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Secretary's Message

June 3, 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!

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

The Juvenile Justice Detention Officer graduation took place at the conference center at the Florida Public Safety Institute on May 24, 2019 and celebrated the success of 22 graduates.  The guest speaker for the event was Secretary Simone Marstiller. Major Courtney Preston from the Okaloosa Juvenile Detention Center provided the closing remarks.

JDO graduates at Florida Public Safety Institute on May 24, 2019.
Class Motto: “One Voice, One Unit”
Steven Allor - Marion Detention
Sidney Anderson - Marion Detention
Brooklyn Brown - Escambia Detention
William Burton - Marion Detention
Christopher Clark - Alachua Detention
Mickel Csaszar - Alachua Detention
Deo Eckard - Escambia Detention
Brittany Hubbard - Duval Detention
Tonya Johnson - Duval Detention
Megan Jones - Okaloosa Detention
Benjamin Lee - Marion Detention
Douglas Montgomery - Alachua Detention
Zachary Morris - Marion Detention
Joshua Music - Marion Detention
Xavier Robinson - Marion Detention
Victoria Rodriguez - Southwest Florida Detention
Rochelle Ruiz - Okaloosa Detention
Dennis Sanders - Marion Detention
Gabriel Snell - Southwest Florida Detention
Reynaldo Thompson - Escambia Detention
David Williamson - Duval Detention
David Word - Southwest Florida Detention

Juvenile Justice Probation Officers

The Juvenile Justice Probation Officer graduation took place at Keiser University in Clearwater on May 24, 2019 and celebrated the success of 12 graduates.  The guest speaker for the event was Chief Probation Officer Judy Roysden. Chief Probation Officer Melissa Fuller provided the closing remarks.

JPO Graduates at Keiser University in Clearwater on May 24, 2019.
Class Motto: “Creating Achievements Together”
Micael Akers - Circuit 13
Zachary Buckner - Circuit 13
Cheryl Caldwell - Circuit 10
Monique Jones - Circuit 13
Melanie Loveland - Circuit 13
Angela McIntosh - Circuit 6
Shelby Pascoe - Circuit 10
Gloria Perez - Circuit 6
Melanie Rowe - Circuit 13
Benjamin Rushakoff - Circuit 10
Price Wilson III - Circuit 12
Michael Worrell - Circuit 13

 


 

Probation Staff and Community Partners Honor Distinguished Graduates

Natasha Clark-Jackson with the Duval County Public Schools, Reform Specialist Collins, two graduates, and Assistant Principal LaTonya Parker with the Duval County Public SchoolsCircuit 4 Probation Reform Specialist Donna Collins had the honor of attending four graduations for the youth we serve. The first graduation was at the Duval Youth Academy on May 21st   for two youth who graduated with their high school diplomas. RS Collins gave the commencement address to these graduates and congratulated them on their success.  On May 22nd at the Duval Regional Juvenile Detention Center, two more youth graduated with their high school diplomas.  On May 23rd and 24th, RS Collins attended two separate graduations at the Duval County Jail where a total of 24 youth graduated with their high school diplomas. RS Collins would like to recognize Duval County School Board Principal Edward Robinson, Assistant Principal LaTonya Parker, their staff, and all the wonderful teachers for a job well done!

 

 

 


 

Graduates from AMIkids Southwest FloridaCongratulations to two students from AMIkids Southwest Florida who recently graduated from the program! Both youth plan to finish high school and continue their education once they’ve graduated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Youth at AMIkidsPCMI receiving Carpentry Level 1 certifications.Congratulations to seven youth at AMIkids PCMI who recently received their Carpentry Level 1 certifications. The youth achieved these certifications through AMI’s construction vocational class and each received a brand new power drill for all of their hard work.

 

 

 

 

 


 

DJJ Staff Partners with Sheriff and Schools on a Trip to Wild Adventures

DJJ Accountant III Doris Strong from the Office of Finance and Accounting chaperoning a field trip to Wild Adventures DJJ Accountant III Doris Strong from the Office of Finance and Accounting recently volunteered to chaperone a field trip to Wild Adventures to reward students from two Title I schools in Tallahassee. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Leon County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Academy Alumni, and Leon County Schools came together to facilitate the field trip for the top 20 most academically improved students. The field trip gave these deserving students something many of them only dream about and hopefully sparked long term mentor/mentee relationships that will help guide them towards continued success.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group Host Quarterly Meeting

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group (SAG) recently held their quarterly SAG meeting in St. Petersburg.

