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Secretary's Message

April 15, 2019

Department of Juvenile Justice’s Weekly Letter

Welcome to our weekly letter, with the latest on what’s going on and what the team is doing across the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. I hope you will take a moment to read about the ways our DJJ staff, providers, and partners are working to improve the lives of Florida’s youth and families and how we are working to make our communities even better.

Please keep sharing your great work, successes, and accomplishments both on and off the clock in serving the youth, families, and communities touched by DJJ. Your stories inspire us all to do more. So, send your good news to news@djj.state.fl.us or call (850) 921–5900 by Thursday at noon.

Sincerely, 

Secretary Simone Marstiller

 


 

Staff Announcements and Kudos

Congratulations to Our Newly Certified Juvenile Justice Probation and Detention Officers!

DJJ has hosted several graduations over the past few months and we would like to honor all of our recent juvenile justice probation and detention officers for all they have accomplished. These officers will work with our youth either in the community or in our detention centers around the state. Congratulations to all who have made the commitment to serve Florida’s youth and families, we are proud to have you as part of the DJJ team!  

Juvenile Justice Detention Officers

 

Broward College:  April 2019

Broward College JJDOs - April 2019

Class Motto:  Be Prepared. Take the Lead. One Unit. One Team.

 First Row: Savon King, Teverls McMurtry, Dranoel Flowers, Cassandra Williams, Kevin Hilaire, Arva Wilburn
Second Row: William Kirkland, Louis Cambrone, Marc Reighard, Robert Rollins, Denise Cannon, Learning Consultant

 

Florida Public Safety Institute:  April 2019

Florida Public Safety Institute Juvenile Justice Detention Officers - April 2019

Class Motto: In to Learn, Out to Serve. We Make the Difference.

 Row One: Dion Kendrid, Tyler Lee, Alexandria Ferrer, Mark Shim-You, Lauren Walton, Shandrika Cuyler, Danielle Ford, Monica Boyd
Row Two: Isidor Parisien, Jayquan Hargrove, Hakiem Dawkins, Christopher Asencio, Yamire Johnson

 

 

 Hillsborough Community College:  March 2019

Hillsborough Community College Juvenile Justice Detention Officers - March 2019

Class Motto: Individuals united to educate and motivate our youth for their future.

Row One: Sierra Mitchell, Margie Feliciano, Katie Meadows, Jessica Chanelo-Bier, Cassie Hudson, Summer Lloyd
Row Two:   Kayla Hoffstetter, Christian McClelland, Jontae Murphy, Shameeka Cole, Ashley Jackson
Row Three:  JohnHenderson, Nathan Cummins, Kevin Nicholson, Sonya Brooks, Deirick Spaulding
Row Four: Bruce Livingston, Jeffrey Haslam, Justin Noriega, Joshua Jennings, Steve Bruster, and Instructor Artavia Parrish

 

 

Valencia College:  March 2019

Valencia College Juvenile Justice Detention Officers - March 2019

Class Motto: Different Backgrounds, One Purpose.

 Row One: Peggy Roberts, Hugo Monteiro, Reginald Wright, Randulyn Wright, Derek Tatro, Monika Sirianni
Row Two: Janell Samuda, Tevon Jones, Vernon Collier, Jonathan Snow, Phillip Smith, Adam Ferguson, Corey Berman

 

 

Juvenile Justice Probation Officers

 

Florida Public Safety Institute:  April 2019

Florida Public Safety Institute Juvenile Justice Probation Officers - April 2019

Class Motto: Taking Strides to Change Lives.

Row One: Davina Alston, Sierra Sullivan, Edward Williams, Arlesha Millines, Tiffany Coronado, Shelby Campbell, Nicole Supsic, Erica Cruz, Ashley Ball, Armoni Clarit, Chelsea Mayor
Row Two: Bryon Russell, Stephanie E. Solano, Dakota Holt, Paula Williams, Aquanda Thomas, Kaitlin Hollo, Tashana Grimsley, Karen Curtiss, Eureka Morris, Barry Carrigan
Row Three: Keyanna Harris, Shaloam Grizzle, Philip Rogers

 

 

Florida Public Safety Institute: February 2019

Florida Public Safety Institute Juvenile Justice Probation Officers - February 2019

Class Motto: Striving to make a Difference. One youth at a Time.

