Welcome to the new DJJ Website!
Find out how to use the new site.

Secretary's Message

September 19, 2016

Secretary Daly’s Weekly Letter 

Last week was a productive and busy time for DJJ staff, our providers, and our stakeholders, as we continued our work in bettering the lives of Florida’s children and families.  I hope you will take a moment to read the stories about the accomplishments of our agency staff, our colleagues, and the youth in our care. 

As a reminder, don’t forget that I am always looking for opportunities to showcase the work you all do – on and off the clock – to enrich our 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. 


Christina K. Daly

JJSIP Rollout in Circuit 16 

Last week in Circuit 16 (Key West), the Department rolled out the Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project (JJSIP) through a series of three meetings.  Many thanks go to our hosts at the Harvey Government Center and the Freeman Justice Center–Key West Courthouse. 

Thank you to Circuit 16 Chief Probation Officer Karen Knight (shown right, addressing the community stakeholders) for organizing the three meetings and to featured speakers Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann, Assistant Secretary for Residential Services Laura Moneyham, Assistant Secretary for Probation & Community Intervention Paul Hatcher, and Director of Research & Data Integrity Mark Greenwald.  After presenting the national perspective and research foundations of JJSIP, the speakers presented specifics about implementation in Florida and data relative to Circuit 16.  In total, more than 60 stakeholders, members of the judiciary, and DJJ staff members were educated about JJSIP through these interactive question and answer presentations. 

Shown above is Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann addressing Circuit 16 community stakeholders at the Harvey Government Center during the JJSIP rollout on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

DJJ was selected as one of four states to participate in the JJSIP, a national initiative to reform the juvenile justice system by translating “what works” into everyday practice and policy.  Administered by the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, the JJSIP provides a framework for implementing best practices throughout the entire juvenile justice system.  Please visit the following link to learn more about JJSIP.

Shown right is the community stakeholders’ meeting.

Between the Community Stakeholders’ Meeting and the Staff Training on Sept. 13, Probation South Region Director Terria Flakes and Chief Knight’s staff arranged a surprise presentation for Chief Knight, commemorating her 30 years of service with the State of Florida.  Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann presented Chief Knight with a plaque and special thanks for her tireless work on behalf of Florida’s children for the past three decades (pictured left).

Detention Update

Detention and Probation Staff members in Circuit 12 collaborated to put on a birthday celebration for those youth at the Manatee RJDC who are celebrating a birthday in the month of September. The event was spearheaded by Major Terry Carter from the Manatee RJDC and CPO Virginia Donavan from the Circuit 12 probation office. 

Probation Update

The DJJ Probation office in Fort Walton Beach recently held two appreciation luncheons for their hard-working volunteers and community partners to show them how much their time, energy and support mean to the youth in our system. During the first luncheon, the probation staff honored those individuals who have given their time to DJJ. They include:

Left to Right Reba Chavis, JPOS; Amy Jamieson, Victim Impact Facilitator; Ginger Madden, State Attorney; Patty Hooper, JPO; and Brooke Jones, Public Defender. Second row- Ray Sansom, Volunteer; Carolyn Coleman, Volunteer; Jimmy James, Volunteer; and Bradley Elmore, Volunteer.  Individuals not picture are Bill Alexson, Volunteer; Lisa Reiswig, Volunteer; Patricia Sansom, Volunteer; Duane Vandross, Volunteer; Laura Rodos, Volunteer; and Jonathan Sansom, Volunteer. 

  • Amy Jamieson- Amy has been a dedicated volunteer with the Department over 15 years facilitating the “Victim Impact Panel” group every other month.  She provides our youth with the victim’s perspective and educates them about making better choices.
  • Diane Keller- Diane has been a dedicated volunteer with the Department over 10 years.  She facilitates the “Winning the Money Game” which is an eight week course that educates youth about saving money, budgeting, credit and other financial issues.
  • Carolyn Coleman- Carolyn tutors our youth as well as other youth in the community for the General Education Diploma (GED).

