent.

      What happens if I am found NOT Competent?

      When found not competent, a youth is said to be "Dependent" upon the Court. A plan manager (case manager) is assigned to coordinate therapeutic and counseling services for the youth and his family.

      Multidisciplinary Team (MDT)

      The Mental Health Coordinator also presides over the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT). MDT is a subcommittee of the Stop Adolescent/Child Violence & Exploitation (SAVE) Policy Team. The purpose of the multidisciplinary team is to manage and supervise juvenile sex offenders through shared information such as: evaluations, disposition reports, police reports, assessments, victim statements, school records and from the caregiver of the child.

  3. Journey – Mental Health Court
    1. Purpose and Overview

      Mental Health Coordinator

      The Mental Health Coordinator position was created in 2003 to ensure that any youth entering the Juvenile Court System with a mental illness receives appropriate treatment services.
      Mental health refers to an individual's emotional and psychological well-being. The 1999 Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health found that approximately 20% of children and adolescents in the general population are experiencing a mental disorder.

      The Mental Health Coordinator is responsible for coordinating and monitoring mental health services for youth that have been deemed not competent to stand trial. A youth is deemed mentally not competent by a qualified examiner if they do not demonstrate the ability to understand the nature and objectives of the proceedings, against himself or herself, their relation to the proceedings, and are not able to render assistance to their attorney.

      When found not competent, a youth is said to be "Dependent" upon the Court. The Mental Health Coordinator is named as plan manager and will ensure that the recommended treatment and counseling services are provided to the youth and their family.

      JOURNEY

      In 2010, the DeKalb County Juvenile Court began a Mental Health Court. The JOURNEY Program facilitates the treatment female youth with an Axis I disorder, ages 13 to 16 years old, who have committed a misdemeanor or felony offense as a result of a mental illness.

      The JOURNEY Program requires a year- long commitment as it takes a holistic approach to providing appropriate treatment to the participants. Once accepted into the program, an individualized treatment plan is developed by a mental health treatment provider. Youth are required to follow the treatment plan which can include individual therapy, family and/or group therapy, medication management, community service projects, Etiquette Training and quarterly pro-social activities.

      Participant's progress is tracked through a series of three phases. Once all phases have been successfully completed a graduation is held in recognition of the youth's participation and progress achieved in the JOURNEY Program. After graduation, the JOURNEY Team will continue to monitor the youth during a 90 day aftercare program

      Journey Brochure 2014

  4. Judicial Citizens Panel Review
    1. Purpose and Overview

      The Judicial Citizen Panel Review Program is a program of the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges, and was established in response to the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980. This program was founded in 1985, on the belief that children are entitled to permanency and stability in their lives. The Panel program is unique in that it uses local volunteers to form citizen panels that review cases of children in care to ensure that children do not remain in foster care for long periods of time without a plan for permanency.

      Volunteers also identify resources for children and families and play an important role in educating families served by the panel. (it is not a swearing in ceremony, the original wording of "Volunteers are sworn in" needs to stand as is by local juvenile or superior court judges and represent a cross-section of various racial, socio-economic, religious and educational sectors of a community. Volunteers receive 15 hours of specialized training from the staff of the Council of Juvenile Court Judges and then become sworn officers of the court.

      Since 1991, over 900 citizens have been sworn in to serve as Judicial Citizen Review panel members in DeKalb County. To date, we have approximately 150 active volunteers who serve on 16 different panels. Each panel meets once per month at DeKalb County Juvenile Court, to review cases of children in care. The panel's role is to meet with the parents, children, DFCS case managers, foster parents and other family members and professionals to determine what progress has been made since the previous review and to develop goals for achieving permanency.

      The volunteers record their findings and recommendations and submit them to the Juvenile Court Judges. The recommendations outline the goals that must be accomplished before it is safe or appropriate for the child to return home. If reunification is not possible, other permanency options are explored. Our Panel Program has received awards for outstanding community service from United Way and the DeKalb County Community Relations Commission. Participation in the panel program benefits not only children and families, but volunteers also gain useful experience and take pride in knowing that they have helped improve the life of a child.

      Role

      1. Reviews all cases of dependency youth
      2. Assists DFCS in identifying and developing local resources or services needed to promote permanency for children and families;
      3. Panels meet with parents, children, relatives, DFCS case managers, foster parents and other professionals to determine what progress has been made towards permanency;
      4. Records and submits findings and recommendations to juvenile court judges
      5. Explores reunification and other permanency options during the review process;
      6. Tracks the progress of children, families and DFACS case managers between reviews.

      Volunteer Application Packet Judicial Citizens Panel Brochure 2014

  5. Mediation
    1. Purpose and Overview

      The purpose of Mediation is to give the participants the opportunity to solve the conflict themselves with the assistance of the Mediator. The Mediator does not make any decisions for the participants but is there to help the participants come to an agreement that works for them.

