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Secretary's Messages


  • DJJ staff recently attended the 2019 FCCD Distinguished Service Award Banquet hosted by Chapter 2 of the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency (FCCD) at the Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee. The event recognized outstanding professionals in the corrections, juvenile justice, judicial and law enforcement professions. Five individuals were honored for their continued commitment to outstanding work within their communities.
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  • Congratulations to Circuit 5 Senior Juvenile Probation Officer (SJPO) Roberta Ellis who recently received the “Above and Beyond” award for her commitment to our youth, Circuit 5, and the Department. SJPO Ellis demonstrated going “above and beyond” for her efforts during a recent high priority, time-sensitive case. She provided the knowledge, insight and information regarding the youth, which was vital to the attorneys and the courts during this emergent situation. She represented DJJ with professionalism during a critical situation. SJPO Ellis exemplifies the upstanding character that is expected in our Department, and she is committed to providing excellent service to all our partners. She embodies the true spirit of our Department’s mission.
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  • This past week, Secretary Simone Marstiller had the opportunity to speak at the Florida Juvenile Justice Association’s annual retreat. FJJA is a statewide organization that supports juvenile justice and brings together individuals, agencies, organizations and private and non-profit corporations to improve Florida’s juvenile justice system. Secretary Marstiller and attendees had an open dialogue about how the agency and our provider-partners can better serve the youth in our care.
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  • Congratulations to Juvenile Detention Officer (JDO) Jenise Benjamin with the Miami Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC) for her 30 years of service with the Department and the state of Florida. The detention center honored JDO Benjamin with a breakfast at the facility and her family members and colleagues were on hand to celebrate this milestone. JPO Benjamin has been a dedicated employee working in both residential and detention services during her tenure. The Miami Regional Juvenile Detention Center would like to thank her for her service and wish her many more productive years with the Department.
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  • Congratulations to the newest class of juvenile justice detention officers who were honored at a graduation ceremony at Broward College. The guest speakers for the event were South Region Detention Director Kevin Housel and Dean Linda Wood from Broward College’s Institute of Public Safety. Juvenile justice detention officers ensure the safety and security of youth in detention facilities across the state of Florida. As a highly responsible position, our detention officers often serve as positive role models that supervise youth in their care.
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  • We would like to honor all of our recent juvenile justice probation and detention officers for all they have accomplished. These officers will work with our youth either in the community or in our detention centers around the state. Congratulations to all who have made the commitment to serve Florida’s youth and families, we are proud to have you as part of the DJJ team!
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  • Congratulations to Senior Juvenile Probation Officer (SJPO) Jebreal Jones who was recently recognized as Circuit 16 Probation Employee of the Quarter. To present her with her certificate was Circuit 16's newest team member, Juvenile Probation Officer Supervisor Robert Harder. Thank you SJPO Jones for your hard work and dedication!
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  • Circuit 2 Juvenile Probation Officer (JPO) Zachary Stackhouse and JPO Heather Hawkins were recognized for their hard work in the courtroom by Circuit Judge David Frank. Judge Frank wrote commendation letters to Secretary Marstiller praising both JPOs for their knowledge and professionalism while representing the Department in court.
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  • Congratulations to Sharon G. Washington, a supervisor in the Background Screening Unit, who recently graduated from the Florida Leadership Academy (FLA) in Pensacola. The FLA program is a vital part of the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute, located within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Bureau of Professional Development.
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  • Congratulations to Corporal Pierre Casseus who was recently presented with the South Region Employee of the Quarter award from Major Dennis Driscoll. Corporal Casseus has been working for the state of Florida since 2005 and began working for DJJ in 2007. As a veteran staff member, Corporal Casseus has welcomed and taken many new staff members under his wing. Corporal Casseus does not miss work and can be counted on to complete all of his duties in a timely manner. He also has an award-winning smile for each person he comes across and has a great rapport with his co-workers, parents and youth.
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  • Congratulations to Charlene Wilcox for being named Hillsborough Juvenile Detention Center Employee of the Month. Ms. Wilcox received this honor for her dedicated service to the youth and fellow staff at the detention center. Superintendent Marcus Wilson presented her with her certificate.
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  • Congratulations to Senior Juvenile Probation Officer (SJPO ) Maritza Hernandez from Unit 110 in Hillsborough County for being recognized as the Central Region Probation and Community Intervention Employee of the Quarter!
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  • DJJ has hosted several graduations over the past few months and we would like to honor all of our recent juvenile justice probation and detention officers for all they have accomplished. These officers will work with our youth either in the community or in our detention centers around the state. Congratulations to all who have made the commitment to serve Florida’s youth and families, we are proud to have you as part of the DJJ team!
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  • Last week, Secretary Simone Marstiller joined PACE Center for Girls staff, board members, and PACE girls from around the state for the annual PACE Center for Girls Day at the Capitol. More than 100 PACE girls came to the Capitol and met with members of the Florida House, Florida Senate, and even First Lady Casey DeSantis, to share the impact PACE has had on their lives and to advocate for improvements on key issues impacting girls across Florida.
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  • Last Tuesday, First Lady Casey DeSantis honored the 2019 DJJ Youth Ambassadors at the Florida Governor’s Mansion in celebration of Youth Success Day. Joining the First Lady in honoring this year’s ambassadors was Secretary Marstiller, DJJ leadership, community partners and members of both the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation (FJJF) and Florida Juvenile Justice Association (FJJA).
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  • Last week, Secretary Simone Marstiller attended juvenile probation officer training at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Midway. Secretary Marstiller participated in the training to gain a better understanding of the role juvenile probation officers play throughout the juvenile justice process.
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  • Congratulations to Circuit 16 Juvenile Probation Officer Supervisor (JPOS) Paul Armstrong who was appointed to the South Florida Behavioral Health Network (SFBHN) Board of Directors for his second term.
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  • Major Dennis Driscoll from the Southwest Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC) recently presented a special acknowledgement bracelet to Corporal Patrick Thomas for his many dedicated years of service to the center and our agency.
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  • On Friday, February 15, 2019 juvenile justice detention officer graduations were celebrated for officers attending the Hillsborough and Valencia College Academies.
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  • Last week, Secretary Marstiller had the opportunity to attend the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services Executive Advisory Board meeting in Tallahassee.
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