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For immediate release:
January 31, 2012
DJJ Communications (850) 921-5900
DJJ Secretary Wansley Walters also announced that Floridians today are less likely to be victims of juvenile-related crime than since 1990, when the agency started tracking delinquency data. For example, school-related delinquency in Miami-Dade County during the last six months of 2011 declined by 353 cases or 60 percent. Recent data show similar declines in juvenile offenses statewide.
"Under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott and Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll, I am proud to say that Florida is on the leading edge of juvenile justice reform in the United States," said Walters. "Since this administration took office a year ago, we have made incredible progress to change DJJ for the better."
Joining Walters in the Capitol Plaza today were numerous advocates for children celebrating Children’s Week. Also represented were those who serve many DJJ youth through contracted programs. Cathy Craig-Myers, executive director of the Florida Juvenile Justice Association and Stacy Gromatski, president and CEO of the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, joined Walters to announce this year’s four DJJ Youth Ambassadors.
"We congratulate the thousands of youth who have successfully turned their lives around," said Craig-Myers. "Their commitment to change is demonstrated by taking responsibility for their actions, making better decisions, completing their education and gaining employment, all of which makes these youth such an important asset to Florida’s future success."
"There is no better way to pave a positive path to our collective future than recognizing the value of these investments in quality services," said Gromatski. "As we celebrate the achievements of these outstanding young people, we know we have so many more to serve, and we are pledged to do so with all of our hearts united."
"The following young people represent the beneficiaries of the full continuum of care we provide," said Walters. "I thank the provider community for recommending these four young role models for at-risk youth throughout Florida. I’m so proud of each of them for overcoming so many obstacles and challenges on their path to a better life."
DJJ’s 2012 Youth Ambassadors are:
*Last name omitted to protect confidentiality.
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© 2012 Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
2737 Centerview Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3100