      DELINQUENT MEDIATION:

      Delinquent mediation is an opportunity for the victim(s) of a crime or offense and the person(s) who committed the offense, to meet face to face. A mediator will help the parties talk about how the offense affected each of their lives. The mediators are neutral. They help people explore and negotiate their own solutions. First time court involved crimes and offenses appropriate for mediation are: school related offenses, shoplifting, and neighborhood conflicts. Please click on the following link for additional information regarding delinquent mediation.

      DEPRIVATION MEDIATION:

      Deprivation mediation is an informal process whereby people can resolve disputes between themselves without going to court. A mediator leads the session and helps the parties come to a mutual agreement rather than having a judge decides the issues. The role of the mediator is to assist the parties in their negotiations by identifying obstacles to settlement and ways for overcoming them. Each party is encouraged but not required to bring independent legal counsel to the mediation sessions. Some of the issues involved in the deprivation mediations are: visitation, family reunification, and placement of the children. Please click on the following link for additional information regarding deprivation mediation.

      Mediation Brochure 2014

  6. Programs
    1. Purpose & Overview

      The DeKalb County Juvenile Court is committed to rehabilitating the children within the community by designing and implementing programs to reduce delinquency. The programs are designed to target the current issues youth are facing in the community and work to establish character building, life skills, and assistance to parents in dealing with everyday issues. The partnership with the community along with DeKalb County Juvenile Court will serve the youth and help to create positive change in the present and future for our young men and women.

      Court Programs Brochure 2014 DJC Summer Programs Matrix 2014

  7. Teen Court
    1. Purpose and Overview

      Since 1997, the DeKalb County Juvenile Court in collaboration with the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office, has provided DeKalb County high school students the opportunity to be mentored by local judges and attorneys, learn about the legal system, and gain self-confidence and practice in public speaking, all while serving the DeKalb County community as Teen Court volunteers. Teen Court volunteers perform the role of prosecuting and defense attorney, bailiff, judge, and juvenile probation officer through a real justice program that offers juvenile offenders of minor offenses the chance to learn from their mistake without going through the traditional court process.

      Volunteer Qualifications

      • Current high school sophomore or junior
      • Recommendation of school teacher/counselor
      • Permission of parent/guardian
      • Completion of interview, program orientation and training
      • Ablilty to commit to program dates

      Volunteer Benefits

      • Improved conflict resolution and communication skills
      • Greater understanding of the legal system and judicial process
      • Opportunity to earn community service hours
      • Great addition to resume and college application

      Application Procedures

      Complete the Teen Court application and attach your most recent high school transcript or report card. The completed application and copy of most recent transcript or report card must be submitted to the Program Administrator, Mr. Jadarien L. Sanders. (emailed, mailed, faxed?)

      Selected students will be invited to attend the orientation and participate in the Teen Court program for the new school year. Mandatory orientation will be held at the DeKalb County Juvenile Court (Courtroom 4). There will also be a Swearing In and Meet and Greet with Honorable Chief Judge Desiree Peagler.

      Teen Court Schedule

      Month/YearDate
      October 2014 October 8, 2014
      October 22, 2014
      November 2014 November 5, 2014
      November 19, 2014
      December 2014 December 3, 2014
      December 17, 2014
      January 2015 January 7, 2015
      January 22, 2015
      February 2015 February 4, 2015
      February 18, 2015
      March 2015 March 4, 2015
      March 18, 2015
      April 2015 April 1, 2015
      April 15, 2015

      2014 Teen Court Volunteer Application Teen Court Brochure 2014

  8. T.I.M.E.
    1. Purpose and Overview

      The Mission of the Tutoring, Intervention, Mentoring and Employment(T.I.M.E.) Program is to positively impact the academic, social and economic well-being of DeKalb County youth and provide them access to healthy youth development that will ultimately lead to the completion of high school and progression into post-secondary education thus making a successful transition into adulthood.

      Education

      The T.I.M.E. program was designed by DeKalb County Juvenile Court to fill a vital service gap in the community. This initiative was also developed to ensure that DeKalb County youth 15-18 years of age who are currently enrolled in DeKalb County Schools, graduate from high school and progress to post-secondary education, employment and/ or advanced occupational skill training opportunities.

      Training

      It is important that all youth possess skills in order to compete in today's job market. Participants attend leadership development courses; job training and work readiness, MS Office Suite, typing classes, and all must complete a Customer Service Certification class.

      Services

      Participation in the T.I.M.E. program will include basic academic education, assisting with the financial aid process, scholarship searches, job readiness training, life skills, money management and budgeting, career development, personal and professional growth workshops, job shadowing, character education and mentorship.

      Activities

      T.I.M.E. hosts a number of events throughout the year to reinforce the importance of education and work ready skills such as "Dress to Impress", college tours, community service, and public speaking events.

