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DJJ Equal Employment Opportunity Officer Honored by FCCD

Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Annual Statewide Awards

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BONITA SPRINGS, FL -- Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Equal Employment Opportunity Officer Derrick Elias has received the 2010 Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency (FCCD) Distinguished Service Award for Juvenile Justice. Elias was recognized for his service benefiting at-risk and troubled youth in his home community of Quincy, Fla. He was presented with his award during the 81st Annual FCCD Criminal Justice Training Institute awards dinner on August 25.

"Derrick Elias is an exemplary employee," said DJJ Secretary Frank Peterman Jr. "We are proud of his service to the state and to the children and families of Gadsden County."

"This is an extreme honor, and I am very proud to be recognized by this august body that works so diligently on behalf of children," said Elias.

Elias serves as a city commissioner and as a teen court judge in Quincy, Fla., where he is noted for his “no-nonsense” approach to working with youth. He is also known for making each youth hug his or her parents/guardian, apologize to them and tell them that they love them before the youth leave his court.

Elias has served as the DJJ Equal Employment Opportunity Officer since 1996. From 2002 to 2005, Elias also served as mayor of Quincy, Fla., where he is a life-long resident. In 2009, Quincy Teen Court Coordinator Tiffany Parsons-Braswell, on behalf of Gadsden County leadership, approached Elias to solicit his service as a volunteer teen court judge. He eagerly accepted the responsibility, which he views as an opportunity.

"Being a teen court judge is very fulfilling. I feel I am able to make a positive difference in the lives of the young people who come before me," said Elias.

The FCCD consists of more than 30 chapters throughout the state. Annually, each chapter recognizes individuals who demonstrate local leadership in one of six categories, including juvenile justice. The local award recipients are then evaluated by a panel of judges for the annual statewide Distinguished Service Award in their respective category.

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