Peacing Together: Tajalyn Woodruff

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Peacing Together: Tajalyn Woodruff

There’s a new program underway through the district attorney’s office helping keep youth out of the juvenile justice system.

But for the woman in charge, it’s not just a job, it’s personal.

“It’s really important that I help these kids understand that regardless of what anybody thinks, they can do it. They can make it and be successful,” said Tajalyn Woodruff.

Woodruff is the coordinator of the school justice partnership program in Bibb County. It’s an intervention program that keeps students in school and out of the juvenile justice system after committing any number of offenses, including assault and battery.

“They are kids, and they are wonderful kids,” said Woodruff.

Wonderful kids, who may have gotten in a bad situation.

“They may be having issues with their friends. Relationships, even having broken relationships in middle and high school can be very traumatic for some of our students. As a result, their behavior may be impacted as well,” she said.

And that’s where she comes in to work with the student and their family, so that together, they can get the young person back on the right path.

“So, we’re not just making any assumptions about what this kid needs, but getting insight and information from the family so that we can determine together what steps are needed,” said Woodruff. “I come from a place that people said nobody good would come from and I’ve accomplished things that maybe people would have assumed I wouldn’t based on where I came from.”

Seeing a little bit of herself in them helps Tajalynn build a bond with her students that could one day change the direction of their life.

“I love them and believe in them. I really believe in them and I know that what we’re doing is truly an investment into their lives and their future,” she added.