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DJJ EMPLOYEE RECEIVES 2015 VISIONARY AWARD FROM THE FLORIDA JUVENILE JUSTICE ASSOCIATON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 18, 2015


CONTACT:

Heather DiGiacomo
heather.digiacomo@djj.state.fl.us

(850) 717-2710


DJJ EMPLOYEE RECEIVES 2015 VISIONARY AWARD FROM THE FLORIDA JUVENILE JUSTICE ASSOCIATON

Orlando, Fla.—Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) employee Crystal Brown, a juvenile probation officer supervisor in Bartow, was awarded the Florida Juvenile Justice Association’s (FJJA) Visionary Award today during the 2015 Adolescent Conference at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center.

The FJJA gives annual awards to recognize outstanding individuals who have made extraordinary contributions in the areas of both direct care and leadership. The FJJA Visionary Award honors those persons who have helped implement creative and innovative approaches that positively impact a program, agency, or system.

Crystal, who was nominated by probation staff members in Circuit 10, created a free weekly dance program for kids at a recreation center in Lakeland. Many of the youth Crystal teaches are at-risk and come from neighborhoods in high crime areas. Her students have seen first-hand the gang and gun violence that takes place in their communities. Crystal uses her dance class as a positive creative outlet in an effort to divert them away from the criminal justice system.

“On behalf of DJJ, I congratulate Crystal on receiving this well-deserved award and thank her for going above and beyond in creating such a wonderful program for our children,” DJJ Secretary Christina K. Daly said. “Cultural arts programs teach children valuable social and problem solving skills and give them the creative outlets needed to steer them away from the juvenile justice system. DJJ remains committed to prevention and early intervention programs, including arts programs like the one that Crystal has dedicated herself to in Lakeland.”

Crystal, who has a passion for teaching and dance, teaches these kids in their local communities. She feels strongly that embracing the community will give children a sense of pride with the hope to bring an end to higher crime rates.

The 20th annual Adolescent Conference Breaking Boundaries: Uniting for Youth, Families and Communities, hosted by the Florida Juvenile Justice Association, offers child welfare and juvenile justice systems professionals the opportunity to share and showcase proven prevention, intervention and treatment practices, disseminate knowledge into practice, and discuss implementation of effective strategies. 

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