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Secretary's Message

November 16, 2012

Wansley Walters

Dear DJJ team members:


Welcome to my weekly letter. Please allow me to share some recent news and announcements.

FIRST ROADMAP TOWN HALL MEETING A SUCCESS: I am deeply grateful to the more than 100 members of the public who attended the first Roadmap Town Hall meeting in Tallahassee Thursday night. Stakeholders, employees, civic leaders and parents from Leon, Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla counties contributed valuable comments to shape the path of juvenile justice reform. Many attendees voiced their support for the Roadmap and, in particular, DJJ’s focus on front-end services to prevent and divert youth away from the justice system. There was widespread approval of the strategy to realign resources to strengthen community-based intervention services. We will follow up with selected attendees to explore their suggestions and concerns in greater detail.


The next Roadmap Town Hall meeting will be in Gainesville on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at Santa Fe Community College from 6 – 8 p.m.  You may click here to register. Meetings throughout Florida are planned for November and December. Please visit the Roadmap Calendar of Town Hall Meetings for dates and locations. Please visit the DJJ Roadmap to System Excellence webpage often. It contains useful information about the progress we are making, video interviews on juvenile delinquency and reform and letters of support.

 Making a point at Thursday's Town Hall Meeting 

Making a point at Thursday’s Town Hall meeting


CONGRATULATIONS: The following team members graduated today from basic officer training at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Tallahassee. They completed 240 hours of training to become certified as a juvenile justice detention officer or juvenile justice residential officer.

Terry Baxley, Okaloosa Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC)
John Breen, Southwest RJDC
Tracey Brown, Volusia RJDC
Walter Brown, Duval RJDC
Waynettia Caldwell, Duval RJDC
Sherell Dancy, Volusia RJDC
William Donnelly, Palm Beach RJDC
Joey Guzman, Okaloosa RJDC
Antione Jones, Pensacola Boys’ Base
Wesley Jones, Volusia RJDC
Crisell Lopez, Volusia RJDC
Lawrence Martin, Leon RJDC
Wallace Parker, Escambia RJDC
Courtney Preston, Monroe RJDC
Jonathen Rodriguez, St. Lucie RJDC
Ito Simon, Marion RJDC
Mark Stringer, Alachua RJDC
Kimberlee Taggart, Alachua RJDC
Carolyn Tillman, Leon RJDC
Janet Vincent, Okaloosa RJDC
Neil Wade, Marion RJDC
Shaneka Wallace, St. Lucie RJDC
Jamia Webb, Palm Beach RJDC
Shimeki Wright, Duval, RJDC


Encouraging DJJ employees to put kids first at today’s basic officer training graduation in Tallahassee

RESIDENTIAL KUDOS: On Saturday, Nov. 10, students from AMIkids Big Cypress assisted with a marine science research project conducted by Dr. Pat O’Donnell of Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Every month Dr. O’Donnell conducts a series of data collection trips in three of the small bays adjacent to the Ten Thousand Islands area. Four students from Big Cypress collected samples of sea life from the bottom of Pumpkin Bay. 

AMIKids Big Cypress assisting with marine science research project

Big Cypress collected samples of sea life

The students used a trawl net to drag specimens from the bottom of the shallow bay. The contents were dropped into a seawater-filled tub on the boat. The boys sorted the algae from the animals and identified, measured and counted the marine animals pulled up in the net. They found blue crabs, mud and hermit crabs, squid, sea stars, puffer fish, filefish, lane snappers, anchovies, lizardfish, batfish, pipefish, shrimp and other sea life. The students had a “whale” of a time, and at least one is now very interested in becoming a marine biologist!

CERTIFIED PUBLIC MANAGER (CPM) CLASS:  Please join me in congratulating the following employees selected to participate in the CPM program.

Teresa Milan, Office of Prevention and Victim Services
Gary Mogan, Administrative Review Unit
Kimberly Ward, Office of General Counsel
Jill Wells, Probation and Community Intervention
Wydee’a Wilson, Probation and Community Intervention

The CPM program is a nationally recognized training and development program to groom public servants for leadership by incorporating the latest theory into practical training. It requires a two-year commitment and students must successfully complete assignments, exams and projects as well as attend quarterly classes. It is currently the highest level of professional development at DJJ, and is offered through the Office of Staff Development and Training. Although only five employees could be selected, many outstanding candidates were considered. Please join me in wishing the CPM participants great success as they study alongside students selected from other Florida state agencies.  

RESIDENTIAL KUDOS: Congratulations to Therman Gullette, Linda Lynn and Garrett Tucker and Natosha Faul for successfully completing training and becoming certified as residential contract managers and program monitors. 

Therman Gullette, Linda Lynn, Garrett Tucker 

(left to right) Therman Gullette, Linda Lynn and Garrett Tucker

PROBATION KUDOS: Last month, Probation staff from Circuit 9 (Unit 103) and the Oaks Community Invention Program’s staff and youths participated at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in downtown Orlando. Each youth received six hours of community service for participating in the event for a total of 78 hours. DJJ Unit 103, under the leadership of Juvenile Probation Officer Supervisor Abby Anderson, coordinated the event which allowed some of our probation youths to provide community service while learning about breast cancer.   

DJJ IN FAMU PARADE: On Saturday, Nov. 10, DJJ employees were honored to march in the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) homecoming parade. Thanks to FAMU for inviting DJJ to be part of this time-honored tradition and to the Office of Prevention and Victim Services who for organizing DJJ’s participation in this festive event.

FAMU Homecoming Parade 

(left to right) Thomas B. McNamara, Brent Musgrove, Marcus Smith and Eugene Morris march in the FAMU Homecoming Parade

As we approach Thanksgiving, please remember that have much to be thankful for. I wish all employees a safe and enjoyable holiday!



Wansley Walters



PS: Please send any noteworthy or newsworthy items for consideration in my weekly letter to Communications Director C. J. Drake at cj.drake@djj.state.fl.us or call 850.921.5905. Submissions are considered on a space-available basis and may be edited for clarity and length. Thank you for your cooperation.