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

Secretary's Message

October 17, 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

Hurricane Matthew Response 

I want to extend a special and very heartfelt thanks to a great group of DJJ employees who stepped up in a big way during Hurricane Matthew. On October 4, the state instituted the Florida Emergency Information Line or FEIL which was set up to answer questions related to the hurricane, including response and recovery resources. On October 7, eleven employees from DJJ served as operators for the FEIL from 6:45 p.m. until 1:15 a.m. the next morning. During this time, Hurricane Matthew was located just off the coast of Jacksonville and Florida’s citizens had many questions. During their shift, each of our eleven operators answered an average of 25-30 calls for a total of around 300 calls. The FEIL closed on October 9 and throughout the duration of the storm handled over 7,000 calls statewide. The employees that worked the FEIL are pictured left and include: Lyn Avery, Meg Bates, Jean Becker-Powell, Lytha Belrose, Tracy Bradley-Weldon, Sandi Coker, Rosellyn Hutchins, Holly Queen, Melissa Wright, Carmen Reyes and Marybel Cortez.

Thank you all for your selflessness and for helping out your fellow Floridians during such a difficult time! 

I am pleased to share the following letter that was sent to Major Dennis Driscoll at the Southwest RJDC from JJDO II Chris Tipton from the St. Lucie RJDC. As you might know, youth and staff from St. Lucie were evacuated to the Southwest RJDC during Hurricane Matthew. Tipton said that the treatment they received at Southwest was stellar and that all of the officers who were also evacuated agree with his sentiments. The letter reads:

Dear Major Driscoll,

I wanted to take a moment and send you a sincere “Thank You” for the hospitality that was shown to us by yourself and everyone in your facility.  From the moment that we arrived, the Southwest RJDC team extended their hands and their help and did all that they could to make us feel welcome.  I know that everything happened very quickly and we were headed your way on extremely short notice.  That reason itself makes everything that you did for our youths and staff even more amazing!  Our youths had a wonderful setup on G-Mod and were able to sleep and eat comfortably in their own area.  The staff had plenty of sleeping room in your MP and Training rooms.  We were also able to take hot showers and freshen up in the Intake restroom that your staff had cleaned and prepared for us!  The best part was the food!  Your team made sure that we were fed and fed like royalty!  Your kitchen staff prepared an awesome breakfast for us the morning that we arrived and the fried chicken dinner was just as amazing itself!  SWRJDC did not let us do without anything at all.  If we needed anything at all your team was right there to make sure that we received it!

I cannot say enough good things about your team at Southwest.  Captain’s Pagano and Goss, Transportation Coordinator Pat Thomas all of your Sergeants’ and Officers were more than accommodating and willing to help us with anything that we needed.  It was tough enough for us to leave our families and our facility on short notice, not knowing what we were walking in to.  Your warmth and hospitality made our transition so much easier.  We were able to return to our facility and tell them about all the great people we met at Southwest RJDC.  We sincerely thank you all from the bottom of our hearts and we all appreciate what you and your facility did!


Chris Tipton, JJDO II

JPOS Harold Garves and SJPO Kim Myers from Circuit 6 took time to donate blood on October 4 in preparation for the possible shortage of blood due to Hurricane Matthew. Judging by experience from the last hurricane, both employees decided to be proactive rather than reactive. Thank you both for taking the time to donate blood and for thinking of others in preparation for the storm!

Staff Announcements

Please join me in congratulating two of our staff members as they assume new roles within the Department.

Billy Starke

Billy Starke has been appointed as regional director of residential services for the DJJ North Region, working in the Northeast portion of the region.  Billy has 30 years’ experience with the State of Florida, working in juvenile justice before the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice was formed in 1994.  All of his experience has been in residential services.  Billy began his career as a group treatment leader (GTL) at Duval House in Jacksonville and held numerous positions with the Department:  GTL supervisor, assistant superintendent, superintendent, program monitor, contract manager, and senior management analyst in the DJJ Northeast Region.

Billy earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Richmond in Virginia.  As a representative for DJJ, he graduated from the Florida State University’s Certified Public Manager program.  Additionally, he was recommended to attend the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s leadership program that begins in January. 

