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Secretary's Message

April 29, 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 Charlene Wilcox for being named Hillsborough Juvenile Detention Center Employee of the Month. Congratulations to Charlene Wilcox for being named Hillsborough Juvenile Detention Center Employee of the Month. Ms. Wilcox received this honor for her dedicated service to the youth and fellow staff at the detention center. Superintendent Marcus Wilson presented her with her certificate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Congratulations to Juvenile Detention Officer (JDO) Eddie Turner who was recently named Manatee Regional Juvenile Detention Center Employee of the Month. Congratulations to Juvenile Detention Officer (JDO) Eddie Turner who was recently named Manatee Regional Juvenile Detention Center Employee of the Month. JDO Turner is well respected by both the supervisors and his fellow team members. JDO Turner has had outstanding attendance since joining the Department and continuously gives 100% every day.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manatee Regional Juvenile Detention Center would like to congratulate Corporal Phyllis Lazier for 15 years of excellent service.

Manatee Regional Juvenile Detention Center would also like to congratulate Corporal Phyllis Lazier (pictured below) for 15 years of excellent service. When her peers asked how she did it, she replied, “It’s easy when you love what you do, when you love the people you work with, and those kids back there.” “I wake up every day ready to work,” stated Corporal Lazier.

 

 

 

 


 

Congratulations to Katherine Baguidy for being named Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center Food Service Employee of the Quarter.  Congratulations to Katherine Baguidy for being named Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center Food Service Employee of the Quarter.  Katherine “Kat” Baguidy always has a smile on her face, is always dependable, and is always willing to stay until the job gets done.  Congratulations Kat!  The Orange RJDC team is grateful to have her!

 

 

 

 


 

Kudos to Circuit 20 Assistant Chief Probation Officer (ACPO) Lut Clarq who recently received a thank you letter from Janet Hoffman, chair of the Justice Committee of the League of Women Voters of Collier County. ACPO Clarq recently spoke on the League’s juvenile justice panel and Chair Hoffman expressed her gratitude to ACPO Clarq for taking the time to present information about the juvenile justice system to the participants.


 

DJJ HQ Participates in Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day

DJJ HQ Participates in Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day

Last Thursday was Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day, and DJJ HQ participated by hosting several activities designed to educate and engage participants on the various job roles and responsibilities within our agency. Some of the many activities included “Getting to Know You” Bingo with Human Resources, “How to Stay Safe” with Human Trafficking, a scavenger hunt with the Bureau of Quality Improvement, and check writing with Finance and Accounting. The kids and parents also created a child safety kit, learned about becoming a juvenile probation officer, and developed their Oreo stacking skills with the Office of Staff Development and Training. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet Secretary Marstiller and ask her questions about what it is like to be secretary of the agency.

Everyone who participated in the event had a great time, both attendees and those who helped coordinate the event. All kids left with personal DJJ photo IDs in addition to other goodies and handouts. Thank you to the Office of Youth and Family Advocacy and all the staff that helped organize and plan such a wonderful event!

DJJ HQ Participates in Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day  DJJ HQ Participates in Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day


 

DJJ Staff Attends the 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run

DJJ staff recently participated in the 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run in Leon County. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a statewide event where the “Flame of Hope” is carried by local and state law enforcement officers throughout the state during scheduled Torch Run events in their county. This annual event supports the Special Olympics Florida.

DJJ staff recently participated in the 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run in Leon County.

Pictured above: Angel Perez, Lauren Floyd, Warren Garrison, Chris Morris, Chantelle Dishman, Fred Schuknecht and Matt Hefelfinger

 


 

Residential Youth Visit Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville

Residential Youth Visit Naval Station Mayport in JacksonvilleYouth from Duval Academy, a non-secure program for boys operated by Sequel, visited Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, which houses a seaport and air facility. Naval Station Mayport’s goal is to sustain and enhance warfighter readiness. The youth were guided on a tour of the Naval Base by an on-site sailor and were able to walk aboard ships, view the command room and bay deck, and were shown how the guns are shot and their shooting distance. The youth noted each ship was named after a city or former president. One youth commented that the trip opened his mind to the military, realizing that the Navy may be a good choice for his future. Another youth stated that the trip was a great experience and he really appreciated that the sailor treated the youth with respect.