      Upcoming Events

      TBD

      TIME Application – Over 18 TIME Brochure 2014

  9. Traffic Court
    1. Purpose and Overview

      DeKalb County Juvenile Court examined the accountability of teens and their driving behaviors and determined that youth needed to take more responsibility for their actions. As a result, Traffic Court began offering a program in which teens participate for a reduced fine. There are several components to the program: 1) Youth must attend and provide certificate of completion to a Defensive Driving course 2) Youth must complete 10 hours of community service (approved by the court) 3) Youth must submit an essay on what has led them to the court process, what their experience was like, and how it will affect their future decisions. Upon completion of the program, the youth shall have no points assessed to their license and their fine will be reduced.

      TVIP classes, fees, and schedules

      Parents and Youth may register at www.TVIP.org . Online registration is $30 and courses may be taken at various locations.

      PRIDE classes and schedules

      PRIDE classes are generally offered at the Decatur and Conyers location for DCJC youth. Registration is free but there are a limited number of spaces provided per class. This registration form will be completed the day of court; youth will be enrolled at will until all available slots are filled.

      Community Service

      Youth must complete 10 hours of community service with an approved non-profit organization. All requests for community service referrals and/or approval must be made to the Community Service Coordinator. If independent community service is performed, youth must provide the court with a letter detailing the youth's participation, dates, and duties performed on the organizations letterhead, with a contact name and number for verification.

  10. Youth Achievement Program (Y.A.P.)
    1. Purpose and Overview

      The Mission of the Youth Achievement Program is to enable DeKalb County youths to access pathways to healthy youth development that will ultimately lead to a strong and responsible adulthood.

      Education

      GED classes are held Monday– Thursday from 9 am-2 pm. Participants work with the GED instructor to prepare for the official GED test. They may also receive one on one tutoring or tutoring from one of their peers that have already experienced success in that area.

      Training

      It is important that all youth possess skills in order to compete in today's job market. Participants attend leadership development courses; job training and work readiness, MS Office Suite, typing classes, and all must complete a Customer Service Certification class.

      Services

      Each participant and their case manager completes an individual plan that enables the youth to logically take steps toward completing their educational, training, and career goals. Many goals include increasing reading and math levels, taking the pre-tests for the GED, completing a resume, completing job readiness training, and practice filling out job applications.

      Activities

      YAP hosts a number of events throughout the year to reinforce the importance of education and work ready skills such as "Dress to Impress," college tours, community service, public speaking events, and graduation.

      Upcoming Events

      ***Check back for more events!
      DateEventLocation
      June 26, 2014 College Tour Gordon College
      TBD Graduation – YAP & TIME TBD

      YAP Application 2014 YAP Brochure 2014

  11. Youth Creating Change (Y.C.C.)
    1. Purpose and Overview

      The purpose of Youth Creating Change is to divert youth ages 16-24 from further penetrating into the criminal justice system. This initiative was developed to ensure that youth enrolled will progress to post-secondary education, employment, and/or advanced occupational training.

      Eligibility
      • Youth ages 16 to 24 who live the Clarkston, Stone Mountain, Decatur, and Scottdale area
      • Youth in school and out of school
      • Youth with current or previous involvement with juvenile justice system
      Services

      Each participant will have one-on-one case management to complete individual goal strategies needed towards completing their educational and career goals. Other services offered include mentoring, academic tutoring in literacy and mathematics, job readiness and leadership development training, and record sealing and expungement.

      Certifications

      YCC focuses on certifications in high demand fields that include industries such as: Plumbing, HVAC, Phlebotomy, Welding, Electrical, and EKG Technician, and much more…

      Youth Creating Change Brochure 2014 Youth Program Application 2014

      College Tours:

      Georgia Southern University and East Georgia College June 12, 2014
      Gordon College June 26, 2014

      Business Partners

      Our current business partners consist of Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Georgia Perimeter College, Gateway to College Academy, RadiumSoft, Inc., DeKalb County School System, Thrive Youth Development, Conscious Recruiting and Kingdom Fortunes.

      Mentor Application 2014

      Occupational Training

      Occupational training is available for participants who have successfully completed portions of the YCC program. Training allows participants to gain hands on experience with employers in their particular field of interest. YCC will provide a salary for the first 8 weeks to each participant. Future employment will be contingent upon the professional relationship between employer and participant.

      Mentor Application 2014 Youth Creating Change Brochure 2014 Youth Program Application 2014

  12. Youth Diversion Program
    1. Purpose

      The Youth Diversion Program's purpose is to provide a community based alternative to the formal court process in which first time misdemeanor offenders will be held accountable and make citizens aware of the needs of youth in their community and to encourage them through training and support to address those needs.

      The primary objectives of YDP are to:

      • Provide youth accountability for their actions
      • Divert youth from further involvement within the juvenile justice system
      • Educate youth on the impact their actions have on themselves and other (i.e., victims and the community)
      • Build programs that directly respond to the community's issues of disorder, crime and violence

      YDP Brochure 2014 Youth Diversion Program Volunteer Application 2014