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Secretary's Message

June 11, 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 Detention Officers!

 

Congratulations to the newest class of juvenile justice detention officers who were honored at a graduation ceremony at Broward College. The guest speakers for the event were South Region Detention Director Kevin Housel and Dean Linda Wood from Broward College’s Institute of Public Safety. Juvenile justice detention officers ensure the safety and security of youth in detention facilities across the state of Florida. As a highly responsible position, our detention officers often serve as positive role models that supervise youth in their care.

Newest class of juvenile justice detention officers being honored at Broward College.
Class Motto: “One Team, One Goal, One Youth at a Time”
Wayne Cunningham - Broward Detention
Emmanuel Davis - Miami-Dade Detention
Anneker Dorah - Miami-Dade Detention
Kenneth Duprey - Broward Detention
Dowene Faustin - Miami- Dade Detention
Dawn Ferguson - Broward Detention
Anthony Fernald - Palm Beach Detention
Dave Fletcher - Broward Detention
Vashea Johnson - Palm Beach Detention
Jeffrey Leonard - Miami-Dade Detention
Vanessa Lubin - Broward Detention
Demetrius Meuse - Miami-Dade Detention
Latonia Michel - Broward Detention
Robert Nonez - Palm Beach Detention
Tameckla Robinson - Miami-Dade Detention
Darien Rufus - Broward Detention
Wayne Cunningham - Broward Detention
Emmanuel Davis - Miami-Dade Detention
Anneker Dorah - Miami-Dade Detention
Kenneth Duprey - Broward Detention
Dowene Faustin - Miami- Dade Detention
Dawn Ferguson - Broward Detention

 


 

Systems Project Analyst Sabeena Shiju   Distributed Computer Systems Administrator Ana Vidal
Pictured Above:  Systems Project Analyst Sabeena Shiju and Distributed Computer Systems Administrator Ana Vidal

Congratulations to Sabeena Shiju and Ana Vidal for being recognized as the Information Technology (IT) Employees of the Month. Each month, IT recognizes one employee from headquarters and one from the field using a peer nomination process. Being nominated by their peers speaks volumes to their work ethic and dedication to this agency. Congratulations to you both!

 


 

Congratulations to Administrative Assistant LaTonya Hill who was selected as the Office of Prevention Services Employee of the Year. LaTonya was honored for her dedicated service, long-standing commitment, and tireless efforts in her work with the Office of Prevention and DJJ.

Training Specialist Shanteria Randall and Statewide Community Engagement Coordinator Verla Lawson-Grady were also recognized for their dedication to the youth and families of Florida and DJJ.

 `Prevention Assistant Secretary Alice Sims, Statewide Community Outreach & Engagement Coordinator Verla Lawson-Grady, Secretary Simone Marstiller and Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann 
Pictured above (from left to right): Prevention Assistant Secretary Alice Sims, Statewide Community Outreach & Engagement Coordinator Verla Lawson-Grady, Secretary Simone Marstiller and Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann

Prevention Assistant Secretary Alice Sims, Training Specialist Shanteria Randall, Secretary Simone Marstiller and Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann
Pictured above: Prevention Assistant Secretary Alice Sims, Training Specialist Shanteria Randall, Secretary Simone Marstiller and Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann

Prevention Assistant Secretary Alice Sims, Administrative Assistant LaTonya Hill, Secretary Simone Marstiller and Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann
Pictured above: Prevention Assistant Secretary Alice Sims, Administrative Assistant LaTonya Hill, Secretary Simone Marstiller and Deputy Secretary Tim Niermann


 

FLHSMV Releases Modified Driver License and ID Card

Flyer from FLHSMV regarding 2019 modifications of Florida's Driver License and ID Card.The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) is releasing a modified Florida driver license and ID card with enhanced security features. Modifications include the removal of the magnetic strip on the back of the credential, the addition of a tactile security feature and changes to the data and data layout. By the end of August 2019, the modified credential will be available at all service centers throughout Florida and online.

“The release of this new credential is part of a continued effort to maintain the highest level of security for all Floridians,” said Terry L. Rhodes, Executive Director of the FLHSMV. “In cooperation with law enforcement and our stakeholders, we are committed to enhancing security, preventing fraud and best serving our customers.”

In 2017, FLHSMV began issuing a redesigned Florida driver license and ID card to provide enhanced security features for customers, better protecting against identity and driver license fraud. The security features ensure Floridians continue to receive the most secure over-the-counter driver license and ID card on the market today.

Customers do not have to replace their current driver license or ID card during this time, unless their current credential has reached its expiration, or a required change is needed, such as a name or address change.

Previously issued driver license and ID cards will still be used until they are replaced or phased out. Any credentials with a magnetic strip and no tactile feature with an issue date after August 31, 2019, are fraudulent.