Overall, the youth enjoyed their visit to Naval Station Mayport and enjoyed learning about military services. They also really admired the character of each person on the base. Thank you Naval Station Mayport for providing such a wonderful experience for our youth.

 


 

Cypress Creek JOCC, a secure program for boys operated by TrueCore Behavioral Solutions, provided the youth with a surprise incentive. “Happy Meal Day” was awarded to youth that met all the program expectations for the week. Cypress Creek JOCC, a secure program for boys operated by TrueCore Behavioral Solutions, provided the youth with a surprise incentive. “Happy Meal Day” was awarded to youth that met all the program expectations for the week. Expectations included attending school, participating in groups, and displaying positive behaviors.

Youth were unaware that they were selected until their names were called.  The youth stated they were very appreciative for being noticed for their positive behavior.

 


 

Kissimmee Youth Academy, a secure program for boys operated by Youth Opportunity Investments, celebrated Earth Day at the program. Kissimmee Youth Academy, a secure program for boys operated by Youth Opportunity Investments, celebrated Earth Day at the program. The youth had the opportunity to learn the importance of Earth Day and went outside to plant a variety of vegetables in plastic plant containers.

They punched holes in the bottom of a Styrofoam cup for watering and used a fork as a rake to mix the soil to plant the seeds. The youth planted sweet peppers, sweet corn, lima beans, okra and sweet basil. The youth are excited to see which plant grows the biggest out of all of the seeds that were planted.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Recently, Walton Academy for Growth and Change, a secure program for boys operated by Rite Of Passage, hosted a family day at the program that doubled as a celebration of student accomplishments. Recently, Walton Academy for Growth and Change, a secure program for boys operated by Rite Of Passage, hosted a family day at the program that doubled as a celebration of student accomplishments. Rite Of Passage programs are committed to involving families in their youth's treatment program and engaging them through on-site events and celebrations.

The event kicked off with a tour of the facility and an opportunity for families to mingle with their child and meet with program staff. Families were also treated to a special meal prepared and served by Walton's culinary arts students, which included some favorites like fried pickles and stuffed potatoes.

The highlight of the day was the graduation ceremony for a student athlete who earned both his high school diploma and his Home Builders Institute (HBI) completion certificate. Staff, students and family members alike were moved by the ceremony which recognized this student's dedication and commitment to his education and this major academic achievement that will pave the way for a bright future ahead.

 


 

Probation Youth and Staff Attend Believing in Me Gala

Circuit 5 staff and the PACE Center for Girls Marion County teamed up for the PACE Marion’s inaugural Believing in Me Gala. Circuit 5 staff and the PACE Center for Girls Marion County teamed up for the PACE Marion’s inaugural Believing in Me Gala. PACE Marion Director Kimberly Vollmer-Smith headed up the planning committee, along with Circuit 5 Reform Specialist Ryan Dorenbush, Juvenile Probation Officer Supervisor Meghan Thrasher, and several PACE Marion staff members.

This night would not have been possible without the assistance from this very tightknit community. The community came together and provided dress donations, free hair and make-up sessions, and food donations from Mojo Grill and Catering. Southeast Livestock Pavilion donated the use of their auditorium and DJ Casey Heathman from KCWebb Entertainment provided the entertainment.

Special thanks to JPO Jennifer Alcantar who provided the photography for the entire event. Special thanks also go out to the Circuit 5 DJJ staff who volunteered to be chaperones: Shanyn Tatum, Amanda Dery, Kimberly Wicker, and Jazmin Filer.

Marion County Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority hosted their monthly Delta Academy for middle school-aged girls. Also happening in Marion, the Marion County Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority hosted their monthly Delta Academy for middle school-aged girls. April is their juvenile justice portion of the academy, which was held to ensure the girls are informed about the juvenile justice system. Chief Assistant Public Defender LeAnn Mackey-Barnes, Public Defender Wanda Chapman, and Juvenile Probation Officer Supervisor TiAnna Greene facilitated an informational session that included a description of their roles in the juvenile justice system, open dialogue, worksheets, interactive activities and a presentation on “Know The Law”. 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Regional Director Cathy Lake visited the Circuit 6 Pinellas County Juvenile Assessment Center where a DJJ unit operates the JAC Monday through Friday 8am-12am. In addition to their screening duties, the JAC staff visit youth in detention, cover detention hearings, and step up to assist in transporting kids home from the detention center.  

