Atlanta Teen Rehab Program Questioned After Charges

By Crime and Justice News July 31, 2018

A private Atlanta organization that supervised a teenager now accused of murder claims an unblemished record of reforming young, often violent criminals. But just one day before police charged Jayden Myrick, 17, with killing a man shot during a robbery outside a country club, a judge revoked the probation of Myrick’s co-defendant in an earlier crime. Like Myrick, that teenager allegedly committed more crimes after leaving a juvenile detention center, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Like Myrick, Kolby Price, 17, was arrested while assigned to the rehabilitation program Visions Unlimited.

The arrests call into question decisions by Fulton County judges to assign teenagers charged with adult crimes to the organization and its founder, a self-described visionary named Gwendolyn Sands. Visions Unlimited has no office, no paid employees and no funding. Sands lacks training in social work or criminology. She has a history of financial troubles, including an bad-check arrest. Fulton’s chief judge declined to answer questions about Visions Unlimited or its supervision of Myrick. Sands’ son, Leonard Dungee, said judges knew the organization has no residential facility and does not operate around the clock. “This is a successful program and has been for years,” said Dungee, Visions’ chief operating officer. “This is the first time we’ve had this issue.” He added: “When they’re with Visions Unlimited, they don’t get in trouble.” Myrick, who is charged with killing 34-year-old Christian Broder. On July 8, Broder was shot during a robbery while he and three others waited for an Uber outside a club. He died July 20. Dungee said no one expected Myrick to live with Sands, even though she twice acquiesced to a judge’s order to take in the teen. He said Visions Unlimited never claimed it would monitor Myrick around the clock, though Sands promised the judge  “24/7 supervision.”