Row One: Faith Milfort, Shina Jean-Baptiste, Ihesha O’Neal, Daniela Gonzalez, Meisha Kellyman
Row Two: Zashariya Wright, Shana Bullard, Kenya Clark, Yakira Davis, Athalie Parrott, Heather Tate, Rachelle Auguste, Alicia Herrero, Natarish Bacon, Lauren Babcock
Row Three: Andrea McAnally, Jessica Madril,  Jadore’ll Avant, Darrius Felder, John Malfe, Byron Irume, Troy Campbell Tiffany Charles, Cassie Peak, Ashley Johnson


 

Circuit 5 Chief Probation Officer Randy Reynolds and the entire Circuit 5 team would like to wish Juvenile Probation Officer Judy Muller a happy retirement. Ms. Muller has demonstrated exemplary service with the Department for over 22 years. She has dedicated her career to providing compassion, dedication, and professionalism to the youth and families she has served.  She will be missed by her co-workers, but we wish her the best on this new chapter in her life.  Those who know her know they can catch her “playing her next gig” throughout the county. Best wishes and congratulations to JPO Muller!

JPO Judy Muller and CPO Randy Reynolds

JPO Judy Muller and CPO Randy Reynolds

 


 

Congratulations to Operations Specialist Sherell Cummings who was recently named Detention Services March Headquarters Employee of the Month. Sherell has been a great addition to the HQ team and is very deserving of this honor.

Assistant Secretary Dixie Fosler, Operations Specialist Sherell Cummings, and SMA Matt Hefelfinger.

 


 

SD&T Hosts Detention Curriculum and Academy Re-Organization Workshop

Detention Curriculum and Academy Re-Organization Workshop

A collaborative meeting took place with representatives from the Office of Staff Development and Training (SD&T) and Detention Services to crosswalk the current Juvenile Detention Job-Specific and Blended Academy curricula and the facility operating procedures for Detention Services. The meeting included the transition plan to include the reintegration of the Blended Academy with the job-specific.  A special thanks to the following subject matter experts for their participation in this very productive workshop: Denise Cannon,  Duane Pace, Reginald Allen, Kiva Hagans, Shandrika Dowdy, Christi Stua, Forrest Hallam, April Walker, Christina Nall, Kevin Housel, Joseph Glick, Shana Jerry, Ayo Hinkson, Artavia Parrish, Kenny Reeves, and Cina Wilson Johnson.  


 

Residential Programs Host Karaoke Night and Family Day

Dove Academy recently hosted a karaoke night for the youth. Dove Academy, a non-secure program for girls which is operated by Twin Oaks Juvenile Development, recently hosted a karaoke night for the youth. Each girl was given an envelope with an invitation a few weeks prior to the event. Youth were required to meet certain criteria, such as completing all assigned tasks, in order to attend. The girls were able to socialize with peers and sing their hearts out. Drinks and desserts were served as well. Special thanks to Shift Supervisor Tiffany Harrison and Transition Specialist Vallis Dunn for organizing the event!

 


 

Crestview Youth Academy’s quarterly family day, with a Mardi Gras theme. Crestview Youth Academy, both a secure and non-secure program for boys operated by Youth Opportunity Investments, came together for the program’s quarterly family day. The Mardi Gras-themed event was filled with games, beads and festive decorations, which made for great photo ops! 

Everyone enjoyed the menu of the day that included jambalaya, a Mardi-Gras staple! This family day event had a great turnout with over 50 people in attendance. The youth were incredibly excited to see their families and everyone had a great time!

 

 

 


 

 

Melbourne Center for Personal Growth boys at Melbourne Airshow.The Melbourne Airshow was a great success this year with a large crowd in attendance.  Youth from Melbourne Center for Personal Growth, a non-secure program for boys operated by AMIKids, had the VIP treatment at the airshow, thanks to event sponsor and AMIKids board member Don Herndon.  Some of the highlights from the show were the F-35 Lightning II Demo Team, F-18 Super Hornet aerial show, Army Special Ops Black Daggers parachute team, Vietnam era helicopters giving rides to attendees, and WWII B-25 bomber Panchito.

The youth were given a personal lesson in WWII history and were allowed to sit inside the B-25 bomber. Northrup Grumman had a special modified motorcycle, the Air Force Reserve had a virtual reality flight simulator, and the local rescue unit was on hand to talk about their latest rescues. The annual airshow is an opportunity for youth to not only get a history lesson, but to look at other avenues of employment.

 

 


 

Center for Success and Independence (CSI) – Ocala Family Day Center for Success and Independence (CSI) – Ocala, a non-secure program for boys, operated by Youth Opportunity Investments(YOI), held their inaugural Family Day. Board games were placed throughout the room for families to utilize. A special meal was prepared by YOI Regional Director Karl Knighten which included spaghetti, garlic toast, tossed salad and dressing with a refreshing cup of raspberry sweet tea! There was also a delicious cream cheese cake.  The room was decorated with beautiful balloons, napkins, centerpieces, and colorful table cloths.

Families had the opportunity to meet the education staff and CSI-Ocala staff and were provided updates regarding their child’s progress in the program. Everyone in attendance had a terrific time and are looking forward to the next family day event.

