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Secretary's Messages


  • Last Friday, DJJ Headquarters held an employee recognition ceremony to honor employees celebrating their years of service with the state of Florida and our agency.
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  • Congratulations to Jake Watson and Patrick Swartzendruber, the newest members of the Circuit 8 Probation Protective Action Response (PAR) Class of 2020. They both successfully completed PAR verbal and physical intervention techniques and passed the PAR written exam.
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  • Last Thursday, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice along with our partners celebrated our 2020 DJJ Youth Ambassadors. A big thank you to Governor Ron DeSantis who proclaimed Thursday, January 30th Youth Success Day in Florida! We would also like to thank First Lady Casey DeSantis who hosted the 2020 DJJ Youth Ambassadors at the Florida Governor’s Mansion in celebration of Youth Success Day.
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  • Congratulations to Sergeant Costarica Jose for being selected as the Detention Services Central Region Employee of the Month.
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  • Recently, Eckerd Connects Project Bridge held its leadership banquet at the Clearwater Marina. At the event, they recognized two of Circuit 13’s juvenile probation officers (JPO) for their commitment and service.
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  • Congratulations to Lieutenant Michael Mohr from the Collier Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC) on being named Detention Services Employee of the Quarter.
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  • Congratulations to Benita Smith and Amy Snow for being recognized as the Information Technology (IT) Employees of the Month for November 2019. Each month, IT recognizes one employee from DJJ HQ and one from the field using a peer nomination process. Being nominated by their peers speaks volumes to their work ethic and dedication to this agency.
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  • The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and the agency is closing out this milestone year with several important accomplishments.
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  • Congratulations to Chief of Staff Josie Tamayo who recently won the Judges Choice award at the Legal Services of North Florida’s Dancing with the Stars fundraiser in Tallahassee. The event paired ten local celebrities with professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studios to compete to raise funds to provide free legal aid to those who need it most in our communities
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  • Congratulations to Jackie Suttle for being named the Agency IT Professional of the Year at the 2019 Public Sector Chief Information Officer (CIO) Academy. Jackie was recognized for her leadership, vision, and innovation related to the agency’s Juvenile Justice Information System and other agency software applications used by DJJ employees, providers and law enforcement partners.
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  • Congratulations to Sergeant Deborah Caldwell from Hillsborough Regional Juvenile Detention Center who was recognized by the Circuit 13 Juvenile Justice Advisory Board. Sergeant Caldwell was presented the inaugural Julianne M. Holt Dedication to Public Service Award and was recognized for her 30 years of service, hard work, professionalism and dedication to the youth we serve.
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  • The Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, a DJJ Children In Need of Services (CINS)/Families In Need of Services (FINS) provider, was proud to join with Capital City Youth Services in Tallahassee to host Florida's First Lady Casey DeSantis. Department of Children and Families Secretary Chad Poppell joined the First Lady for a tour and meeting to better understand the services provided by the Network agencies and CINS/FINS.
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  • DJJ recently wrapped up its 2nd Annual Restoring Hope Training Summit at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando. This two-day event brought together a total of 425 attendees, including DJJ staff members, providers, and community stakeholders from around the state, to develop strategies to enhance juvenile justice reform efforts, strengthen families, and build connections.
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  • AMIkids Orlando recently had the honor of hosting DJJ Secretary Simone Marstiller. The Secretary was given a tour of the renovated facilities and spent time with the students hearing about their goals and aspirations.
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  • Circuit 20 Senior Juvenile Probation Officer Byron Brown recently received a heartwarming letter of appreciation from a youth and parent he worked with.
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  • Congratulations to Systems Project Analyst Randy Agerton for being recognized as the Information Technology (IT) Employee of the Month for September 2019!
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  • Last week, Secretary Simone Marstiller participated in several facility tours with State Senator Jeff Brandes. They visited the Manatee Regional Juvenile Detention Center, Palmetto Youth Academy, and the Hillsborough Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
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  • The Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation (FJJF), the direct support organization for DJJ, recently received a generous $10,000 donation from Walmart. FJJF serves to change the lives of students, the lives of their parents, and the lives of the citizens in our community by promoting delinquency prevention, intervention, and educational opportunities for youth.
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  • Secretary Simone Marstiller recently spoke at the Restoring Families graduation ceremony at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Havana.
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  • This week Team DJJ launched a school threats awareness campaign aimed at addressing school threats made by students in Florida. The “It’s No Joke” campaign aims to dissuade youth from making school threats, because doing so can lead to being arrested and charged with a felony.
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