Left to Right: Bienvevido Delgado, Cody Volunteer; Frank Spinella, Cody Volunteer; Marty Siegel, Cody Volunteer; Betty Siegel, Cody Volunteer; Ashley Bailey, OCSO Crime Prevention Manager; Patty Hooper, JPO and Volunteer Coordinator.   Second Row Left to Right Reba Chavis, JPOS; Gary Anderson, Cody Volunteer; Edward Robbeloth, Cody Volunteer; Fred Dallas, Cody Volunteer; Ginger Madden, State Attorney; Michael Allshouse, JPO; Zachary Rodgers, Public Defender; and Bonnie Krasinski, SrJPO.  Individuals not pictured are, Alan Haberbusch, CODY Volunteer; and Ron Woodall, Cody Volunteer; Tara Frazier, SrJPO; Julie Johnson, JPO; Pat Young, JPO; Kelly Stanford, JPO; Kim Kilgore, JPO; and Sylvia Anderson, Secretary Specialist.

  • Duane Vandross- Duane provides mentorship for young men on probation and meets with them at our office every Wednesday afternoon. 
  • Jonathan Sansom, and Laura Rodos are facilitators for the “Training A Generation in Truth (TAGIT) Program”.  It is an eight-week program that educates youth on right from wrong and to guide them through the thought process of making choices.   
  • Ray Samson, Jimmy James and Brad Moore offer youth support by visiting youth in the programs and in the community.  

The second luncheon gave DJJ staff the opportunity to honor the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department Cody Volunteers (OSCD). The OSCD provides their volunteers with a care to conduct curfew checks for those DJJ youth who are on probation in Okaloosa County. The program has been going strong for over 15 years and the award was accepted by Ashley Bailey from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department. 

Pictured right (left to right): Patty Hooper, JPO / Volunteer Coordinator, Reba Chavis, JPOS, and Ashley Bailey, OCSO Crime Prevention Manager.

I am pleased to share this letter of appreciation that was sent to JPOS Fred Womack in Circuit 14 from a parent in regards to JPO Amber Gillis who has been providing care to her son and her family. The letter reads:

Good morning Mr. Womack, 

My name is Michelle and we are currently working with Mrs. Amber Gillis with probation with our son.  I just wanted to give her some kudos for her extra hard work and heart that she has poured into us.  As I'm sure you could imagine, going through a situation is very difficult when you have specific dreams that are good for your child and they decide to live a criminal lifestyle.  I believe Mrs. Gillis has made this much easier to bear as she has been very much involved even on a personal level while our family is going through this difficult time.  She is always willing to go above and beyond her normal duties while trying to make sure that we understand fully the process of the situation and being available at any time if we have questions or concerns.  

This experience with her has been such a blessing to our family as she understands that we are human, and have feelings, and doesn't treat us like we are just a number.  We are so grateful for her service and just wanted to let someone know that she is appreciated and we would like her to get some sort of recognition for that. 

Circuit 3 Reform Specialist Michelle Galloway met with law enforcement officials at Columbia High School in Lake City to discuss the utilization of the Civil Citation program at the schools in lieu of arrests. Michelle explained how this program is a “win-win” for both the youth who will benefit from not having an arrest record, as well as the community, which will save tax dollars by not having to process these youths through the already over-loaded judicial system.

Pictured left to right: Deputy Baker, Reform Specialist Michelle Galloway, Deputy Finnell and Deputy Skinner

Each August, Bay Area Youth Services (BAYS) Florida hosts their semi-annual meeting in Orlando. It is a time for the state-wide organization to come together and enjoy the camaraderie of friends and co-workers in a casual setting with good food, games, activities, and tons of learning and training opportunities.   

