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Secretary's Message

May 30, 2017

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. As we close out the month of May, I would like to take a moment to recognize the importance of the last Monday of May, the official day when we come together to honor and pay tribute to those that made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance to the brave men and women in our armed forces that gave their lives while serving our country. May we always honor those that died protecting and defending our freedoms and keep them in our thoughts not only on Memorial Day, but every day.  

"Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it."-Unknown 


Christina K. Daly

Reform Specialist and Chief Probation Officer Statewide Summit 

Last week, I along with Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann, members of the leadership team and DJJ staff participated in the Reform Specialist and Chief Probation Officer Summit in Ocala.  This retreat was an opportunity for staff from around the state to come together to discuss principles and reform initiatives from our Roadmap to System Excellence. Discussion topics included crossover youth, Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS), and best practices from each of the circuits. In addition, Legislative Affairs Director Meredith Stanfield provided a wrap up of the 2017 Legislative Session and Meg Bates and Garrett Tucker from the Office of Residential Services gave a presentation on pre-release notifications and residential program performance summaries. 

Thank you to all of the staff that participated, for Circuit 5 for hosting our meeting, and a special thank you to Probation team members Liz Phillips and Ashley Webb for working together to put on this wonderful and informative event. 

Staff Announcements and Kudos 

It is my pleasure to announce that Mr. Toshmon Stevens has been named the new assistant superintendent at the Leon RJDC. Mr. Stevens brings a wealth of knowledge to our agency as he most recently served at the Department of Corrections as a probation officer and defense tactics instructor. Prior to his work at the Department of Corrections, he served at the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office and in the Gadsden County school system. Welcome to our DJJ team, Assistant Superintendent Stevens

Bureau of Information Technology’s Roy McCall was recently named Agency IT Professional of the Year at the 2017 Florida Digital Government Summit.  Roy was recognized for his leadership related to the Statewide Network Switch replacement project that provided significant upgrades to our network infrastructure. Congratulations Roy on this well-deserved award! 

Office of Detention Services Holds Superintendents Meeting 

Assistant Secretary for Detention Services Dixie Fosler hosted a meeting for detention superintendents last week in Tampa. The highlight of the meeting was a presentation by author Richard Finnegan, who’s book The Stay Interview: A Manager's Guide to Keeping the Best and Brightest, has revolutionized the way smart companies retain their most important talent.

Additional topics included detention goals, defining your purpose and time keeping systems. Superintendents also had the opportunity to deliver a brief presentation about their facility. 

Prevention Team Engages with Stakeholders and Youth in Local Communities 

Community Engagement Coordinator Verla Lawson-Grady and Prevention Specialist Onazina Washington, III attended the My Life Youth Empowerment event at the Palmer Munroe Teen Center in Tallahassee. At the event, teens interacted and took part in several trust exercises.  Exercise I:  Youth joined hands and passed a hula hoop around the room without using their hands.  Exercise II:  Teens were divided into two groups where participants were blindfolded and coached through a maze by their peers.  If they touched an item, they had to start over.

My Life also featured an inspirational speaker, uplifting entertainment, fun activities, information on a variety of topics important to youth and free food.  My Life is a fun and inspiring group servicing youth between the ages of 13 to 23 who have had experiences with mental health, substance abuse, foster care and/or other challenges.

Last week, Delinquency Prevention Specialist Marie Boswell attended the second annual “Goals NOT Guns” Summit at Miami-Dade College. The event was hosted by Miami City Commissioner Frank Carollo and was designed to learn from the past in order to lead a legacy of change for the future.

The Master of Ceremony was D.J. Papa Keith of radio station 103.5. Commissioner Carollo invited two survivors of youth gun violence to speak with the attendees.  In addition, 9-1-1 dispatchers, firefighters, paramedics, and police officers provided an overview of youth gun violence in the eyes of first responders. Two youth who attended summer employment programs discussed how being involved in summer youth employment positively impacted their lives. Connect MIAMI engaged the audience in an authentic connection experience.

Pictured above (from left to right): D.J. Papa Keith; City of Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo; and rapper Flo Rida. 

Attendees were also graced with a brief presentation on violence reduction from rapper, singer, and songwriter, Flo Rida.  D.J. Papa Keith announced that in addition to having a segment on 103.5 to speak with youth relative to this issue, the station is hosting a “24-Hour Cease Fire” event with the hopes of getting the message to youth: “Goals NOT Guns.”

Assistant Secretary for Prevention and Victim Services Alice Sims, Deputy Chief Marcus Smith and Chairman of the Circuit 2 Advisory Board (CAB) Donnie Read met in Tallahassee to discuss upcoming initiatives and strategies to enhance and advance the vision and mission of the CAB.  Chairman Read discussed mentoring initiatives, such as Project Connect and One Voice that match at risk and delinquent youth with a one-on-one mentor and positive role model. 

