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Secretary's Messages


  • This week I led the latest series of editorial board, stakeholder and Town Hall meetings in Orlando (Monday), Tampa (Tuesday) and Pinellas County (Wednesday) to discuss the Roadmap to System Excellence. We met with 15 journalists, 68 stakeholders and more than 350 members of the public at these meetings.
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  • ROADMAP UPDATE: On Tuesday, we took the Roadmap to System Excellence to Gainesville, where senior staff and I conducted the second in a series of editorial board visits, stakeholder meetings and Town Hall meetings across Florida.
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  • TAKING THE ROADMAP TO GAINESVILLE: I was gratified at the positive response to last Thursday’s Roadmap to System Excellence Town Hall meeting in Tallahassee. The next Town Hall meeting is at Santa Fe College in Gainesville on Tuesday, Nov. 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
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  • FIRST ROADMAP TOWN HALL MEETING A SUCCESS: I am deeply grateful to the more than 100 members of the public who attended the first Roadmap Town Hall meeting in Tallahassee Thursday night. Stakeholders, employees, civic leaders and parents from Leon, Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla counties contributed valuable comments to shape the path of juvenile justice reform.
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  • INTERNATIONAL HONOR: Secretary Walters was one of eight recipients of the 2012 Juvenile Justice Without Borders International Award presented by the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO) during the International Youth Justice Convention.
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  • ROADMAP UPDATE: I was recently interviewed for my views on juvenile delinquency, reform and the agency’s Roadmap to System Excellence. You can watch the first in a series of these interviews by clicking here.
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  • 2012 FAITH SYMPOSIUM A SUCCESS: Today was the culmination of a remarkable week in which hundreds of people from across Florida and the nation joined together at the “Our Children, Our Future: Restoring Hope” faith symposium in Orlando.
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  • ROADMAP UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who has already submitted questions and comments about the Roadmap to System Excellence. The Roadmap builds on the reforms already underway at DJJ and guides us on the path to making Florida the national model for juvenile justice administration.
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  • DETENTION KUDOS: Kudos to Dr. Gladys Negron, South Region director for Detention Services, for deciding to relocate the south regional office to recently vacated space in the Miami-Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC).
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  • SUMMIT A SUCCESS: On Monday, Sept. 24, more than 250 concerned state and community leaders and advocates attended Florida’s first Human Trafficking Summit, presented by the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet and the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights.
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  • HUMAN TRAFFICKING SUMMIT: On Monday, Sept. 24, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins and I will lead the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet in a Human Trafficking Summit in Tallahassee. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and is a form of modern-day slavery.
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  • I was pleased to address the Florida Association of District School Superintendents during their leadership conference in Orlando on Thursday. School referrals to DJJ continue to decline and there is opportunity for further improvement through alternatives to arrest, such as Civil Citation, mediation and teen court.
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  • Prudent planning prevented problems for youth appearing before the court when Tampa was filled with visitors for the Republican National Convention last month. The proceedings were moved smoothly to the Hillsborough Juvenile Detention Center-West, and logistical and technology support to accommodate the court, state attorneys and public defenders worked flawlessly.
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  • I was honored to speak before the basic officer graduating class at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Tallahassee today. The following graduates received a certificate for completing 240 hours of training to become a juvenile justice detention officer or juvenile justice residential officer.
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  • TROPICAL STORM (TS) ISAAC UPDATE: As of this morning, the Florida Division of Emergency Management reported that the trajectory of TS Isaac is shifting northwest and is anticipated to eventually make landfall somewhere between the Florida Panhandle and southeastern Louisiana.
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  • Protective action response (PAR) indicates use of conflict de-escalation techniques in juvenile justice facilities. DJJ emphasizes a restraint-free environment through effective behavior management, including positive, respectful relationships and vigilant, proactive supervision of youth.
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  • I am pleased to announce the appointment of Delanah Gebhart as DJJ’s Chief of Contracts. She replaces Elaine Atwood, who will serve as a procurement manager for key projects. I am grateful to Elaine’s continued service at DJJ.
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  • I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Gladys Negron as Detention Services director for the South Region. Dr. Negron has more than two decades of experience in the juvenile justice field serving in direct care, management and executive leadership roles.
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  • On July 19, Gov. Scott appointed 16 members to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group. This group, which is mandated by federal law, advises Florida regarding compliance, requirements and funding related to the federal Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act.
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  • DJJ Education is working to infuse more vocational training and employment opportunities into educational programs for DJJ youth to strengthen the success of their rehabilitation efforts and help them become more employable.
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