Billy has been active with young people in the Jacksonville community most of his adult life.  He has worked with youth through the Jacksonville Recreation Department and other community agencies.  He resides in Jacksonville with his wife of 26 years and has a daughter and a son.

Congratulations Billy on this well-deserved promotion!  Billy can be contacted by email at Billy.Starke@djj.state.fl.us or by phone at (904) 346-5160.

Lori Jernigan

Lori Jernigan has been appointed as deputy regional director of residential services for the DJJ North Region, working in the Northwest portion of the region.  Lori began her career working with troubled and at-risk youth in 1994 after receiving her bachelor’s degree from the Florida State University with a major in psychology and a minor in criminology.  Over the last 22 years, Lori worked in the private provider community, and for the Department in Probation & Community Interventions and in Residential Services. 

In the residential setting, Lori began her career as a direct care staff member in a co-ed residential program that provided long-term psychiatric care to youth who suffered from severe emotional and behavioral challenges.  As someone fresh out of college, she learned as much from the kids as they did from her.  Lori worked her way up through the ranks from case manager to unit manager. 

She came to the Department in 1998, continuing her journey of working with troubled and at-risk youth while working in a high- and maximum-risk program located in the Northwest portion of the state.  In that job, she provided case coordination services for youth with problematic sexual behaviors and for youth in a general population.  Lori’s experience in the provider community was for a brief period where she worked as the case management supervisor at the Department’s first residential program for conditional release/transitional-living.  As the first person hired in this contracted program, she was involved in staff recruitment and training, as well as the development of many of the program’s operating procedures. 

In 2002, Lori returned to the Department as a juvenile probation officer in the 14th Judicial Circuit where she was later promoted to senior juvenile probation officer.  During her time with Probation & Community Interventions, Lori developed strong working relationships with community partners; members of the judiciary, prosecutors, public defenders, and law enforcement; school personnel; and community youth and their families.  She maintains many of those relationships today. 

Six years later, Lori was offered an opportunity to return to Residential Services as a program monitor and contract manager for the Northwest Region.  In 2013, she was promoted to the position of SMA-II for the Northwest Regional Office of Residential Services.  During this tenure, she was responsible for administrative oversight of the area’s spending, as well as general and facility services activities and supervising monitors in the area.  During the last three years, Lori accepted every new challenge as an opportunity for learning and growth, looking upon those who walked the path before her as her mentors. 

Congratulations Lori on this well-deserved promotion! She can be contacted by email at Lori.Jernigan@djj.state.fl.us or by phone at (850) 394-7634.

Crosswinds Youth Services Site Visit and Circuit 18 Advisory Board Meeting 

On Thursday, I spent the day in Brevard County visiting our one of our programs and meeting with stakeholders on a variety of issues.  Early in the day, I visited Crosswinds Youth Services in Cocoa.  Crosswinds Youth Services is a DJJ funded youth shelter that serves runaway and homeless youth in the community. The organization opened their first emergency youth shelter in 1974 and expanded in 2002 to include a wide range of intensive residential and community based services.

While at Crosswinds, myself along with our Statewide Civil Citation Coordinator Theda Roberts met with law enforcement leaders and stakeholders from Brevard County regarding civil citation. The meeting included a discussion on the civil citation process as well as the benefits of civil citation issuance for minor offenses as an alternative to arrest. 

It was a great meeting and I’m thankful for the continued partnership with all of our Brevard stakeholders as we work together for the betterment of the community. 

On Thursday afternoon, I attended the Circuit 18 Juvenile Justice Circuit Advisory Board (CAB) meeting. I had the opportunity to discuss DJJ’s reform initiatives, the importance of civil citation, and engaging with youth and families through programs like Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS) and Stop Now and Plan (SNAP). The circuit advisory boards and their members serve as community advisors to DJJ and work closely with agency staff to plan for services that meet the identified needs of juveniles and families within the local community. It was an informative meeting and I want to thank the board members again not only for their role on the board but for all they do for their community. 

