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Secretary's Message

December 8, 2014

Secretary Daly’s Weekly Letter


I am sincerely grateful for the hard work and steadfast dedication to this agency from those who work in juvenile justice across the state and I am proud to share every week the great work occurring here at the Department of Juvenile Justice and that of our partners. I hope you will take a moment to read the stories about the accomplishments of our colleagues and the youth in our care. I am always looking for opportunities to showcase the work you do – on and off the clock – to enrich your communities. I know there is even more going on than what I report here, so I would like to encourage each of you to keep the weekly letter in mind and remember to share your good news. It’s easy – email news@djj.state.fl.us or call (850) 921–5900 by Thursday at noon (submissions after that time will be considered for the next week’s letter).


Christina K. Daly

The Governor’s Corner by Governor Rick Scott

As I travel the state, families tell me over and over that they care about three things:  getting a great job, a quality education, and keeping the cost of living low- and with the help of our dedicated public servants, that’s what we have focused on.

Our state and our public servants have a lot to be proud of. We’re outpacing the nation in job creation, we have some of the best teachers and schools in the country, and our quality of life is the best in the nation. Florida’s unemployment rate has dropped to 6.0 percent and we have created 679,000 private sector jobs since December 2010.

I believe Florida is the best state for business in the country - which is why companies like Embraer, Navy Federal, GE, and Mitsubishi have decided to move and expand in Florida, and create more jobs and opportunities for Florida families. The steps we have taken over the last four years have worked, and it would not have been possible without the support of Florida’s public servants.

Even though we have made great progress, there is still more work to do. Florida is on a mission – and that mission is to keep growing, and to become the very best place in the world to raise a family, to get a good paying job, to make a career, and build a great life. Let’s keep working.

Employee of the Month

I am pleased to honor Michael Endicott as DJJ’s Employee of the Month.  Michael works for the General Services Bureau at DJJ Headquarters with the responsibility of keeping our telecommunications running. While Michael does this job exceedingly well, it’s his willingness to help out with tasks outside of his designated job duties that has earned him the distinction of employee of the month.  Michael is always eager, and with a positive attitude, to help out his fellow employees no matter what it may be to ensure that the task is completed.  Michael helps to keep our Headquarters operations running smoothly and efficiently and we appreciate him for all of his hard work!

Please join me in congratulating Michael on this tremendous honor!

We are very fortunate to have outstanding employees at DJJ and they deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to our agency.  I would like to remind everyone to please keep sending your nominations for the monthly DJJ Employee of the Month Award. You can do so by clicking here

Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project

This past Thursday, two trainings were held for Circuit 17 staff on the Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project (JJSIP), a national initiative administered by Georgetown University to reform the juvenile justice system by translating “what works” into everyday practice and policy.

On Friday I gave the opening remarks for the JJSIP Stakeholders Meeting in Broward County. During those remarks, I expressed my appreciation and thanks to all of our stakeholders for their continued support for the JJSIP. I was also honored to give the introductions to guest speakers Shay Bilchik, J.D. who is Director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, and our consultant Marion Kelly.

DJJ Staff Presents at the 70th Annual American Society of Criminology Conference

On Nov. 19, a multidisciplinary team of DJJ staff members gave three presentations at the American Society of Criminology (ASC) 70th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.  Laura Moneyham, Meg Bates, Mark Greenwald, Mike Baglivio and Kathy Jackowski presented and attended the ASC Meeting.  Presentations covered the general topic of juvenile risk assessment tools. 

Mike, Mark and Meg presented “Assessing the Implications of a Structured Decision-making Tool for Recidivism in a Statewide Analysis:  A Disposition Matrix for Court Recommendations Made by Juvenile Probation Officers.” 

Along with Ira Schwartz and Peter York, Mark presented “The Application of Data Analytics and Machine Learning to Risk Assessment and Case Management:  The Florida Experience.”

Kathy, Mike and Laura presented “Examining the Risk Principle for Juvenile Offenders:  A Propensity Score Matching Comparison.” 

Mark also gave presentations on the Criminogenic Nature of School Arrests and the use of Civil Citation in Florida.  