These individuals exemplify teamwork, positive spirit, and dedication. For all of their efforts, the JAC Unit staff were named Circuit 6 Employees of the Month. 

Regional Director Cathy Lake visited the Circuit 6 Pinellas County Juvenile Assessment Center where a DJJ unit operates the JAC Monday through Friday 8am-12am.
Pictured above in the front row: ACPO Joyce Lehman, Secretary Specialist Irene Jacusis, JPOS Erika Wright, and JPO Justine Hagans. Back Row: Regional Director Cathy Lake, SJPO Joshua Bell, SJPO Blaise Debreus, JPO Cheryl Stevenson, and JPO Kim Money. Not pictured: JPOs Christian Allen, Frances Brewington, and Erica Cruz.

 


 

Circuit 10 recently had a youth who was released from a residential program and placed into transitional housing. Circuit 10 recently had a youth who was released from a residential program and placed into transitional housing. The youth is 18 years old and had very little clothing of her own. Circuit 10 staff rallied around and generously donated clothing, shoes, food and a Visa gift card, so that she would have her own items. JPO Giselle Alicea was gracious enough to deliver the collected items which brought great delight to the youth!

 

 

 

 


 

Detention Youth and Teachers Participate in Poetry

Teachers with the Marion County School District recently hosted a poetry café for Marion Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC) youth. The youth created poetry and presented it in front of their peers. The youth snapped their fingers as a sign of gratitude.

Teachers with the Marion County School District recently hosted a poetry café for Marion Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC) youth.   Teachers with the Marion County School District recently hosted a poetry café for Marion Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC) youth.

 


 

Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center had a festive day for Easter! Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center had a festive day for Easter! The youth enjoyed a special breakfast including bacon, eggs, and grits followed by sports tournaments between the modules. They also enjoyed candy bags prepared by detention staff.

This was part of an ongoing effort to reward positive behavior and eliminate barriers between youth by teaching them how to interact with each other. The youth played football and basketball against the other modules and the winners were given pizza in the evening.

 

 

 


 

Pinellas RJDC conducted its annual Easter egg hunt during which each mod took turns in the outdoor recreation area to hunt for Easter eggs that were filled with various candies. Pinellas RJDC conducted its annual Easter egg hunt during which each mod took turns in the outdoor recreation area to hunt for Easter eggs that were filled with various candies. Once finished, all youth gathered to ensure all plastic eggs were accounted for. During lunch, the youth also received festively decorated hard boiled eggs and cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Tammy Druley from the League of Women Voters brought the MANicure Movement to visit the Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

The MANicure movement started in Central Florida and is an effort to raise awareness of child abuse as a national health crisis, and to bring community leaders together to eradicate child abuse. Men and women are challenged to boldly show their support for children by wearing a blue polished fingernail to inspire conversation and prompt action to support vulnerable children and their families.

Pictured above on the top row: Corporal Valeeta Greene, Head Nurse Manager Renee Ali, Corporal Randy Harmon, Captain Louise Quick
Pictured above on the top row: Corporal Valeeta Greene, Head Nurse Manager Renee Ali, Corporal Randy Harmon, Captain Louise Quick

Middle row: Corporal Shantoria Bradley, Corporal Jim Beauvais, Nurse Melanie Sapp

Bottom row: Teacher, Corporal Freddy Morales, Sgt. Lenon Anderson, Corporal Bradley Williams, and Corporal Cooke

 

Orange RJDC volunteers from Be an Angel Pet Therapy visited the Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center and spent time with the girls on the G1 Mod.  Orange RJDC volunteers from Be an Angel Pet Therapy visited the Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center and spent time with the girls on the G1 Mod. 

Be an Angel Therapy Dogs is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization which participates in animal-assisted activities to assist youth that have experienced trauma.

 

 

 


 

Pasco Regional Juvenile Detention Center celebrated Easter with the youth waking up to find their Easter bags, which the youth had previously decorated, outside their doors. The Easter bags were filled with goodies for the youth to enjoy. Their lunch that day was topped off with a chocolate cake with their very own Easter bunny peep. Juvenile Detention Officer Stephanie Shirley also brought in Easter cookies for the girls and boys at the center to decorate. The youth were treated to cookies, along with some Easter cupcakes and a bag of Easter chocolates. Easter festivities turned out to be a very pleasant day for all!