National Bullying Prevention and Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The month of October is both National Bullying Prevention and National Domestic Violence Awareness Month – two issues that I know can have a potential impact on the youth in our juvenile justice system. To coincide with both of these national awareness campaigns, Governor Scott has designated October 2016 as both National Bullying Prevention and Domestic Violence Awareness Month and has encouraged all Floridians to recognize these important issues. To read the Governor’s proclamations, please click use the following links: Domestic Violence Awareness and  National Bullying Prevention

2017 Prudential Productivity Awards

DJJ employees are among the most innovative and creative people in all of state government as they continue to seek more productive ways to perform their jobs more efficiently. I am excited to announce that the 2017 Prudential Productivity Awards, presented by Florida TaxWatch, provides an excellent opportunity to recognize the innovative ideas and resulting cost savings accomplished by enterprising DJJ employees.

Nominations are now open and forms for the 2017 Productivity Awards can be accessed at http://ppa.floridataxwatch.org/. Please take a few moments today to review the application and instructions and nominate a deserving DJJ employee or team of employees.

Last year, our agency received a total of three Prudential Productivity Awards across several different program areas. Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes, so don’t hesitate to look over the award criteria and decide what you or your team has done to make our agency run more efficiently. 

Nominations can be downloaded and completed off-line prior to submitting an on-line nomination. The site opens October 1 and will close on November 15, 2016. To ensure that all nominations are accurate and properly reviewed, DJJ will not approve nominations submitted after November 8, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.  No new nominations will be accepted after that time.

Nomination packets and questions regarding nominations should be directed to Patrick Fargason at Patrick.Fargason@djj.state.fl.us or 850-717-2712. 

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.

Please visit the Giving Nexus page 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.

Probation Update

On October 5, Judge Suzanne Bass held her 2nd Annual Youth Resource Fair in the Duval County Courthouse. 

Those in attendance had a wonderful time picking up goodie bags of information, learning about resources, meeting and talking with peers.  Working at the DJJ table this year from the probation office were Assistant Chief Tim Denton, JPO Supervisors Allie Bishop and Rachel Hillegass, JPOs Valentina Wiltshire, Alaina Carroll-Brazeau, Rebecca Mitchell, along with Prevention Specialist Andria George and JDAI Coordinator Vicki Burke.  The DJJ staff in attendance were already looking forward to next year and participating in this wonderful event alongside Judge Bass. 

JPOs Tricia Alvarez and Salita Algere-Mason represented DJJ during the annual Pasco County Community Night Out on October 4. Both engaged with the community by providing helpful information designed to educate and help families navigate resources should their child make contact with our agency.

They were joined by a multitude of community providers including PACE Center for Girls, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, and the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, to name just a few.  This was a large scale family engagement event helping to bring together the community through education, conversation, and a little bit of fun.

Reform Specialist Sandra Pinkney also participated in National Night Out festivities with the Tampa Police Department on October 4. The Tampa Police Department invited the public to attend its annual National Night Out celebration at four locations throughout the city. Citizens throughout Tampa celebrated their partnership with police to improve neighborhoods and decrease crime.

Pictured at West Meadows Community Center are Lt. Samuel Rojka (TPD) and Reform Specialist Sandra Pinkney 

Circuit 9 probation staff held their first annual Faith Forum on September 23 at the Holden Heights Community Center in Orlando. The purpose of this forum was to address the needs of youth and their families in the community and how to build stronger and safer communities through partnerships with the DJJ Faith Network, communities, stakeholders and agencies.

The forum consisted of a panel discussion that was headlined by our Central Region Director Cathy Lake as well as ACPO Johnny Alderman and Assistant Superintendent for the Orange RJDC Roosevelt Butler. The panel focused on statewide reform initiatives, mental health issues, and the partnership with our faith community.

In addition, Reform Specialist Melinda Wesley-Nelson provided information regarding the Roadmap to System Excellence and Civil Citation, Prevention Specialist Dionne Anderson talked about prevention services and Faith Network Coordinator Craig Swain gave an overview of the DJJ Faith Network including how to join.