DJJ staff had the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the country’s most well-respected researchers in the field of criminology and juvenile justice.  Shown above (L-R) are Gabrielle Chapman, Mark Lipsey, Mark Greenwald, Laura Moneyham, Buddy Howell, Mike Baglivio, Kathy Jackowski, and Meg Bates enjoying each other’s company at dinner.

Human Trafficking Update

DJJ Statewide Human Trafficking Coordinator Tyson Elliot spoke at the second annual Central Florida Anti Human Trafficking Joint Conference. The conference was sponsored by the Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (Orlando Regional Operations Center), Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, Valencia College Criminal Justice Institute, and the East Coast Human Trafficking Task Force. 

Circuit Advisory Board Spotlight

I would like to highlight John A Bolduc, Circuit 19 Advisory Board Chair as our Advisory Board Spotlight for December. Chief Bolduc has been in law enforcement for over 27 years and currently serves as Chief Executive of the Port St. Lucie Police Department.  Chief Bolduc has commanded many posts within the organization since joining the agency in 1994. One of his favorite tasks included playing the role of judge in Teen Court for the Juvenile Restorative Justice Initiative in Port St. Lucie. Always a proponent of young people in the community, Chief Bolduc felt that he could better serve as an advocate to provide a positive solution to at-risk juveniles who have entered the justice system.

The Circuit 19 Advisory Board serves the counties of Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie. Chief Bolduc serves on the Executive and Legislative Committees of the Circuit 19 Board and applies his expertise to work in the political arena to secure better opportunities in the circuit.

A graduate of the University of Florida, Chief Bolduc has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree from Barry University. He is also a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy, Session #218.

DJJ Staff Gives Back This Thanksgiving Holiday 

Federal Grants Coordinator Juliet Westmoreland, Procurement Specialist Becky Bodie, Budget Manager Kevin Cleaver, Federal Grants Manager Yvonne Woodard and Sargent Micah Youmans from the Leon RJDC prepared and delivered a Thanksgiving meal to the staff working at the Leon Juvenile Detention Center on Thanksgiving. Since staff of the detention center was not able to share Thanksgiving meals with their families, Prevention team members cooked turkey and dressing and green bean casserole, sweet potato pies, and other festive treats to thank staff for the hard work they do and to share a goodwill gesture with them on Thanksgiving Day.    

In the above photo (from left to right): left to right:  Joseph Gerstenfeld, Juliet Westmoreland, Sgt. Micah Youmas, Kevin Cleaver, Becky Bodie, Curt Mouring. Juliet’s son Jacob is standing in front at the detention center where the group delivered a Thanksgiving feast to staff.

Circuit 16 Probation held a vocational training and Thanksgiving luncheon at Fifth Street Baptist Church in Key West, Florida.  Eight youth and six adults attended the training and luncheon where the youth worked to make casseroles for the event and helped to paint the exterior of the church building, all while learning new vocational skills. The group also packed five Thanksgiving baskets which were delivered to needy families in the area. The money for these baskets was donated by DJJ staff and the Monroe County Drug Court.

Probation staff from Circuit 20 spearheaded a donation drive to help 29 needy families in Lee County have a happier Thanksgiving. Staff collected canned goods from area youth who in turned earned valuable community service hours for their help. Reform Specialist Lut Clarcq partnered with local businesses including Publix, Winn-Dixie, Target, and Walmart who provided the turkeys for the Thanksgiving drive. I would also like to thank Byron Brown, Linda Trammell, Jeff Clarcq and Toni Lesher who assisted in collecting and organizing for the food drive.

JPO Shana Feren also collected eleven turkeys and canned goods for eleven needy families in La Belle. This marks the third year that La Belle probation has held a Thanksgiving food drive. 

Eckerd’s Project Bridge held their first Thanksgiving luncheon in Fort Myers on November 21. Eckerd invited probation staff from Circuit 20 to attend and provided lunch for their staff, youth and our staff. (Pictured right)

Circuit 7 SJPO Donna Easterling distributed Thanksgiving meal boxes containing turkey and all the trimmings to 168 families in the community through the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church Social Services Ministry and Feed Flagler on November 24. Several of our probationary youth helped with the distribution process and earned valuable community services hours in the process. Donna is also the Social Service Director at the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church of Palm Coast and every opportunity there is to help someone she finds the means to do so. 

