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Secretary's Messages


  • All DJJ employees must have a performance evaluation completed for the rating period ending December 31, 2013 (the period covers 4/1/13 – 12/31/13). The Department of Management Services has encouraged all agencies to have their evaluations completed by January 31, 2014.
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  • On Monday, DJJ partnered with Living Stones International to host a holiday fellowship dinner for Capital Area children with incarcerated parents at the New Birth Tabernacle of Praise Church in Tallahassee.
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  • Today, I had the opportunity to watch a stupendous presentation on Success Through Empowerment Program (STEP) by JPOS Lana Wilcox and JPO Tracy Magwood, JPO. Thank you, ladies; it was quite impressive!
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  • With our unemployment rate below the national average and more private sector jobs being created every month, Floridians across the state are enjoying the benefits of our recent economic turnaround.
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  • This week I spent some time on the road with the Office of Prevention as they continued their Community Conversation Tour.
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  • This week, Deputy Secretary Christy Daly and I, along with a select group of residential staff and residential providers, traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to meet with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and leaders from the Missouri Department of Public Safety, which houses the state’s Juvenile Justice Program.
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  • This week, our agency, along with the Department of Children and Families, hosted the Fourth Annual National Faith Symposium, “Our Children, Our Future: Restoring Hope.” The symposium was held at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando and the two-day event brought nearly 400 faith leaders from around the country to share ideas and best practices for integrating faith-based organizations into our work to help at-risk children, youth and families.
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  • On Tuesday, I had the honor of speaking at the 2013 Tallahassee Community College Scholarship lunch. In 2008, TCC started its New Start Scholarship, which is awarded to individuals who have been involved in the juvenile justice system and Tuesday’s lunch recognized Kierra Howell, the first New Start recipient to graduate.
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  • This week, I had the pleasure of joining the Office of Prevention at a community conversation in Gulf County. The meeting was well attended and local residents took the time to share their concerns regarding at-risk and delinquent youth, as well as the many ongoing efforts taking place in the community to steer troubled youth toward positive decisions that will help them avoid the juvenile justice system.
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  • This week, I had the pleasure of joining Office of Prevention at two community conversations, in Madison and Gilchrest counties. We had great attendance at both meetings and I was thrilled that DJJ staff from the region and local residents took the time to share their concerns regarding at-risk and delinquent youth, as well as the many ongoing efforts taking place in the community to steer troubled youth toward positive decisions that will help them avoid the juvenile justice system.
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  • On Monday, Deputy Secretary Christy Daly, Chief of Staff Jason Welty and I attended the Tallahassee screening of Kids for Cash, hosted by The James Madison Institute, at the Challenger Learning Center IMAX
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  • The Interagency Human Trafficking Workgroup, which I chair, hosted the 2013 Florida Human Trafficking Summit yesterday in Tampa on the campus of the University of South Florida.
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  • This week marked the first Interim Committee Week at the Capitol prior to the 2014 Legislative Session, and Legislative Affairs Director Jon Menendez and Deputy Director Marcus Smith were busy sharing DJJ’s priorities with state lawmakers.
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  • I was honored to attend the Juvenile Justice Leadership Network (JJLN) meeting in Washington, D.C this past week on the campus of Georgetown University.
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  • This week, Deputy Secretary Christy Daly; Assistant Secretary Joni Wimmer, Probation and Community Intervention; Assistant Secretary Laura Moneyham, Residential Services; Mark Greenwald, Director of Research and Planning; Mike Baglivio, Senior Research Analyst and expert in evidence-based practices; and Jackie Young, Program Administrator, attended an all-sites meeting in Georgetown to discuss the Department's implementation of the Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project (JJSIP).
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  • I would like to update you on our ongoing efforts to increase the Department’s efficiency, accountability, and transparency as part of the contract reform initiative, but before I get started I want to make note that we are able to implement these innovations because of the hard work and dedication of all of you.
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  • On Wednesday, I had the privilege of presenting our Roadmap to System Excellence to the attendees of the 84th Annual Criminal Justice Training Institute in Orlando.
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  • You have probably heard there was an incident Saturday evening at Avon Park Youth Academy, a residential facility in Polk County that houses males between 16 and 19 years of age, that received a great deal of media attention and caused damage to some of the program’s buildings.
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  • On Tuesday, Deputy Secretary Christy Daly attended the State Advisory Group (SAG) meeting in Daytona Beach where she spoke with SAG members about the status of DJJ’s priorities: the 985 Legislative Rewrite, Budget and Roadmap to System Excellence.
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  • I am excited to share with you the updated Roadmap to System Excellence but first want to take this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for your continued hard work, your valuable input on DJJ’s reform efforts and your continued commitment to moving this agency forward with the goals outlined in the Roadmap.
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