Pasco Regional Juvenile Detention Center celebrated Easter with the youth waking up to find their Easter bags, which the youth had previously decorated, outside their doors.   Pasco Regional Juvenile Detention Center celebrated Easter with the youth waking up to find their Easter bags, which the youth had previously decorated, outside their doors.


 

Manatee RJDC celebrated Easter with a barbeque! Sergeant Jackie Walker manned the grill and Sergeant Michelle Traylor and her team including, Officers Jessica Chanelo-Bier ,Aliyah Farley, Phyllis Lazier, and Cameron Cabarris, made goodie bags for the youth. The youth participated in an Easter egg hunt.

The youth at Manatee RJDC also created extra special eggs for Easter! The youth were given a flour water solution, torn newspaper, and balloons and used their creativity to make papier-mâché eggs. The youth and staff really enjoyed this project because it was a time to bond and share childhood memories, all while creating new ones!             

Manatee RJDC celebrated Easter with a barbeque!   Manatee RJDC celebrated Easter with a barbeque!  

 


 

The Marion Regional Juvenile Detention Center also hosted an Easter luncheon for youth and their parents. The Marion Regional Juvenile Detention Center also hosted an Easter luncheon for youth and their parents. The youth presented cards to their parents during the celebration and enjoyed dessert.

 

 

 

 

 


 

On Easter Sunday at the Leon Regional Juvenile Detention Center, the facility youth had a fun day of taking part in an Easter egg Hunt, tie dyeing shirts, and a cookout. On Easter Sunday at the Leon Regional Juvenile Detention Center, the facility youth had a fun day of taking part in an Easter egg Hunt, tie dyeing shirts, and a cookout. 

 

 

 

 

 


 

On Easter Sunday, the youth at Brevard Juvenile Detention Center had the opportunity to decorate cookies, make root beer floats, and enjoy candy from their Easter goody bags.

On Easter Sunday, the youth at Brevard Juvenile Detention Center had the opportunity to decorate cookies, make root beer floats, and enjoy candy from their Easter goody bags.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Prevention Staff Volunteer at Farm Share Event

Statewide Community Engagement & Outreach Coordinator Verla Lawson-Grady and Budget Specialist Jashett Omeally, volunteered with Farm Share for a free food distribution event at Canopy Oaks Elementary School to help feed local families. Having a love for the community, Principal Paul Lambert teamed up with Pastor Gary Montgomery of Livingstones International, a DJJ Prevention program and Farm Share, to provide much needed food to local families in the Big Bend. Principal Lambert also had students and teachers from Canopy Oaks volunteering at the event.

It was a pleasure teaching the young energetic elementary students how to package the food and to understand the value of giving back to their community.  Their eagerness to work and learn was a very rewarding experience.  It was fantastic seeing the passion and willingness of the students to serve.  Farm Share provided free food to approximately 150 families.

Prevention Staff Volunteer at Farm Share Event

 


 

Delinquency Prevention Specialist Carmen Lundy and Chief Probation Officer Paul Wallis recently attended the Santa Rosa County Juvenile Justice Council’s Youth Success Week Ceremony.  The annual youth recognition ceremony was held at the Guy Thompson Community Center in Milton. 

Tommie Mabry, a talented high school and college basketball player turned motivational speaker, served as the keynote speaker. Mr. Mabry shared his journey of being raised in inner city Jackson, Mississippi where he experienced numerous challenges, including losing his close friend due to a drive-by shooting when they were high school freshmen and suffering a gunshot wound to his foot as a high school senior. 

Mr. Mabry persevered through all the challenges and after the injury, he was able to continue playing basketball and later became the first person in his family to graduate high school and college. Mr. Mabry turned his life around and graduated with a bachelor’s degree with honors from Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He later earned a Master of Arts degree and will soon receive his doctorate. 

Mr. Mabry told everyone that he was encouraged and challenged by teachers and a mentor to attend school and study hard. He encouraged the youth to “push yourself harder than your situation”. 

Eighteen youth were presented with certificates of achievement and gift bags for their accomplishments. Jessica Walker, the Council’s chairperson and the local teen court coordinator, presided over the event. Delinquency Court Judge Ross Goodman was also in attendance.

Tommie Mabry, a talented high school and college basketball player turned motivational speaker.
Pictured above: Tommie Mabry

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