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DJJ Secretary and Staff Donate Time to Paint Murals at Leon Regional Juvenile Detention Center

Tallahassee, Fla. – Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters and a team of approximately 20 volunteers, including a few members of the media, painted murals in the cafeteria, hallways and clinic at the Leon Regional Juvenile Detention Center on Saturday, March 23, 2013.

Research shows that the environment in which juvenile offenders are confined can affect their future behavior and lower their chances of future incarceration.

“Being placed in a juvenile detention center can be a traumatizing experience for a young person and we want to do everything in our power to keep them from reoffending and returning to our care,” said DJJ Secretary Wansley Walters. “We are working on similar projects across the state and I am thrilled at the amount of community involvement we’ve experienced. It’s very important for the youth to know members of their own community care for them and want to see them succeed, and this project clearly illustrates that.”

In the two years Secretary Walters has led the department, detention admissions have decreased 17.7 percent and the percentage of youth disposed to residential commitment has decreased by 32.2 percent. This represents a $28 million savings for detention ($21 million to counties; $ 7 million to the state) and a $56.9 million savings for residential.

Walters added, “This volunteer initiative is truly a testament to the dedicated Department of Juvenile Justice employees who serve Florida’s youth. I could not be prouder to work amongst such a great group of people who demonstrate their commitment to our state’s children and teens on and off the clock.”

 

From left: Mark Greenwald, Tom Flanigan (WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio Network), Cody Wood, Wanda Finnie, Marc Kippur, Sherry Jackson, Margie Menzel (Florida News Service), Secretary Wansley Walters, Charlie O'Toole, Samadhi Jones, Juliette Westmoreland, Meghan Speakes Collins, and Kimberly Ward. 

To view all of the pictures from the day, visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FlaDJJ.



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