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Secretary's Message

November 14, 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

Florida Faith Symposium

On November 2-3, DJJ staff members attended the 2016 Florida Faith Symposium in Orlando where Florida Governor Rick Scott joined local and state government officials, faith and community-based leaders, stakeholders, advocates, providers and others. Governor Scott discussed the importance of faith in his life and why he supports the work being done by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council.

Also speaking were DJJ Deputy Secretary Timothy Niermann and Alice Sims, assistant secretary, Office of Prevention & Victim Services. DJJ presenters included: Bethany Gilot, human trafficking director; Elizabeth Phillips, statewide reform coordinator and Jeannie Becker-Powell, director of policy and programming, Office of Probation and Community Intervention. Shadai Simmons, a member of the Florida Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group, also spoke during a youth panel, which included youth who have been involved with the DJJ and DCF systems.

Others taking part at the symposium involved: DCF Secretary Mike Carroll; Tallahassee pastor, Dr. R.B. Holmes, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church; and Paula White, a pastor, teacher, author, evangelist, inspirational figure and popular television personality.

Also featured were: gospel recording artist and minister Omega Forbes; Jonathan Evans, chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys and Christopher Duffley, a blind and autistic, Christian musical artist.   

Remember FJJF when you shop Amazon

The Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation (FJJF) teamed up with Amazon Smile last year to provide a convenient and philanthropic way for you to support FJJF every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop through AmazonSmile at http://smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 5% of the purchase price to FJJF.  Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations.

Simply go to smile.amazon.com anytime you want to make a purchase on Amazon and search “Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation” in the search box as your charity. The proceeds from your purchase will come to FJJF and benefit our children who are in need. Add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.  It’s convenient, charitable and the perfect way to shop for the upcoming holidays.  Thank you for supporting an important cause and making a difference in the lives of our youth! 

Probation Update

Circuit 19 CPO Wydee’a Wilson was a featured speaker at the PACE Center for Girls of the Treasure Coast on October 27. CPO Wilson shared her life story with the young ladies as a part of the “Speakers Bureau” at PACE, which was organized by the St. Lucie County School System. The Speakers Bureau gives middle and high school students the chance to envision a positive future and prepare for the journey. At each school, a different community role model shares their life story with the students, including barriers faced and challenges experienced as children.

CPO Wilson also moderated a G.A.A.P. (Gaining Appreciation by Adjusting Perspectives) Conversation on November 5 between law enforcement officers and community members during the Forum on Race Relations & Inclusion in Port St. Lucie. The conversation was very interactive as participants learned more about their similarities with law enforcement than their differences. The main theme of the conversation centered on respect and fairness.  The forum was hosted by the City of Port St. Lucie with a mission to bring the people of the community  together to listen, share concerns, learn, plan, act and report on the progress in maintaining and enhancing the promise of being a City for ALL people. 

Circuit 8 probation staff participated in the Unity Walk in downtown Gainesville on October 19. The walk was presented by the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding and featured a march and rally for peace that started at the Gainesville Hippodrome. The event included over 300 community members including our JPOs who sought to bring awareness to the serious issues of bullying and violence. The march ended at the Bo Didley Plaza in front of the Alachua County Courthouse where all “kept in step,” with a flash mob dance by all participants.

The AMIkids facility in Volusia held a graduation ceremony for four probationary youth on October 25. All of these young men had their own challenges and struggles but in the end worked hard to complete their goals of graduating the program and finishing their court-ordered sanctions.

The staff at AMIkids is dedicated to guiding each youth toward excellence in every aspect of their lives, so they are able and confident to make positive life changes, not only for the present, but also for their future.

I love sharing stories of DJJ staff going above and beyond the call of duty, and the following story is no different. Recently, a father was talking to JPOS Sabrina Wallace-Jordan and JPO Linda McCray about his daughter who was under their supervision. He spoke glowingly about her progress at home and in school and mentioned to our probation officers that he wanted to reward his daughter with a trip to the fair. However, he had limitations walking around and asked our officers if they would be able to assist. With the help of SJPO Geneva Davis, our three officers took the young lady to the fair to assist with this very positive reinforcement. The young lady was overwhelmed with excitement and was grateful to our officers for allowing her to go.

JPOS Sabrina Wallace-Jordan, SJPO Lori Jamison and JPO Linda McCray attended the annual Career Day at the University of West Florida in Pensacola on October 27. The trio set up a DJJ information booth and engaged with students about career and internship opportunities with DJJ. They expressed the importance of early intervention with our youth and how it can truly turn their lives around, which not only positively impacts our youth but their families and the community as a whole.  

Congratulations to Reverend Larry White from the St. Paul AME Church in Marathon who was recognized by the Department for his work with youth and families in Monroe County during the 2016 Florida Faith Symposium.

Pastor White has initiated a vocational training group and will begin a STEP program in the Upper Keys this upcoming January. He is looking forward to implementing other resources that will provide services to at-risk and delinquent youth and their families.