JDOs Joann Casseus, Glenda Forde, Zandria Nixon and Dawn Perkins from the Orange RJDC spearheaded the 2014 Thanksgiving food drive with the help of staff, support team, administration and the Orange County School Educators. Orange collected canned goods and other sundries which helped fill seven food boxes for needy families in the community. Youth at the facility got involved as well by helping to make signs and write letters and poems that were placed inside each of the baskets. 

Circuit 13 JPO Jimmy Close and one of the youth in his care collaborated with the Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay to give away Thanksgiving baskets for those less fortunate at the Plant City Boys and Girls Club. Jimmy and the youth assisted with unloading trucks and transporting items to the event, and as a result the youth earned valuable community service hours towards his court mandated requirements. Program Director Luis Lopez praised Jimmy and the youth for their hard work. 

Prevention Update

Delinquency Prevention Specialist Marie Boswell attended the Circuit 15 Circuit Advisory Board meeting on November 13 at the Children’s Home Society in West Palm Beach. Yvonne Mafia, Statewide CAB Liaison, was in attendance as well.  The Circuit 15 CAB has a very strong community partnership that involves DJJ Prevention Services, Detention Services, Residential Services and Probation and Community Intervention, the Public Defender’s office, the State Attorney’s office, law enforcement agencies, school district, faith community, DJJ providers, and community-based organizations. Marie provided an overview of the Prevention Assessment Tool to the CAB. Yvonne and Marie also attended the Circuit 11 CAB meeting on Nov. 14.

Marie also attended, along with JPO Audrey Strachan, the Live Sonima Tour, a collaboration with the Sonima Foundation in Miami on November 15th. The Sonima Foundation supports parents, educators, and community leaders who work to provide children with the tools they need to successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities of an uncertain future.  The organization partners with educators to deliver cost effective health and wellness programs designed to provide students with techniques, habits, and training for lifelong health and wellness.

The guest speaker was Stedman Graham, an author, public speaker and businessman known for his relationship with renowned TV icon Oprah Winfrey.

Delinquency Prevention Specialist Onazina Washington and Procurement Specialist Becky Bodie conducted a site visit on November 21 at Capital City Youth Services, a DJJ Prevention program. CCYS offers counseling and outreach services to youth and their families, and emergency shelter services to youth in crisis. They serve youth and families throughout the Big Bend area of North Florida, including Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla, Franklin, Liberty, Jefferson, Madison and Taylor counties. All services are free and confidential. All of their programs focus on reaching out and helping youth and families who have found themselves in situations beyond their control.  When youth or their families have a problem, they are there to support, comfort, and empower their clients as they deal with life. They strive to understand a family's specific needs, develop a plan, and then use their knowledge of local resources to help get things back on track. 

During their visit, Onazina and Becky also toured a new program called, The Transitional Living Program that provides residential services to youth, ages 15 to 19. In this program, youth are taught “adult/real life” skills, such as  balancing a checkbook, paying bills, building resumes, interviewing skills, healthy living/eating, etc. To be eligible, the youth must be in school, whether high school, GED or continuing education. This is a phenomenal program available to our older youth!

Among the services CCYS provides are CINS/FINS services, which are funded by DJJ through the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services. CINS stands for "Child In Need of Services" and FINS stands for "Family In Need of Services." These are interventions designed to address behaviors that put youth at risk for delinquency. Services are provided to every county in Florida by CCYS and similar agencies.

In the above photo (from left to right): CCYS President and CEO Kevin Priest; Prevention Specialist Onazina Washington and Procurement Specialist Becky Bodie

Onazina and Becky also conducted a site visit at the Palmer Munroe Teen Center (PMTC), a DJJ Prevention Program in Tallahassee. For years, the Tallahassee community has been asked to provide a place dedicated to teen youth development; a place dedicated to serving some of the most vulnerable youth; a place for teens to expand their opportunities, learn about social responsibility, civic awareness, and be gently guided through a restorative justice program.

In August 2010, PMTC opened its doors as the first teen center in Tallahassee. Collaboration between the City of Tallahassee, Leon County, Leon County Schools, and DJJ, the PMTC offers a unique blend of educational classes, workshops, programs and recreation activities for youth. The Center also serves as a safe, productive oriented haven for many area youth.

