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Riverside Academy Tops DJJ Quality Review

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Tampa, Fla. -- Riverside Academy is exceptional.

That's according to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), which gave the facility for boys in Tampa its highest possible designation during its recent annual review by the agency’s Bureau of Quality Assurance. The facility earned an overall rating of 91 percent, the highest since 2007 among DJJ’s nearly 70 residential facilities.

"We are delighted that Riverside has been recognized for its excellence," said DJJ Secretary Wansley Walters. "This facility represents the caring commitment of our staff and the motivation of the youth in our care to rise above their circumstances in life to become the best they can be."

Riverside Academy, a residential facility for juvenile justice-involved boys ages 14 through18, specializes in treating youth with substance abuse problems. As the boys receive appropriate delinquency intervention and rehabilitative treatment, the facility offers unusual and engaging character-building experiences. Activities such as Teens Reaching Animals in Need (TRAIN), Bright Residents Using Drumming as Salvation (BRUDAS) and volunteer service events at the Russell House (a private, non-profit facility serving severely handicapped children), instill principles of social responsibility and community involvement. For more information about Riverside Academy, click here.

The facility has consistently rated in the "commendable" category for the past two years, but this year marks a significant increase above the previous rating of 85 percent with better performance in every standard. The most significant improvement is in the safety and security standard, which includes requirements such as ensuring youth receive proper supervision, using a safe and effective behavior management system and planning for contingencies in the event of a disaster.

The quality assurance process promotes accountability and continuous improvement in juvenile justice programs and services. Teams of trained professionals conduct reviews of all state-operated and contract provider programs at least once each fiscal year.

To view the most recent DJJ quality assurance report for Riverside Academy, click here.

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