Awards were also given out to the following individuals for their outstanding service helping the youth and families in our care: Rev. Larry Williams, Regional Juvenile Detention Center Chaplain Sandra Gordon, Rev. Brenda Hailey, Rev. Gloria Houser, and Circuit 9 Reform Specialist Melinda Wesley-Nelson.

Paxen Community Connections in Pasco County hosted a Chili Cook-Off packed full of good food and spooky decorations. Over the last few weeks, the youth at Paxen Pasco have been brainstorming recipes, prepping the ingredients, setting up for the event and decorating the facility for some Halloween fun.

Three teams came together to provide three very different chili recipes including a venison chili called, Oh DEER, that ain’t my Momma’s Chili, an Italian sausage chili called the Notorious P.I.G., and a white chicken chili called Chili Fu Masters. Everyone enjoyed the different varieties, but in the end it was the Venison chili that won the contest by just one vote. Paxen Pasco is so fortunate to have so many JPOs that not only support the program collaboratively with the youth’s cases but reinforce the life skills that are taught at the program on a daily basis.

JPOS Harold Garves, SJPO Kim Myers, Special Projects Coordinator Jill Gould, JDAI Coordinator Karin Popkowski, Reform Specialist Adrienne Conwell and Delinquency Prevention Specialist Pat McGhee from Circuit 6 attended the Wesley Chapel High School Teen Summit on October 12 in Pasco County. The summit was opened by Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, who discussed public safety and body cameras. After the introductions, the sheriff’s deputies held a Bridging the G.A.A.P. conversation which consisted of twelve youth and twelve law enforcement members. The conversation topics included understanding the role of police officers and how our youth view law enforcement officers. The summit featured 184 participants, 114 of those were youth.

Probation staff in Circuit 16 held their fifth session of the Success Thru Empowerment Program or STEP. This meeting was focused on health education as the program welcomed Key West City Commissioner Clayton Lopez as its guest speaker (shown left). Billy Davis from A Positive Step of Monroe County was also in attendance as well as many parents and youth from the community. The STEP program in Circuit 16 continues to meet monthly and its next meeting will center on the “Power to Overcome.”

Prevention Update

Recently, Delinquency Prevention Specialist Andria George and Statewide Circuit Advisory Board (CAB) Liaison Patrice Richardson attended the Circuit 5 CAB meeting in Oxford. The meeting featured guest speaker CPO Rick Bedson from Circuit 5 who spoke about the use of civil citation. He cited an article from the Miami Herald that discussed the economic and social effects of civil citations on the community and youthful offenders. Chief Bedson said he endorses the use of civil citation for youth who commit nonviolent misdemeanors. He also mentioned that youth may be less likely to reoffend, which results in the state having to spend less tax dollars, and mentioned the subsequent community service and programs that accompany a civil citation. Chief Bedson also emphasized the fact that once these offenders enter the system many of their future opportunities are lost, such as the serving in the Armed Forces.

Also discussed during the CAB meeting were community engagement activities, EPICS, cross over kids, upcoming community engagement events, Back to School Drives, Fund Raisers, 2017 Comprehensive Plan and 2015-2016 Annual Report.

Prevention Specialist Andria George also recently attended a free shoe giveaway in Jacksonville. The event was sponsored by all-purpose running back from the Jacksonville Jaguars Denard Robinson, who was also a former quarterback at the University of Michigan. Robinson is a player with a huge heart and has partnered with the Ribault Family Resource Center to provide shoes for students who are serviced by the resource center. Robinson donated the shoes through his foundation, The Shoelace Foundation. According to his website, the goal of the Foundation “is to promote positive social change in neighborhoods where children lack resources needed to become successful. Through charity, mentorship, literacy incentives, health and social education, The Shoelace Foundation plans to positively impact the lives of children in need." 

Robinson said he decided to donate the shoes because he comes from a low socioeconomic background and knows first-hand what it means for families who lack certain material necessities. Now that he has the means, he gives back to the community where he works. It was a wonderful atmosphere with bright-eyed children waiting to receive their new shoes.