 


 

 

BYTC youth at Miami Youth FairAt Broward Youth Treatment Center (BYTC), operated by Youth Opportunity Investments, many of the youth are provided with the opportunity to go on outings to various locations in the community. BYTC staff took a few of the youth to the Miami Youth Fair for an amazing time filled with games, rides, and junk food. It made for great bonding experience and the young men handled themselves very well. The BYTC staff are very proud of the progress they have made so far.

 

 


 

KYA Facility Administrator Mr. Manny, accepting bowl of fruit.Kissimmee Youth Academy (KYA), a secure program for boys operated by Youth Opportunity Investments, was recently recognized by the Osceola County School Education Department. The Osceola County School Principal, Ms. Combs and her staff appreciate the hard work and dedication that Kissimmee Youth Academy staff put forth to assist the youth. The KYA staff are dedicated to working jointly with Osceola County School educators to provide the best environment for the youth.  Kissimmee Youth Academy’s staff was presented with a bowl of assorted fresh fruits, which was accepted by Mr. Manny, the program’s assistant facility administrator. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

FSU Head Track and Field Coach Bob Braman and Alice SimsAssistant Secretary for Prevention Alice Sims attended the Florida State University (FSU) Women’s Track and Field Reunion in Tallahassee, where she and other female alumni were recognized for their outstanding performance and contributions in track and field during the 2019 FSU Relays. This recognition was part of a year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Women’s Athletics at FSU.

During her career at FSU, Assistant Secretary Sims was a two-time national champion in the 4 x 100-meter relay and a 7-time All-American.  She is still in the record books at FSU after competing over 40 years ago. Last year, she was inducted in the Florida Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Following her career at FSU, Assistant Secretary Sims has been very involved within her local community, serving as the co-founder of the Winning America’s Youth (WAY) Ministries, a community-based organization dedicated to meeting the spiritual, social and physical needs of young people and their families. The organization has served thousands of local at-risk youth since its inception in 1994.

 


 

Statewide Community Engagement & Outreach Coordinator Verla Lawson-Grady and Circuit 2 Reform Specialist Michael Byrd volunteered at the recent Farm Share event at the Tallahassee Community College (TCC) to help feed local college students. 

The student community is huge in the Big Bend and many college students experience financial hardships. With this in mind, Pastor Gary Montgomery of Livingstones International, a DJJ Prevention provider, and Sam Carter of Carter’s Corner, teamed up with Farm Share to provide much needed food to local students at TCC. 

Students received fresh produce and shelf-stable goods, free of charge.  Over 300 college students took part in the event and were exceedingly grateful to receive the much needed food.

Statewide Community Engagement & Outreach Coordinator Verla Lawson-Grady and Circuit 2 Reform Specialist Michael Byrd volunteered at the recent Farm Share event at the Tallahassee Community College

 


 

Chief Probation Officer Receives Award From Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods presented CPO Randy Reynolds with an Eagle Eye Award for the excellent collaboration and teamwork between our agencies in Marion County.  Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods presented CPO Randy Reynolds with an Eagle Eye Award for the excellent collaboration and teamwork between our agencies in Marion County.  Sheriff Woods stated DJJ is an extremely important part of team, and he hopes other areas have the same respect and relationship that Marion County has. Sheriff Woods also stated that he and the rest of the MCSO are grateful for the monthly intel report that shows youth reintegrating back into the community from residential programs, current absconders, current failure to appears and current prolific juvenile offenders. Sheriff Woods went on to say that he appreciates the list of priority youth and the information provided to help increase supervision and keep the community safer.

 


 

Circuit 9 Probation Units 105 and 104 recently hosted a local canned food drive. Circuit 9 Probation Units 105 and 104 recently hosted a local canned food drive. Several probation youth donated canned goods, bottled water, and other non-perishable food items to help their community. Donations were delivered to United Against Poverty Orlando, a local non-profit organization which distributes food items to local food pantries. The two units were able to gather over 60 cases of water, over 600 canned goods, and other non-perishable foods. In addition to helping the community, the youth also earned community service credit towards their court-ordered community service hours, while also participating in a prosocial activity for the community.

 


 

Circuit 16 Probation held their first Family G.A.A.P. session in partnership with the Police Explorer’s program at Key West High School.  Circuit 16 Probation held their first Family G.A.A.P. session in partnership with the Police Explorer’s program at Key West High School.  Mike Rogers with Key Bridge, Inc. did an amazing job facilitating the event and engaging youth and law enforcement in the conversation.  This event allowed for discussion between youth, their parents/guardians, and the Key West Police Department.  The Circuit 16 team works closely with Key West High School in multiple capacities and appreciates their partnership to make this first Family G.A.A.P. session a success!