In the above photo (from left to right): Procurement Specialist Becky Bodie; Prevention Specialist Onazina Washington; and Palmer Monroe Interim Executive Director Kendra Moore.

Delinquency Prevention Specialist Marie Boswell, Reform Specialist Maria Gilhooley, and SJPO Shaniqua Franklin attended a resource fair at the Vankara School in Opa Locka to educate the community on DJJ resources and services. Approximately 100 children, parents, and residents were in attendance. Among the vendors present were the Miami Marlins who distributed book bags to the youth, Florida Kid Care who also distributed bags to the children and information to families, and The Center for Family and Child Enrichment.

In the photo, from left to right, Maria Gilhooley, Circuit 11 Reform Specialist (standing center) and Marie Boswell (right), Delinquency Prevention Specialist at the Resource Fair at Vankara School in Opa Locka.

PREA Update

Congratulations to the Brevard Juvenile Detention Center, the Orange Youth Academy and the Orange Intensive Youth Academy residential commitment programs for passing their PREA Audits!  The Audit Report can be found on The Department’s Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Web page by clicking here

Probation Update

Youth from the Paxen Community Connections Brevard in Circuit 18 prepared homemade chili as a part of their independent living skills group to combat the recent colder weather. The youth practiced following a recipe, safe handling of foods (specifically raw meats) and chopping and preparing foods. They reviewed healthy living choices using Michelle Obama's MyPlate. By using lean meat, adding low fat cheese, and crackers, they now know how to prepare a healthy, tasty, well balanced meal. The youth also discussed budgeting practices and how this meal can easily be stretched or changed up (by adding rice or topping a hotdog) to last several days. The youth were so proud of their creation and how tasty it turned out!

A youth under the direct supervision of Circuit 16 JPO Stephen Meredith has recently become a member of the Key West Civil Air Patrol. This youth was introduced to the CAP by a mentor and since becoming a member has performed above expectations while on probation. The CAP members pictured here were featured in the local paper after volunteering for the Montessori Children’s School of Key West’s annual 5k fundraiser. 

DJJ staff from Circuit 11 held their much anticipated yearly retreat on November 12 at the Amelia Earhart Park in Miami. This retreat gave staff the opportunity to interact with one another in a serene setting. Employees were encouraged to wear appropriate 70’s style outfits. Staff recognized veterans in honor of Veterans Day and also distributed tenure pins to honor employees’ years of service with the Department. 

Circuit 20 JPO Shana Feren partnered with the Cape Coral Police Department for a bike charity event on November 12. The CCPD has bikes that are either seized, founded or turned in and then releases them to our agency after 90 days. DJJ Probation staff then gave these bicycles to local youth or families that are in need. Shana picked up the bikes from the impound lot and began distributing them to the local community. 

JPOs Rachel Hillegass, Emily Guzman, Meliah Verdell along with FSS Sarah Smith and JDAI Coordinator Vickie Burke helped several young ladies from the Circuit 4 Girl’s Court and their mothers received a special make-up session at the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center in Jacksonville. Representatives from the cosmetics retail giant Sephora at St. John’s Town Center took the time to give make-up tips and suggestions to each of the girls and their mothers. The staff taught them how minimal make-up can naturally enhance their looks and boost their self-esteem. The staff took their time with each girl, explaining exactly what they were doing, so the girls could do the same.

Sephora went above and beyond by providing lunch for everyone involved as well as goodie bags specially designed for each of the girls, mothers and DJJ Staff. In addition, Family Support Services donated the services of a professional photographer to take portraits of each of the women involved. I would like to thank the team from Sephora who went above and beyond to make everyone feel so special

On Saturday, November 22nd the Project Bridge staff from Circuit 9, youth, volunteers and mentors from Saving Our Daughters came together to participate in a Fall Festival event for community service, crafts, and games. Project Bridge partnered with the Ocoee Health Care Center to give back to seniors in the local community. During the event, 12 mentors, 8 youth, and staff members created and decorated Thanksgiving mason jars filled with inspirational messages for more than 20 seniors. After the Thanksgiving crafts were completed, the youth and mentors engaged in team building activities and this was followed by a catered holiday themed lunch.

Six youth were matched during the event with mentors.  It was a great way to get everyone into the holiday spirit of giving back and being thankful.

