(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article and except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, in any case where a person under the age of 17 years is convicted of a felony and sentenced as an adult to life imprisonment or to a certain term of imprisonment, such person shall be committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice to serve such sentence in a detention center of such department until such person is 17 years of age at which time such person shall be transferred to the Department of Corrections to serve the remainder of the sentence. This Code section shall apply to any person convicted on or after July 1, 1987, and to any person convicted prior to such date who has not been committed to an institution operated by the Department of Corrections.
(b) If a child is transferred to superior court pursuant to Code Section 15-11-561 and convicted of aggravated assault as defined in Chapter 5 of Title 16, the court may sentence such child to the Department of Corrections. Such child shall be housed in a designated youth confinement unit until such person is 17 years of age, at which time such person may be housed in any other unit designated by the Department of Corrections.
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