A 23-year veteran of the Hall County Sheriff's Department has been named chairman of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.
Avery Niles, currently the warden at the Hall County Correctional Institution, will serve as chairman until June 2014.
"I am greatly honored to be a member of the Department of Juvenile Justice board and am even more privileged to serve as its chairman," said Niles. "I appreciate the support of the board and look forward to serving them in the next two years in this capacity."
Niles was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal as a board member last July. He was elected by the board Thursday.
"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," said L. Gale Bucknor, DJJ commissioner. "We look forward to making real changes in the lives of our young offenders with the help from a smooth transition of board leadership ahead."
Niles and his wife, Charlene, are Clermont residents.
Before taking over as warden, Niles served as the commander of the Hall County Detention Center. His experiences in Hall County have given him the tools to excel in his new position.
"It's a blessing to be a part of a growing agency like the Hall County Sheriff's Office," Niles said.
"I've worked for several years in juvenile investigation, and I have a good understanding of working in that facet of my career with the youth of this county. I feel like with that, and my training, background, knowledge and abilities, I think I'll be productive board chair."
He is the third vice president of the Georgia Prison and Warden's Association and a trustee of the Gainesville College Foundation Board.
Ed Risler previously held the position, but stepped down this month after Deal named a new board appointee to fill his expired term.
Niles will serve as an advisor to the department's board and counsel to the commissioner. He represents the board's 9th Congressional District.
The board meets once a month. Niles will remain as warden for the correctional institution.