The SAG meeting featured a welcome from Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann and opening remarks from Prevention Assistant Secretary Alice Sims.

Presentations were delivered by Advocacy Administrator Shamika Beasley from the Seminole Tribe of Florida, DJJ Deputy Legislative Affairs Director Sam Kerce, DJJ Circuit Advisory Board (CAB) Coordinator Tina Levene, Circuit 6 CAB Chair Chief Anthony Holloway, Circuit 12 CAB Chair Mike Moran, and Circuit 13 CAB Chair Elvin Martinez.

Community Intervention Director for the St. Petersburg Police Department Reverend Kenny Irby spoke about the My Brothers & My Sisters Keeper initiative and the Cohort of Champions.

The group also heard from Chief Executive Officer John Trombetta from the Florida State Alliance of YMCAs, Community Relations Manager Davida Franklin from Prodigy - University Area Community Development Corporation, Inc., Prodigy Cultural Arts Director Mike Trepper, and Compliance Monitor Shirley Turner with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

West Region Education Coordinator Joey Nice from the DJJ Office of Education discussed the DIVERT Education program. Other DJJ presentations were delivered by Federal Grants Manager Dionne Anderson, Budget Director Brent Musgrove from the Office of Prevention, and Federal Grants Coordinator Jackie Helms-Singleton. 

): Circuit 13 CAB Chair Elvin Martinez, Circuit 12 CAB Chair Mike Moran, and Circuit 6 CAB Chair Anthony Holloway.
Circuit 13 CAB Chair Elvin Martinez, Circuit 12 CAB Chair Mike Moran, and Circuit 6 CAB Chair Anthony Holloway.

FL Alliance of YMCAs: Back left to right: Stephanie Zaragoza, Suncoast, Stefan Domenig, Central FL, David Jezek and Tim Staley, Greater St. Petersburg, John Trombetta, FL State Alliance of YMCAs. Front: Jessie Bauer-Colon and Kim Strong, Central Florida
FL Alliance of YMCAs: Back left to right: Stephanie Zaragoza, Suncoast, Stefan Domenig, Central FL, David Jezek and Tim Staley, Greater St. Petersburg, John Trombetta, FL State Alliance of YMCAs. Front: Jessie Bauer-Colon and Kim Strong, Central Florida

 


 

Residential Youth Earn Their High School Diplomas

Graduates from Jacksonville YAThree young men successfully earned their high school diplomas at the Jacksonville Youth Academy, a non-secure program for boys operated by TrueCore Behavioral Solutions, and were honored in a commencement ceremony attended by staff, residents, family members, and educational dignitaries. The diplomas were presented to the young men by none other than Duval County Deputy School Superintendent Dana Kriznar. In addition to their diplomas, the two youth who were able to attend the ceremony were honored with a commemorative plaque and presented with graduation cards and gifts from the teachers and families.

The ceremony featured welcoming remarks and an invocation by underclassmen at the program as well as moving speeches by both graduates still residing at the facility. The ceremony was followed by refreshments for all and a surf and turf luncheon for the graduates.

 


 

Youth from Broward YTC learning heavy operational skill sets in machinery.Youth at Broward Youth Treatment Center, a non-secure program for boys operated by Youth Opportunity Investments, have the opportunity to gain their certification in various heavy operational skill sets in machinery. Recently, three youth made a trip to McFatter Technical College to take their forklift certification test. All three youth successfully passed and will be receiving their forklift certifications in a few weeks. We are very proud of these gentlemen and the hard work they put in to earn these certifications. These forklift certifications will assist them with obtaining employment once they are back in the community.

 


 

Crestview YA youth played several basketball games.Crestview Youth Academy, both a secure and non-secure facility for boys operated by Youth Opportunity Investments, enjoyed March Madness so much that they decided to have their own basketball game. The game took place at a local gym and the young men played several games. This outing was a great way to reinforce the concepts of social skills and team building. After their game, the youth enjoyed dinner at Golden Corral Buffet before returning to the facility.