During this meeting, staff members are challenged to contribute to their communities in a new way.  This year BAYS Florida chose to provide support to the youth we serve - by hosting an arts and crafts supplies drive.  As care-providers, we all know how valuable it is for young people to have hands-on creative experiences. The BAYS Florida staff members really rose to the occasion, providing a plethora of art supplies including watercolor paints and paper, oil pastels, drawing pencils, art paper, acrylic paints, markers, colored pencils, glitter, and much, much more.  Enough art supplies were donated to ensure that each BAYS Florida JDAP team was able to collect a variety of supplies to take back to their offices to provide to the youth they are serving each day.   It is exciting to know that our youth are able to express themselves in free and creative ways thanks, in large part, to the generous and dedicated staff of BAYS Florida.  

Reform Specialist Sandra Pinkney from Circuit 13 and Delinquency Prevention Specialist Pat McGhee participated in a Bridging the G.A.A.P. (Gaining Appreciation by Adjusting Perspectives) conversation on September 12 at Hillsborough Children Services. The conversation featured a panel consisting of law enforcement representatives from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Temple Terrace Police Department as well as youth from Hillsborough County Children Services. The two sides worked to harbor relationships so that our youth could have a better understanding of law enforcement roles and responsibilities. I would like to thank Tina Levene (Hillsborough County Children Services), Motivational Speaker Derwick Reed (Moderator), Asst. Public Defender Rocky Brancato, Deputy Marilyn Alvarez, Deputy Chris W. Bryant, Deputy Gerald Andrews, Sgt. Evidio Rodicio (HCSO), and SPO Tandra Patterson (TTPD) for their participation. 

I am pleased to share with you the following letter of appreciation that was sent to Civil Citation Coordinator Theda Roberts from a parent in Jacksonville whose daughter was issued a civil citation. The letters praised all involved including JDAI Coordinator Vickie Burke in Circuit 4. The letter reads, in part:

Good Morning Theda: 

I am hopeful you are the right person to send this email to, if not…maybe you can direct me. You have a very solid team in Duval County. I felt compelled to send this email about a very positive experience I had with both JDAI Coordinator Vicki Burke and Teen Court Director Stacy Roberts in Duval County.

My 17year old daughter is a Senior at Ponte Vedra High School and was issued a Civil Citation for MIP of alcohol at a Jags Tailgate yesterday.  Being concerned parents, I sent the attached email to Vicki this morning after finding her name on the website.  I also would like to compliment the State for doing a very good job with providing transparency and access to key people and positions throughout the web environment.

After sending my email this morning, Vicki called my cell phone within 15 minutes.  She is an incredibly sincere and passionate individual with a genuine concern for our children’s future.  We spoke for nearly 20 minutes and I was very impressed with how she handled my questions and concerns.  She directed me to reach out to Stacie Roberts for some information on Teen Court.

However, before I had a chance to call Stacie she proactively reached out to me. My conversation with her was equally impressive and she showed the same dedication and passion for making sure our children’s’ futures are protected.

Although I am disappointed this incident occurred and would have hoped the officers could have handled this less formally, I am optimistic that we have a system working behind the scenes to ensure minor mistakes by our kids does not hinder their future opportunities. Please pass on my message to appropriate leadership.  These are very caring individuals and this kind of follow through and dedication is hard to find in today’s world.

The Circuit 18 probation office in Brevard County held a countywide meeting at Crosswinds Youth Services in Cocoa on September 2. The meeting featured several presentations from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office who spoke on personal safety and active shooter information, Parrish Fitness who talked about health and fitness, Crosswinds who gave information on their community counseling program and Bank of America who discussed financial information and debt remedy. The meeting ended with an interactive presentation on nutritional meals where each staff made their own “salad in a jar.” My thanks to Sarah Bachmaier, Susan Coufman, Holly Fernandes, Shelley Lane, Kimberly Hoff, and Susan Cobb for organizing this event.