Shown Left: Deputy Manager Marcus Smith, Assistant Secretary for Prevention & Victim Services Alice Sims, Pastor White, Faith Network Coordinator Craig Swain and Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann

In October, Eckerd Kids Project Bridge had a field trip to the Tampa Supervisor of Election’s Office for Hillsborough County. This field trip finished out the civics and government series that explored topics including the Constitution, amendments, the Bill of Rights, the branches of government, elections, voters registration, and why vote.

This trip occurred just in time for the extended voter’s registration. Project Bridge GED student, Adrian, met with Gerri Kramer for a behind-the-scenes tour of the office and warehouse. The tour included a look at the media room where results will be posted during election night, the machines that count the ballots, the processing area for the vote by mail ballots, and the warehouse where all the supplies were packed and ready to be shipped to the voting precincts. The tour ended with a question and answer session in the board room. At the end of the discussion, our eighteen-year-old student wanted to register!

Prevention Update 

The Florida Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group (SAG) held their quarterly meeting in Orlando October 31-November 1. I was pleased to join SAG Chair Dwayne Maddron and Assistant Secretary for Prevention & Victim Services Alice Sims in delivering the opening remarks for the meeting. During the meeting, Robert Listenbee, administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), praised the Florida SAG members for their hard work and for becoming a national model. I was also honored to receive from Mr. Listenbee a certificate of appreciation signed by President Obama.

Federal Grants Manager Yvonne Woodard provided updates on federal sub grants and federal correspondence and compliance. Theda Roberts, statewide civil citation coordinator, provided an update on civil citation. SAG member Cheryl Massaro provided an update on the Flagler County Youth Center. Randi Taylor with the Office of Probation and Community Intervention delivered a presentation on evening reporting centers. 

Since her recent appointment, Florida State Advisory Board (SAG) Member Cheryl Massaro attended her first meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ) in Washington, D.C. At the meeting, attendees discussed compliance core requirements, funding and other compliance issues. They also discussed “Juvenile Sex Offender Registration and Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA),” which is Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. SORNA provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States.

The state of Florida was complimented for their data collection and availability of this information online as well as the SAG’s Emerging Leaders and DMC Committees. As a FACJJ committee member, Ms. Massaro’s jurisdiction comprises California, Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. Her term will last from October 2016 to September 2018.

Delinquency Prevention Specialist Dionne Anderson attended the Purple Door Breakfast, hosted by the Harbor House of Central Florida, in recognition of October being observed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Harbor House, which was being honored for providing 40 years of service, provides tools and resources that help over 5,000 survivors of domestic violence a year and helps build the courage to break free from abuse.

The breakfast included a keynote speech from Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and a personal survival story from a survivor of a domestic violence relationship. Members of the Orange County community, elected officials, and law enforcement agencies came together to support the Harbor House for their continued service to the community.

Detention Update  

GOC II Conrad McCray from the Office of Detention Services Headquarters staff traveled to the Broward RJDC last week for a supervisory training for officers in the South Region. The purpose of this training was to educate our JJDOS on policy and procedure as it relates to the operation of a secure detention center.  Topics included organizational skills, planning for the unexpected, the importance of documentation, the impact of effectively communicating with peers and superiors, and supporting our workforce.  This face-to-face training also provided opportunities for supervisory staff to network with other supervisors.

Staff Development and Training Update 


Part of expanding leadership development options through Staff Development & Training, a PILOT supervisor training was launched in collaboration with Valencia College’s School of Public Safety in Orlando. Nineteen staff from various parts of the agency participated.  This intense five-day training focused on learning tools to assist in being a supervisor. Topics included such areas as:  Customer Service in Government, Ethical Leadership, Inclusive Excellence, and Servant Leadership. Staff who participated felt that the training provided many strategies to assist them upon their return to their respective areas. Some of the comments about the training included:

“This continues to be the most beneficial and relevant training I have attended.” 

“All courses were needed and I learned many golden nuggets to take back to my facility.” 

“I really enjoyed this training class.” 

“I think the diversity amongst the comrades were very great.  It gave me a chance to see what others go through within their unit as well as learn methods of how others deal with their direct reports.”  

The next supervisor training will be in April 2017.  We are also excited to announce that trainings around coaching and managers will be coming soon!   

Blended Academy Train-the-Trainer Workshop

Staff Development & Training’s Learning Consultants and Curriculum and Evaluation team met at the Florida Public Safety Institute on November 7-9, 2016 for a Blended Academy Train-the-Trainer Workshop.  The participants: Adrian Mathena, Dennis McClure, Paul Britten, Michelle Woodcook, April Walker, Shandricka Dowdy, Ann Marie Campbell, Michele Hancock and Christi Stua studied the new blended academy material and were responsible for delivering teach-backs to demonstrate understanding and delivery skills.  The blended academies will begin during the first quarter of 2017.  The next train-the-trainer workshop will take place January 2017.