To learn more about the modifications, visit flhsmv.gov/newDL. If you do not see the gold star in the upper right hand corner of your license, visit flhsmv.gov/REALID to become REAL ID compliant today.

 


 

Probation Youth Build Wheelchair Ramp for Elderly Resident

Youth and staff from AMIkids Pensacola utilized their National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCR) vocational construction training to design and build a wheelchair ramp for an elderly resident in the community who recently suffered a stroke. This project not only benefited a resident in need but also served as reminder to the youth that they can make a huge difference in the lives of others once they choose to impact their community in a positive manner.

Youth and staff from AMIkids Pensacola build a wheelchair ramp. 

Youth and staff from AMIkids Pensacola build a wheelchair ramp.


Youth from AMIkidsPanama City Marine Institute at graduationAMIkids Panama City Marine Institute recently celebrated the graduation of three students. All three youth participated in the apprenticeship job placement program funded by the Federal Department of Labor, and they were all placed in jobs! Each is currently employed and all are seeking higher education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

JPO Jennifer Fisher, SJPO Tonya Emsweller, JPO Celia Kalis, and SJPO Taylor WoodieCircuit 13 Senior Juvenile Probation Officers Tonya Emsweller, Valerie Rutt, Luz Santiago, Rhonda Taylor, Taylor Woodie and Juvenile Probation Officers Celia Kalis and Jennifer Fisher recently volunteered for the Florida Office of Attorney General National Conference on Preventing Crime in Tampa. This conference is designed to foster collaboration, communication and action among practitioners by sharing innovative ideas, research and study of crime, causative factors and prevention strategies unique to all communities. Guest speakers included Tonier Cain, who is an author and founder of Neen Cares, a non-profit organization which provides services to trauma survivors.


 

FCCD and Prevention Team Host Meet and Greet with New Agency Heads

The Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency (FCCD) Chapter II recently held a meet and greet with DJJ Secretary Simone Marstiller and Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch in Tallahassee. This event was an opportunity for the public, along with local agency employees, to dialogue with the newly appointed secretaries.

FCCD State President Mike Page, FCCD Chapter II President and Prevention Assistant Secretary Alice Sims, FCCD President-Elect and Prevention Chief Marcus Smith, along with a host of DJJ team members participated in the event. Office of Prevention staff and FCCD Chapter II members Jackie Helm-Singleton, Jashett Omeally and Jean Hall provided leadership for the event.

More than 70 persons attended the Meet and Greet representing a host of organizations. DJJ continues to partner with the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for the prevention and reduction of crime and delinquency and to enhance the quality of justice for all Floridians.

DJJ Secretary Simone Marstiller and Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch.
Pictured above: DJJ Secretary Simone Marstiller and
Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch.


 

Youth Come Together to Create Woodworks for the Local Community

 Youth from AMIkids Pensacola and Escambia made picnic table and benches.  Youth from AMIkids Pensacola and Escambia made Cornhole boards.

Probation youth from AMIkids Pensacola and residential youth from AMIkids Escambia Boys Base recently used their construction vocational training to make and donate a beautiful picnic table and benches to Bare Hand Collectives and Losobe Woodworks. They also created cornhole boards for United Way of Escambia County to use at their recent event. According to a United Way representative, the boards were a huge hit! The kids were able to learn a skill, implement it, and give back to the community at the same time. 


 

DJJ Star LogoThe DJJ Office of Residential Services is pleased to announce that Rule 63E-7, F.A.C. was finalized! Rule 63E-7 governs the administration and operation of residential commitment programs for youth. Residential Services has worked on this rule for years with the help of many individuals within the Department. We are excited for the completion of this rule and for the positive impact it will have on the youth we serve. The rule has been updated on the Department’s website, please take time to review it here.

 


 

Stepping stones created by youth at Hope Forest Academy.Hope Forest Academy, a non-secure program for boys operated by Rite of Passage, recently had its first group of students arrive at the campus. In commemoration of the start of the new program, staff invited the pioneering youth to create a personalized stepping stone that will be a permanent fixture of the campus. Each student decorated a stepping stone which they were able to customize in their own way. Most chose to leave an impression of their handprint on the back, ensuring that their presence would be remembered. The stepping stone concept also symbolized the opportunity to step out of the past and follow a new path at Hope Forest Academy.

 


 

Youth from Hastings YA attended a Black Heritage Walking Tour in St. Augustine.Youth from Hastings Youth Academy, a non-secure program for boys operated by TrueCore Behavioral Solutions, attended a Black Heritage Walking Tour in St. Augustine. The purpose of the tour was to educate the youth about the civil rights movement and the impact made in St. Augustine in changing the United States and the world. The tour guide took the group to different monuments and historic sites including a local restaurant where sit-in demonstrations took place, and the historical pool at the Monson Motor Lodge where the owner poured acid into the pool to force black and white protesters out. This was a part of the St. Augustine Movement, a part of the larger civil rights movement. The youth all enjoyed the tour and appreciated learning the history of the city.