The Reform Corner

On August 29th - 31st, Circuit 3 conducted their three day EPICS training. C5 Reform Specialist Randy Reynolds and C1 JPO Kelly Stanford conducted the training with all staff as well as Learning Consultant Christina Ash and C2 Reform Specialist Sam Lyons. The circuit will now enter the six-month training component where they will begin learning how to conduct the interventions with the moderate-high and high risk-to-reoffend youth within their circuit. Internal coaches and coders have been identified and Randy and Kelly will work with them along with the staff to assist with fine tuning their already amazing skills! Randy Reynolds commended the entire circuit on how open minded they were and the willingness they demonstrated to participate and learn. Kudos to all of Circuit 3 with special thanks to Reform Specialist Michelle Galloway and Chief Tom Witt for their unbelievable support to the model and their staff. Excellent job!

If you have exceptional Roadmap highlights you'd like to have considered for the Reform Corner, please send them to Elizabeth Phillips at Elizabeth.Phillips@djj.state.fl.us.

Prevention Update


Chief of Policy Development for Prevention and Victim Services Marcus Smith took part on August 26 in renovating a Gadsden County building where area youth will be mentored and tutored in Gretna. According to the Gadsden County Times, “After 10 years of providing tutoring in Gretna, the Shadetree Group celebrated” an anniversary. About 200 people attended the open house.

“John Francis, who volunteers with the organization, said he hopes more parents will let their children participate in the program.  Francis said renovation of the building, which is owned by Beulah Hill Missionary Baptist Church (BHMBC), began this year. He said the program’s youth participants helped with renovations by painting and cutting the grass. Some of them also helped set up the tents, tables and chairs for the event.”

The Shadetree Group, according to its website, founded in 2006 as an initiative of Killearn United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, is a ministry based in Gretna.  The group exists to affirm the dignity of the under-resourced and empower them to transform their lives and community.

Marcus, who is the Pastor of BHMBC, said the building used to be the annex of the old church, which was demolished.  Smith, who helped set up for the event, said his church partnered with Shadetree Group because both entities share the same goal of improving the community.

Assistant Secretary for Prevention and Victim Services Alice Sims and Director of Staff Development and Training Denny Clark helped to clean up debris after Hurricane Hermine on September 7 on the Southside of Tallahassee. Assistant Secretary Sims joined Governor Rick Scott, Secretary Daly, other DJJ staff and administrators who assisted debris removal in Tallahassee following Hurricane Hermine. Assistant Secretary Sims worked the clean-up effort on the Southside of town in Liberty Park. Other Tallahassee residents also pitched in to remove fallen limbs and clear mounds of debris left in the wake of the hurricane.    

Pictured above (left to right): Florida State Representative Alan Williams with Alice Sims; Alice with Denny Clark on a much needed water break.

Florida Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group member Cheryl Massaro was appointed on September 6 to the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ) by Robert Listenbee who is the administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in Washington, D.C. In his appointment letter, Listenbee wrote that Ms. Massaro will provide “much needed insights about the state of the nation outside of the District of Columbia and the federal government, and ensure that (they) are aware of what concerns states and communities most. State and local leadership is critical when it comes to designing and overseeing long-term juvenile justice reform.”

“With this appointment,” Listenbee wrote that Ms. Massaro assumes “a highly significant role conveying the FACJJ’s perspectives on juvenile justice issues to the President, Members of Congress, and the OJJDP Administrator.”

Ms. Massaro will serve as an alternate member for a jurisdiction that comprises California, Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. Her term will last from October 2016 to September 2018. Listenbee added that the work of “OJJDP centers on an evidenced-based and developmental approach to juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. This approach includes trauma-informed policies and practices.” Ms. Massaro will be formally welcomed on September 29 by OJJDP and FACJJ leadership in Washington, D.C.  

Residential Update 

A few residents of Duval Academy, a non-secure program for boys, ages 14 to 18, which is operated by Sequel TSI of Florida, LLC, were taken on a special outing by Recreation Therapist Robert Griggs (shown seated, wearing an orange shirt and sunglasses) to watch the first practice of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars team.  Several other residents assisted in a grounds cleanup activity prior to the first day of school for the children of the Smart Pope Livingston Elementary School, which can be seen in the photos below. The boys planted seeds, moved furniture, and hauled and sorted school supplies. 