 

 

 


 

Center for Success and Independence - Ocala celebrating teacher appreciation week.Center for Success and Independence – Ocala, a non-secure program for boys operated by Youth Opportunity Investments, celebrated teacher appreciation week. The Education Department from Marion County Public Schools was awarded certificates and a delicious sub platter to show them how much the Center for Success and Independence – Ocala staff appreciates their hard work and dedication to the youth. In addition, Education Coordinator Dwan Thomas from Marion Schools participated in the event by bringing bagels, an assortment of cream cheeses, juices, yogurts, and fresh fruit to the program.

 


 

Palm Beach Youth Academy hosting a Mother’s Day luncheon for the women of Mothers Against Murderers Association (M.A.M.A). Palm Beach Youth Academy, a secure program for boys operated by Sequel, hosted a Mother’s Day luncheon for the women of Mothers 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. The young men opened the program by giving each mother a rose while escorting them to their seat. Each youth adopted a mother of M.A.M.A. for the day and catered to them throughout the event. The mothers shared their heartfelt stories of loss while the boys listened. The young men lifted their spirits with a special program filled with entertainment and thoughtful gifts! They had a great time spreading cheer to a wonderful group of ladies who may need it the most.

 


 

Detention Center Sets Up Little Free Library Book Exchange

The Palm Beach RJDC has set up a Little Free Library at the detention center. The Palm Beach Regional Juvenile Detention Center has set up a Little Free Library at the detention center. Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Palm Beach RJDC adopted the community book exchange within the detention center as a way to encourage reading and literacy among the youth and staff.

Juvenile Detention Officer Cletis Williams cutting a youth's hair.Also at Palm Beach RJDC, Juvenile Detention Officer Cletis Williams and Supervisor Demetria Brown have done a tremendous job transforming the youth at the detention center into young men. The pair have set up a barbershop at the center that the youth can utilize to ensure they look their very best.

The Palm Beach RJDC has made some recent changes to their soft room and multi-purpose room to align more with our trauma-informed care approach. The soft room, pictured left, allows youth a space to speak with mental health and supervisors to vent their frustrations. The detention center’s multi-purpose room, pictured below, serves as a library where youth can gain knowledge and get lost in another world while reading a book. Level three youth can also enjoy themselves with video games, bean bag toss, and board games.

The Palm Beach RJDC has made some recent changes to their soft room and multi-purpose room to align more with our trauma-informed care approach. The Palm Beach RJDC has made some recent changes to their soft room and multi-purpose room to align more with our trauma-informed care approach.

 

Palm Beach RJDC Shift Supervisors Demetria Brown, Twanna White, and Collin Ricketts and their staff at Waffle House

Finally, at Palm Beach RJDC Shift Supervisors Demetria Brown, Twanna White, and Collin Ricketts recently treated their staff to breakfast at Waffle House to show them how much they appreciate their hard work and how they go the extra mile for the youth at the center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Last week, the Office of Detention Services hosted their superintendents meeting at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Havana. The meeting included guest speakers from DJJ’s Executive Leadership Team and special guest speaker John B. Edwards, author of “The Burden of Command.” “The Burden of Command” touches on successful strategies with specific tactics for use in leadership, supervision, and management in today’s public and private sector workplace.

Superintendents atht eFlorida Public Safety Institute in Havana.

 


 

Artist Stephanie Zabriskie from Project Backboard visiting the basketball courts at the Orange RJDCArtist Stephanie Zabriskie from Project Backboard recently visited and toured the basketball courts at the Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center.  Project Backboard’s purpose is to use public basketball courts as a canvas for creative expression in order to strengthen communities and inspire multi-generational play. Working with the Community Alliance for the Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center and Project Backboard, the team at Orange RJDC hopes to transform their basketball courts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Torres-Ordinas from Healing Well Acupuncture speaking to youth about pressure points and stretches.Also at Orange RJDC, the detention center hosted guest speaker Jennifer Torres-Ordinas from Healing Well Acupuncture to speak with the youth during their weekly behavior management party. Ms. Torres-Ordinas spoke with the youth about using pressure points and stretches to relieve pain and reduce stress.

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