by Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez
Just shy of two years ago, Kristy King, a self-described “non-IT person” accepted the position of JDEX Program Manager in the AOC’s IT Division. She says it’s the best leap of faith she’s ever taken. Kristy notes that she’s grown and pushed herself professionally more in the last two years than ever before, and even more than she had anticipated. Simply stated, she’s thrilled to be here.
So, what exactly is JDEX? Kristy explains that JDEX is an acronym for Juvenile Date Exchange which serves as a central repository for all juvenile justice court records statewide. It is a collaborative effort of four stakeholders: the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Council of Juvenile Court Judges, and the AOC. The goal of JDEX is to improve public safety by allowing for more informed decisions by the juvenile court system. In the past, juvenile justice records where not shared between jurisdictions.
When she first joined the AOC, Kristy was focused on testing the initial application and rolling it out. The roll-out effort is ongoing with the goal of getting JDEX in every county in Georgia. In addition to the ongoing rollout effort, Kristy has provided over 40 trainings since the spring of last year–training over 1,000 people on how to use JDEX. Kristy believes the success of the program is because JDEX is “really bringing value to the juvenile justice system.”
Kristy attended Kennesaw State University where she received her B.A. in criminal justice. Kristy is also a certified paralegal through Emory’s Continuing Education Program. Kristy has a rich and varied employment history that includes delivering the afternoon newspaper by piling 250 papers into her Honda Civic, working at the American Adventures amusement park, and most recently teaching gymnastics to 4-6 year olds. Kristy is well versed in gymnastics because she was a competitive cheerleader in high school.
After college, Kristy worked for the Cobb County Juvenile Court in various positions including: intake, probation, family treatment court, and juvenile drug court. Just prior to joining the AOC, Kristy worked closely with Cobb County Juvenile Court Judge Amber Patterson on a special project called “Child Court” which is a program devoted to ensuring that children aged 0-3 in dependency cases are receiving the services they need.
Kristy’s extensive background in the juvenile court system allows her to “bridge the gap between the juvenile court world and IT” to build the most useful application for all involved. She likes being in the field training and getting users excited about JDEX. Even though it is a big change and adds to workloads, Kristy gets great feedback from those in the trenches thanking her for JDEX and the training. Kristy is very appreciative of the AOC leadership and the support that she has received here. She has felt especially encouraged by IT Division Director Jorge Basto.
Kristy has been married for thirteen years and has two sons age 7 and 3. She loves to be outdoors with her family–hiking, playing in creeks, and being on the trails at Kennesaw Mountain. Kristy also loves to run and doesn’t hesitate to load her boys in a jogging stroller. She’s done three half marathons and runs the Peachtree Road Race every 4th of July. Kristy is an avid reader. She especially likes crime fiction. Kristy’s love of the outdoors finds her often in her garden and enjoying yard work.