Before each resident transitions home from Duval Academy, they visit Barber Chris Smith and the boys are always pleased with the outcome.  The “before” hair style is shown left below, while below center and right are photos of the hair cut in progress.

Last week, Palm Beach Youth Academy (PBYA), a high-risk program for males, ages 15 to 21, which is operated by Sequel TSI of Florida, LLC, held its first adoption event as part of the new dog therapy and puppy program.  The program’s first two puppies were adopted by a family from the Orlando area, which had previously visited the facility to meet the puppies. 

When the family returned to pick up the newest additions to their family, the students shared with them information about the vaccinations the pups had received and explained each puppy’s likes and dislikes, their diets, and theobedience training they received.  The family was extremely grateful for the work done with the puppies over the course of the past five weeks. 

The program is a partner of the Pixel Foundation, which will work with the students again when the next set of puppies is ready.  

Previously, the residents of PBYA participated in a community service activity with The Lord’s Place.  Members of the PBYA Youth Advisory Board assembled 16 “Welcome Home” toiletry baskets and wrote positive messages in cards to donate to the incoming residents of Halle Place, a new addition to The Lord’s Place organization.  Community Liaison Peggy Laguerre and Assistant Facility Administrator Shantia Daniels delivered the baskets to Halle Place, which is a new 14-bed living facility in Palm Beach County for women who were formerly incarcerated in Florida jails or prisons and find themselves without a home upon release.  The PBYA students had a great time helping assemble the baskets.  

The partnership with The Lord’s Place is collaborative and reciprocal.  Its director, Val Stanley, is a member of the PBYA Community Advisory Board and volunteers from The Lord’s Place have spearheaded the PBYA facility’s mural project.

Pictured below at Halle Place (L-R):  PBYA Community Liaison Peggy Laguerre, Director of Women's Services of The Lord’s Place Val Stanley, Client Advocate of Halle Place Neva Quintana, and PBYA Assistant Facility Administrator Shantia Daniels. Pictured at PBYA are youth who assisted in preparing the baskets.

The Wellness Wire

Below, you will find a link to the August 2016 issue of “The Wellness Wire,” courtesy of the Department of Management Services.

Volume 4 | Issue 9 | August 2016

Florida Faith Symposium

Registration is now open for the 2016 Florida Faith Symposium!

The seventh annual Florida Faith Symposium will be held November 2-3, 2016, at the Wyndham Orlando Resort in Orlando. The Faith Symposium connects conference attendees to resources, best practices, and training to enhance faith and community-based programs that serve youth and struggling families.

This event is hosted by the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, in partnership with the Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council and other statewide partners. Throughout the conference there will be more than 35 educational sessions and exhibit booths.

You can register here to take advantage of the early bird special! 

Florida State Employees’ Charitable Campaign

The annual Florida State Employees’ Charitable Campaign (FSECC) is now officially underway and the FSECC’s online giving system is open!  

In recent years, the campaign administrators have taken several approaches to reduce the administrative costs needed to run the FSECC. The campaign’s administrative costs have been reduced by more than 50 percent through additional operational changes that improve the expense-to-donation ratio. 

As a part of the effort to lower campaign costs and to increase the amount of funds distributed to participating charities, this year’s campaign will focus on raising funds through payroll deductions only. Agencies can continue hosting events that generate awareness of the campaign, but instead of accepting cash donations or checks for charities, agency coordinators can encourage employees to make pledges through our online giving system called “Giving Nexus”.

Please visit the Giving Nexus to make your pledge today. For more information on how to use the online pledge tool, click here.

Pledging is easy and is open to all state employees. The online pledge system will close on November 6. You can also find charity information and much more by visiting the FSECC website at: www.fsecc.com.