 


 

Youth, family members and staff enjoyed a Family Day at Daytona JRF.Daytona Juvenile Residential Facility, a secure program for boys operated by TrueCore Behavioral Solutions, hosted its quarterly family day. Youth, family members and staff enjoyed a fun-filled day with games, food, fun, and fellowship. The goal of family day was to increase parental engagement and allow parents the opportunity to get to know the facility leaders and staff. Parents are encouraged to actively invest in their child’s treatment and education. During the visit, parents were provided a tour of the educational department and had an opportunity to talk to the education staff and obtain information about their child’s progress in school. Facility Administrator Ryan Montgomery informed all the parents that maintaining and encouraging positive family and significant relationships is an important protective factor in helping the youth successfully complete the program and reenter the community as productive citizens.

 


 

Graduate from Kissimmee YA.Kissimmee Youth Academy, a secure program for boys operated by Youth Opportunity Investments, is very proud and honored to have another successful youth graduate. Youth K. completed and received his GED while completing his treatment at Kissimmee Youth Academy. Youth K. was very focused and determined to complete his GED so he can obtain employment upon transitioning back into the community. Youth K. wanted his day completed by inviting the program’s assistant facility administrator and the youth’s therapist to celebrate his milestone. Youth K. has future plans to achieve his vocational certification to become an electrician and own his own business one day. Kissimmee Youth Academy salutes Youth K. on his success milestone to become a better youth.

 

 


 

Youth from Orange YA and Orlando Intensive YA attended the new Aladdin movie.Youth from Orange Youth Academy and Orlando Intensive Youth Academy, both non-secure programs for boys operated by TrueCore Behavioral Solutions, went on a community outing to the movies. They were accompanied by Recreation Therapist Tavarius Roberson and Transitional Service Manager Jovana Smith. The youth selected to participate demonstrated positive and exceptional behavior to earn an outing to the movie theater. Youth had an opportunity to watch the new Aladdin movie. The movie speaks important messages of self-worth and dignity. Aladdin is a movie that also teaches youth to be themselves at all times and that a person should not change who they are for anyone. Youth were appreciative for being selected to go on the community outing for displaying productive behaviors.

 

 


 

Detention Center Introduces Therapeutic Activities for Youth

Mental Health Counselor Breahannah Hilaire recently debuted therapeutic kinetic sand and therapeutic Jenga Mental Health Counselor Breahannah Hilaire with the Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC) recently debuted therapeutic kinetic sand and therapeutic Jenga in an effort to assist youth in crisis. While these activities might seem ordinary, their sensory and therapeutic properties can be beneficial for youth. Ms. Hilaire has also made good use of the two new soft rooms at Orange RJDC and is never afraid to try new things to help the youth here at Orange.

 

 

 

 

 

Probation and civil citation youth from Circuit 9 and Orange RJDC attending a paint project.In collaboration with the Circuit 9 Probation team and Orange RJDC, a paint project was organized by Juvenile Probation Officer Supervisor April Stack and Captain Reginald Allen. Several probation and civil citation youth came to the detention center  and painted over curbs and posts. These youth earned community service hours all while giving back to the detention center. Thank you Captain Allen and JPOS Stack for organizing this joint project!

 

 

 


 

For the last day of school, Pinellas RJDC celebrated the “Pinellas Proud” way by congratulating three young men on their academic excellence. For the last day of school, Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center celebrated the “Pinellas Proud” way by congratulating three young men on their academic excellence. The three youth received certificates, ice cream sundaes, chicken nuggets, and french-fries for making honor roll for the 2018-19 school year. A great time was had by all and the celebration to honor the achievements was very well received! Pictured to the left with these outstanding youth are Teacher Derek Sander, Sergeant Gena Clark, Coach Fred Barksdale, and Captain Jason Grice.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

A local women’s organization in Broward County wanted to make an impact on girls in the juvenile justice system, so they came together to create the Be-YOU-Tiful program at Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center. The goals of the program are to increase the girls’ self-esteem and confidence, increase effective communication, build healthy relationships, and provide the necessary skills and strategies needed to develop a vision board and plan. The group’s first meeting was amazing, although initially the girls were somewhat shy. By the end of the meeting, the communication gap was closed and the girls began to share how the program can help them in their personal lives. Brook Sims, the director of the program, stated that they are excited to work with the girls to encourage them to identify who they really are inside, find their hidden talents, and challenge them to be the best version of themselves.

Alexis Newman, Brooke Sims, Trisha McCarthy and Tisha Smith
Pictured above (from left to right): Alexis Newman,
Brooke Sims, Trisha McCarthy and Tisha Smith


 

 

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