Robinson also brought along a few teammates. When asked why they took time to join him, the resounding theme was one of support for their teammate. Joining Robinson were Corey Grant and T.J. Yeldon Jr. (running backs); Rashad Lawrence (wide receiver); Jonathan Cyprien (strong safety); Richard Ash, (defensive tackle); and Tony Washington (wide receiver). The students spoke with the athletes, took pictures, and got autographs.

Sharon Banks, director of the full service center, facilitated the event, and even brought Robinson a birthday cake. An event such as a shoe giveaway provides youth with something to hope for and the understanding that there are family, friends, and strangers, who care deeply about them.

Notably, there were no members of the press in attendance. Robinson simply wanted to do something kind for kids who come from a similar background to his own, and that makes him a class act.

Federal Assistant Gloria Gatlin took part in the Pamper Me Pink Party which was sponsored by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Tallahassee Alumnae and FSU Kappa Epsilon chapters on October 8 at the Bethel AME Church in Tallahassee. In support of October being observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Gloria donated a custom made wreath for the Pamper Me Pink Silent Auction. All proceeds benefit MAKING STRIDES Against Breast Cancer. This community event welcomed all ladies to join in the fight to “Knock Out Cancer” by learning more about the disease, hearing from encouraging survivor speakers, and learning about healthy lifestyle choices.  

The PACE Center for Girls of Alachua County received the proceeds from a new café and bakery in downtown Gainesville on September 20. Patticakes opened a scrumptious café/bakery in downtown Gainesville.  Among the many delectable treats on their menu, patrons had the option to purchase their specialty cupcake, Mocha Cappuccino Crunch – a portion of the proceeds were donated to PACE Alachua. Staff, board members, volunteers, interns, and supporters poured into Patticakes on the day of their grand opening to satisfy their philanthropic sweet tooth; so much so until the Mocha Cappuccino Crunch supply was completely depleted!  Staff was so grateful for all parties that partner in their mission to change the lives of “at-promise” girls in the Alachua area. 

The Patticakes grand opening was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gainesville and Alachua County dignitaries. Those attending were able to sample coffees and breakfast goodies. For more information on their grand opening, please read the following article from Gainesville Downtown.

Residential Update

The RAM-C Program (Residential Alternative for the Mentally Challenged) is a non-secure residential program for males, ages 9 to 18, which is operated by Twin Oaks Juvenile Development, Inc., in Madison County.  The residents have three different living areas that each is referenced by a specific name, which inspired a special mural that was painted with the help of the youth.  Each mural is strategically placed in the day area of the dorm as a visual reminder and constant inspiration that motivates and encourages each resident to achieve “Loyalty,” to be “Reliable,” and to have “Trust” daily.

Loyalty is the name of one of the dorm areas.  The youth enjoyed assisting the art therapists with creating or capturing a moment that depicts unity, support, and allegiance to one another.\

Reliable is the name of a second dorm.  The youth were enthused to create a great silhouette of two people depending on one another.  The persons are trustworthy, loyal and responsible.

Trust is the name of the third dorm area.  The youth were very excited to assist with creating a simple but powerful theme that describes their dorm.  This picture depicts having faith, certainty, assurance and reliability that no man is left behind.   

Shown below are the youth who participated in painting the “Reach for the Stars” mural that is in the cafeteria.

This past summer, the students of JUST (Juvenile Unit for Specialized Treatment), a non-secure program for boys, ages 13 to 17, which is operated by Twin Oaks Juvenile Development, Inc., in Liberty County, participated in fishing, camping, football, and special educational events like a fieldtrip to Wakulla Springs and working with Farm Share.

The JUST residents work hard and enjoy what they do every month at the Farm Share events, where they help pack and prepare the food that is provided free of charge to community members and to community groups. 

Farm Share is a large-scale food distribution and charitable packing warehouse that works to end hunger by specializing in obtaining donated fresh fruits and vegetables from Florida’s farmers.  Farm Share then distributes that food to low-income families in need of fresh, nutritious food.  