Detention Update

Our youth from the Manatee RJDC have gotten into the Christmas spirit as they have begun to decorate the facility with holiday artwork. Even the boys at Manatee have gotten in on the action and all of the youth are extremely proud of their artwork.

The Duval RJDC recently held their 2nd Annual Fall Festival. The festival included mental health participants who educated our youth on the negative effects of drug use, medical staff that gave our youth healthy snack bags and education staff that worked with our youth in the area of service learning. Youth were able to write letters back home to loved ones using fall themed stationary. The festival gave our youth the freedom to be normal kids and have fun without the pressure of being detained. 

Six youth from the Brevard RJDC recently graduated from the SUN Program which teaches problem solving and social skills that enhance protective factors and resiliency. The ten session program, offered through a partnership with the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention, is designed to help students enhance decision-making, social and coping skills, reduce impulsivity, prevent self-destructive behaviors, and enhance feelings of self-worth and competency.  SUN Program groups create a caring environment and community climate in which adolescents can feel safe and learn to trust peers and adults.

FJJA Call for Presentations

The Florida Juvenile Justice Association (FJJA) is accepting proposals for workshop presentations for their 2015 Annual Adolescent Conference, which will be held in Orlando on May 18–20, 2015. FJJA convenes this annual adolescent conference to improve the professional skills of juvenile justice professionals and other child serving agencies who work with at-risk youth. The FJJA seeks intermediate and advanced presentations for executive, administrative, clinical and direct practice professionals.

All DJJ proposals must be approved prior to submission to the FJJA. Please provide your presentation goals and general content to Brenda Posthumus for consideration. If you have questions, please consult your supervisor. The FJJA deadline for proposals is December 19. 

SkillPro Annual Training Requirements

Annual SkillPro online training must be completed by December 31. You can get to SkillPro by clicking the logo on your DJJ computer desktop. Required online courses are linked on your My Learning page. If you have any questions, you may submit them using the Get Help! button in SkillPro. Be sure to include your name, email address and telephone number.

FORGOT LOGIN/FIRST-TIME USER: You can get your User ID by clicking “I forgot my User ID.” Click “I forgot my Password” to get a temporary password. First-time users must set up their security questions when setting a password, or they will need a SkillPro administrator to unlock their account. If your account is locked, please see your training coordinator for assistance.

Active Shooter Training 

We should all be aware that an active shooter event can happen to anyone, anywhere. Safety awareness and preparedness is paramount in saving lives in an active shooter incident.  The link below connects to a four-minute video titled Options for Consideration Active Shooter Training VideoThis video demonstrates possible actions to take if confronted with an active shooter scenario.  This instructive video reviews the choices of evacuating, hiding, or as an option of last resort, challenging the shooter.  The video also shows how to assist authorities once law enforcement enters the scene. The attached document summarizes the information in the video, which you can view by clicking here.

If you find yourself in the middle of an active-shooter incident, there are a few things that you should plan to do to make a difference in your own survival. The three things you could do that make a difference are: Run. Hide. Fight.

RUN: First and foremost, if you can get out, do so.

 If there is a safe escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.

  • Leave the area whether others agree to or not.

  • Leave your belongings behind.

  • If possible, help others escape.

  • Prevent others from entering the building and/or area.

  • Call 911 when you are safe.

HIDE: If you can’t get out safely, you need to find a place to hide. Act quickly and quietly. Try to secure your hiding place the best you can.

 Lock and/or blockade the door.

  • Silence your cell phone and electronic devices.

  • Hide behind large objects.

  • Remain quiet.

  • Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view, provide protection if shots are fired in your direction, and not trap or restrict your options for movement.

FIGHT: As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger, whether you’re alone or working together as a group, fight.


  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.

  • Improvise weapons.

  • Commit to your actions.

Remember: The first responders on the scene are not there to tend to the injured. They are well trained, and are there to eliminate the threat and stop the shooter.

What to do when law enforcement arrives: 

  • Remain calm and follow instructions.

  • Keep your hands visible at all times.

  • Avoid pointing or yelling.

  • Know that help for the injured is on its way.

As always, we want to remind everyone that we have an obligation to maintain security in our offices throughout the state, so please remain vigilant and report suspicious persons/activity to the appropriate people.