An impact study conducted by Public/Private Ventures, revealed that mentoring relationships between a responsible adult and a child, built on trust and friendship, can blossom into a future of unlimited potential.  Studies also found that mentored youth were: more confident in their schoolwork performance, able to get along better with their families, 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol, 52% less likely to skip school, 37% less likely to skip a class and 33% less likely to hit someone.

Pictured above (from left to right): Ernie Sims, Alice Sims, Donnie Read, Deb Shaw and Marcus Smith. 

The Office of Prevention & Victim Services will continue to support and collaborate with the circuit advisory board to promote and advance mentoring throughout Circuit 2 and increase membership with the Board. Others in attendance were State/Federal Director, Eugene Morris; CAB Secretary, Debra Shaw; and CAB Faith Representative, Pastor Ernest Sims.

Bureau of Information Technology Reminds You to Lock It When You Leave It

Are you Secure?

According to the DJJ Information Resource Security Handbook, an attachment to policy FDJJ-1205.30, authorized users are required to “Always lock or log off of computers when leaving your work area or when it is not in use.”

Why Should You Lock Your Desktop?

If you leave your computer unsecured, it poses a security risk to you and the Department. For example, someone could potentially use your computer in an unauthorized way such as:

  • Send email from your account
  • Tamper with and delete your files
  • Access and download confidential data

If someone does any of the above using your account because you forgot to lock your computer, YOU are responsible. The easiest way to prevent unauthorized access to your computer is to lock it when you are away from your desk.


Locking Your Desktop Is Easy!

There are two easy ways to lock your computer while using Windows. The first is to, using your keyboard, simply hold the Windows button Image result for Windows key and hit the L key. A second way to lock your computer in Windows is to simultaneously press the CTRL+ALT+DELETE buttons and then mouse click the “Lock” option. 

Office of Probation Hosts Juvenile Justice Citizens Academy

Circuit 6 probation staff and Pinellas County Consumer Protection graduated their third Juvenile Justice Citizens Academy class on May 18 in St. Petersburg. The Academy is a 10-week program designed to inform community members of the services provided by the Department of Juvenile Justice and its stakeholders. Each week, participants received an education on every aspect of the juvenile justice system including our prevention programs, the juvenile assessment center, the juvenile judicial process, residential services and our community-based stakeholders. In addition, the academy conducted a tour of the regional detention center and the probation office.

A total of 20 individuals graduated from the academy class and they are all looking forward to becoming more involved with the juvenile justice system. 

PAR Train the Trainer Class

The Office of Staff Development and Training held their Protective Active Response (PAR) Train-the-Trainer session on May 19 at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Midway. On behalf of the Department, I would like to congratulate our newest PAR Trainers pictured left. 

Third Row: Kendall Cellupica – Eckerd Kids, Jullian Smith - JAC Disc Village, Patrick Deming -JAC G4S

Second Row: Patrick Thomas – Southwest RJDC, Shandricka Dowdy – Marion RJDC, Robert Jerrell – Probation C5, PAR Instructor, Sara Driver – AMI Kids Volusia

First Row: Ayo Hinkson – Probation Trainer C9, Ericka Collins – Probation C5

Residential Programs Honor High School Graduates and Host Mother’s Day Luncheon

Two students of Duval Academy, a non-secure program for boys, ages 14 to 18, which is operated by Sequel TSI of Florida, LLC, recently graduated high school.  Each graduate was recognized in a graduation ceremony and were presented with class rings that included personalization engravings.

The future looks bright for these young men and we are proud of their accomplishments while in the program.  Their determination to achieve this educational milestone has inspired the other residents to do the same. 

Palm Beach Youth Academy (PBYA), a secure program for boys, ages 15 to 21, which isoperated by Sequel TSI of Florida, LLC, hosted a Mother’s Day Luncheon for the women of Mother’s Against Murderers Association (M.A.M.A).  The M.A.M.A organization is comprised of women who have lost a child due to violence.  Each youth “adopted” one of the M.A.M.A. mothers for the day and welcomed her with a rose and a hug before escorting her to her seat in gentleman-like fashion.

 The mothers shared their heartfelt stories of loss while youth listened compassionately. The boys lifted these special guests’ spirits with a special program they prepared that included reading their poetry compositions aloud and presenting their art posters. The youth and mothers enjoyed each other’s company and conversation over a delicious meal of oxtails, baked chicken, green beans, and rice prepared by the PBYA kitchen staff. 

Everyone later danced to fun songs and showered the M.A.M.A. mothers with gift bags filled with spa goodies, greeting cards, and a certificate of appreciation. The residents had a great time spreading a bit of Mother’s Day cheer with a wonderful group of ladies who tragically lost their own children to violent crimes.

DJJ Provider Prepares Youth for Gainful Employment 

AMIkids Tampa is proud to showcase the skills students are learning through their vocational program. Shown right is an outdoor sign which was created and decorated by probation youth at the AMI facility. Students have the opportunity to work with AMI’s vocation team to earn Safe Serve and/or NCCER certification, refine employability skills, and assist students in obtaining employment.