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Secretary's Messages


  • Secretary Marstiller along with DJJ staff recently attended the 90th Annual Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency (FCCD) Training Institute in Miami.
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  • September is National Suicide Awareness Month and September 8-14 is Suicide Prevention Week. Suicide prevention is an important part of the work we do at DJJ. Suicide screenings begin at the first contact a youth has with the juvenile justice system and throughout our continuum of care.
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  • Secretary Simone Marstiller recently participated in the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet meeting in Orlando. The Cabinet is charged with promoting and implementing collaboration, creativity, increased efficiency, information sharing and improved service delivery between and within state agencies and organizations. This was the first meeting of the Cabinet with the new chair, First Lady Casey DeSantis.
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  • Several DJJ members were recently honored during the 2019 Florida TaxWatch Productivity Awards. The Florida TaxWatch Productivity Awards are presented annually to recognize state employees and work units whose work significantly and measurably increases productivity.
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  • Congratulations to Our Newly Certified Juvenile Justice Detention Officers! In August, 15 juvenile detention officers graduated from the Juvenile Justice Detention Officer Academy in a ceremony at Hillsborough Community College. The guest speaker for the event was Major Reginald T. Allen from Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC). The class president was William Scheel, the class company commander was Dontee Scheel and the class secretary was Karen Lyons.
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  • Congratulations to Paulina Feliciano who was recently named the Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC) Support Services Employee of the Month. Ms. Feliciano has done a wonderful job keeping the main lobby areas clean, cleaning up messes on the, and keeping the main bathrooms stocked and clean.
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  • DJJ Secretary Simone Marstiller had the opportunity to speak at the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) Summer Conference in Tampa. While at the conference, Secretary Marstiller spoke to the attendees about how the Department is working to help Florida’s youth and how public safety partnerships are vital to reaching this common goal.
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  • Team DJJ added another 20 staff members who have now graduated from the Florida State University’s Certified Public Managers (CPM) program. This graduating class was part of the largest group to graduate from the CPM program, with a record 214 graduating in Tallahassee and a combined total of 380 with two other graduations to be held in Largo and Orlando. CPM is a rigorous nationally -recognized program that focuses on a variety of topics with emphasis on leadership, systems thinking, motivation, and ethics.
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  • Best wishes to Delinquency Prevention Specialist Carmen Lundy who has retired from DJJ after more than two decades of serving Florida youth in Pensacola.
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  • Last week, DJJ Secretary Simone Marstiller had the opportunity to serve as a guest speaker at the Florida Association of School Resource Officers (FASRO) Conference in Miami. Secretary Marstiller discussed the important role school resource officers play in the work of DJJ and in the lives of young people.
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  • 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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