 


 

Several youth from AMIkids Greater Ft. Lauderdale recently embarked on a college tour Several youth from AMIkids Greater Ft. Lauderdale recently embarked on a college tour through Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Washington D.C.! The youth visited Bethune-Cookman University, the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Howard University. All participating youth expressed their excitement and gained perspective about their future opportunities.

 

 

 


 

Create your life graphicCircuit 16 probation staff, youth, and community stakeholders came together for their annual Youth Success luncheon to recognize nine youth for their achievements and successes.  Circuit 16 was also able to honor three community stakeholders for their dedication to DJJ and the youth within the Keys community.  The PEP (poster, essay, poem) contest theme was “Create Your Life” and four youth were recognized for submitting excellent works of art.  Circuit 16 looks forward to the Youth Success luncheon each year and is proud to have another successful event with our youth and stakeholders!

 


 

Circuit 20 Assistant Chief Lut Clarcq providing an overview of our agency to the League Of Women Voters Circuit 20 Assistant Chief Lut Clarcq provided an overview of our agency to the League Of Women Voters in Fort Myers during their annual meeting. She provided educational information on the agency’s prevention efforts, community and intervention services, and transitional re-entry services.  She was joined by Juvenile Assessment Director from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Bill Naylor to discuss the civil citation program and by a representative from Florida Rights Restoration Coalition..

Several days later, Assistant Chief Clarcq, along with Juvenile Probation Officer Supervisor Tracie Foss, presented an overview before the League Of Women Voters in Naples. The team was joined by Deputy Chief Assistant State Attorney Paul Poland and Assistant Public Defender Mykisha Atisele.

 

 

 


 

Duval Regional Juvenile Detention Center recently hosted a “Breaking of Bread Together” event for youth and their families at the center. Duval Regional Juvenile Detention Center recently hosted a “Breaking of Bread Together” event for youth and their families at the center. The nine youth who participated in the event were able to decorate their rooms for their parents. Attendees enjoyed an evening having dinner with their parents and celebrating .

Two of the selected youth who did not have parents in attendance were sponsored by Sergeants Lovely and Richburg and Corporal Christie so that they could participate in the event!

  


Staff from Southwest Regional Juvenile Detention (SWRJDC) Center received a thank you card from Sephora Saint Pierre, a senior who attends Florida Gulf Coast University. Ms. Saint Pierre mentored several times at the center and praised the staff on their support and inspiration for the next chapter in her life. Ms. Saint Pierre wrote to the staff, “You have supported me throughout my undergraduate career and will now be the fostering agent towards my graduate degree. “I would not be where I am today if it was not for people like you who have invested in my future and success.”


 

The family of a released youth sent the staff at Orange Regional Detention Center a thank you card. The family thanked the staff for their support and the kindness they showed to the youth during the youth’s stay at the detention center.

Thank you card to Orange Regional Detention Center


 

Youth from Marion RJDC using solar cookers to cook smores using the energy from the sun. Youth from Marion RJDC using solar cookers to cook smores using the energy from the sun. Youth from Marion RJDC using solar cookers to cook smores using the energy from the sun.

The youth at Marion Regional Juvenile Detention Center recently learned about energy conservation during school. They used solar cookers to cook smores using the energy from the sun. The youth enjoyed this project, but loved eating the smores more.


 

Escambia RJDC youth creating God's Eye decoration.This month, Escambia Regional Juvenile Detention Center and Escambia County School Board have adopted the Rosewood Healthcare Senior Living Facility and will be providing decorations for the clients’ rooms. This week, the youth made the  “El Ojo De Dios” better known as the God’s Eye, which is a spiritual and votive object made out of yarn. The students learned about the presence of the God’s Eye in various cultures as it relates to the geographical location throughout the world. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The youth at the Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center recently received letters of encouragement from the Florida Prison Ministries. Juvenile Detention Officer Shawn Cooke provided the youth haircuts while they enjoyed snacks donated by detention center’s advisory board. While enjoying their snacks, the youth read the letters, which included an inspirational story and words of support meant to encourage the youth.

Youth from Orange RJDC reading letters of encouragement from the Florida Prison Ministries. Youth from Orange RJDC reading letters of encouragement from the Florida Prison Ministries.

Also at Orange RJDC, the League of Women Voters sponsored a Smash Burgers and fries dinner and brought along a special guest speaker, Professor Paige Coley from Valencia College’s Sound and Music Technology Program. Professor Coley teaches audio sound recording and post production audio. The youth were interested to hear Professor Coley talked about careers in this field and asked many questions.

The League of Women Voters sponsored a Smash Burgers and fries dinner at Orange RJDC, and brought along a special guest speaker, Professor Paige Coley from Valencia College’s Sound and Music Technology Program.


 

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