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Press Release Detail


Florida’s New Juvenile Justice Officers Graduate

Training, experience and education to benefit Florida’s at-risk and delinquent youth

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Havana -- Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) hosted a graduation ceremony for 18 newly trained Juvenile Justice Residential Officers (JJRO) and Juvenile Justice Detention Officers (JJDO) today at the Florida Public Safety Institute Conference Center Building in Havana, Florida. DJJ officers work in one of the 25 state-run DJJ Detention Centers or seven state-run Residential facilities throughout Florida.

"I am proud of these individuals who have dedicated themselves to keeping the youth in the juvenile justice system safe," said Cody Wood, superintendent of DJJ's Leon Regional Juvenile Detention Center, who delivered the commencement address at today's graduation. "Uniformity of training is essential to ensuring that our officers have the necessary skills to meet the responsibilities of their jobs."

Two of today's graduates are retirees re-entering the workforce with a wealth of experience to add to their juvenile justice training. JJRO Daniel Arroyo retired from the U.S. Navy after 26 years of service, including 20 years of counseling, mentoring and coaching the children of service men and women. JJRO Willie Pettway worked 37 years with the Merchant Marine.

Among today's graduating class, one officer holds a master's degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and two others are currently pursuing master's degrees. JJDO Warren Garrison holds a FAMU Master’s Degree in Applied Social Science and formerly worked for PACE Center for Girls, a DJJ private contractor. JJDO Marthe Anilus is on track to earn a master's degree in mental health counseling, and JJDO Frantz Alabre, who is originally from Haiti, is working toward a master’s degree in criminal administration and policing.

Each of today's graduates completed at least 240 hours of training prior to eligibility for officer certification, 120 hours of which were completed at the Florida Public Safety Institute. Mandatory training topics include: adolescent development; mental health and substance abuse; CPR and first aid; cultural diversity; stress management; professional ethics; and verbal and physical conflict de-escalation techniques to recognize and prevent potential conflicts. DJJ favors verbal techniques, in keeping with the Department's goal to create a restraint-free environment. The training is necessary for juvenile justice officers who are entrusted with the safety of youth as they work to reinforce positive behavioral change, and must interact often with youth who are prone to unpredictable and violent behavior.

The mission of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is to increase public safety by reducing juvenile delinquency through effective prevention, intervention and treatment services that strengthen families and turn around the lives of troubled youth. For more information, please visit the Department’s website at: http://www.djj.state.fl.us/.

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