Recently when Clinical Director Lakisha Likely went to check on a youth’s progress in school at Kissimmee Youth Academy (a secure program for males, ages 14 to 21, which is operated by Youth Opportunity Investments, LLC, in Osceola County), she was pleased to learn that he is earning straight As in all of his college classes.  You see, this youth is currently enrolled at Valencia College where he is taking three courses for nine credit hours in developmental reading, college math, and U.S. government.  He enrolled in August with a declared major in general studies.  When he graduated high school, he was barely getting by in his courses.

Shown left is the youth studying his college course work.

Florida Director for Youth Opportunity Investments Joseph Nixon recollects his first encounter with this young man, “I recall walking through the Dolphin mod and seeing a kid with his head buried in a math textbook.  I asked him his name and what he was doing.  He stated his name and shared that he was preparing to take college classes while he was in the program.  I didn’t doubt the young man, and I was excited about his confidence but more importantly his attitude towards education.  You see, he was studying without being told to do so.  He had a plan and a goal.”

“To see him studying every night and putting in the work is very encouraging to the other youth.  It is such a pleasure to see a young man fulfilling his dreams.  He is putting himself in a more advantageous position for his future than he was before he arrived.  I’m just happy that I had an opportunity to be a part of something so special.”

Mr. Nixon then went on to share that folks underestimate young people in commitment but he exclaimed boisterously, “You should never judge a book by its cover!”

Special thanks to Osceola School’s Guidance Counselor Yolanda Marti for helping this youth get enrolled in classes and helping him pursue his dreams.

Detention Update 

Last week, Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center (PRJDC) partnered with OneBlood to host the Big Red Bus at the facility. Staff members including Major Joseph Seeber, Fiscal Assistant Jo Ann Snyder, Food Service Director Christy Harris, and a number of other PRJDC staff and teachers donated blood.  In total 13 employees donated, which will in turn provide needed blood for 39 cancer patients.

The Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center (BRJDC) had a special visitor last Thursday, when Eugene Brown stopped by the facility. Eugene Brown’s remarkable story was captured in the major motion picture “Life of a King” starring Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding, Jr.  Mr. Brown spent 18 years in federal prison but was able to turn his life around to help others avoid the pitfalls he and many other young adults face. In 2002, Mr. Brown started the Big Chair Chess Club, a non-for profit organization which helped get a group of teenagers of the streets using the game of chess.

Prior to Mr. Brown’s visit, the youth at BRJDC were able to watch the movie of his life story, and during his visit, had the opportunity to speak with him and even play a game of chess. Mr. Brown’s visit was fun, educational and truly inspiring.  Thank you to the teachers and detention staff that facilitated and participated in this visit. 

Ten young ladies from the Volusia RJDC participated in the first VSAFlorida art class of the fall. All ten of the young women were approved for this art class by maintaining good grades and citizenship in their classes. The girls created and decorated Halloween trading cards and really enjoyed the activity.  VSAFlorida’s vision is to create a world in which the arts are universally accessible, and they do that by conducting art education programs in schools, community centers and DJJ facilities. 

Recently the Okaloosa RJDC held a gathering to celebrate several of their employees who were recently recognized. The staff at Okaloosa has dubbed themselves the “Team Okaloosa All-Stars,” and I am proud to share their accomplishments here.

Pictured left is Maintenance Manager Alex Cochran who was recently named the Support Worker of the Year for the North Region and the honor was well deserved. Alex always goes above and beyond the call of duty and his attention to detail is impeccable. Alex is pictures with Superintendent Ariel Veguilla

The Okaloosa RJDC recently promoted three of its employees. Pictured below are Lieutenant Kelvin Walker who was recently promoted to Shift Commander. Kelvin has been with the Department for 13 years. Michael Henry was promoted to Sargent, and Lieutenant Davenor Brown was also promoted to Shift Commander. Brown has over 18 years of experience with the Department. Their leadership and experiences are a priceless asset and what helps to make Okaloosa shine.

In addition, Staff Assistant Elsie Beck, pictured below with Facility Training Coordinator Cortez Bell celebrated her 13th anniversary of dedicated service to the Department. Elise has been extremely dedicated and works vigorously for her fellow employees at Okaloosa.

All five of these employees are great role models to our youth and staff and their hard work and dedication are a great representation of the Department. 

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.

Register here now to take advantage of this great deal!