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Secretary's Message

October 14, 2014


Secretary Daly’s Weekly Letter

I am sincerely grateful for the hard work and steadfast dedication to this agency from those who work in juvenile justice across the state and I am proud to share every week the great work occurring here at the Department of Juvenile Justice and that of our partners. I hope you will take a moment to read the stories about the accomplishments of our colleagues and the youth in our care. I am always looking for opportunities to showcase the work you do – on and off the clock – to enrich your communities. I know there is even more going on than what I report here, so I would like to encourage each of you to keep the weekly letter in mind and remember to share your good news. It’s easy – email news@djj.state.fl.us or call (850) 921–5900 by Thursday at noon (submissions after that time will be considered for the next week’s letter).

Sincerely,

Christina K. Daly


2014 Human Trafficking Summit

On Thursday and Friday,  I was honored to be a part of the 2014 Human Trafficking Summit on the campus of the University of South Florida in Tampa. Our agency was well represented along with members from the Department of Children and Families, Department of Health, Department of Economic Opportunity, as well as United States Congressman David Jolly. The summit, which focuses on labor and sex trafficking of both children and adults, also provided an opportunity to honor outstanding citizens for their efforts to end human trafficking in Florida. Over 850 individuals were in attendance ranging from law enforcement officers, professionals from the legal community, services providers, educators and other first responders.

Awards were presented to the following individuals who were recognized as this year’s outstanding community advocate, survivor advocate, prosecutor and law enforcement officials:

Crystal Freed - Community Advocate of the Year

Crystal Freed is an attorney and community activist who has been fighting human trafficking and modern  slavery for nearly a decade. Crystal co-chaired Northeast Florida’s first Human Trafficking Task Force in 2007 and quadrupled its membership. Crystal established Jacksonville’s first human trafficking awareness walk, drawing 500 participants. She also organized the Jacksonville Bar Association’s first human trafficking continuing legal education curriculum.  This year, she directed ArtWorks for Freedom, a five-week citywide trafficking awareness campaign in Jacksonville. Crystal has dedicated her legal career to providing pro bono service to women who have been exploited in the commercial sex industry in Jacksonville. She effectively collaborates with elected officials, artists, and non-profits to end human trafficking in Florida.

Amanda Caldwell - Survivor Advocate of the Year

Amanda Caldwell is an attorney with Florida Rural Legal Services in Fort Myers who has dedicated the past six years to assisting Florida’s migrant and seasonal farmworkers throughout Florida who are victims of human trafficking. Amanda has spearheaded her organization’s drive to educate the farmworker community on human trafficking and their legal rights. Amanda travels from the Florida Panhandle to the Keys to ensure human trafficking victims receive the legal and non-legal services they need. Amanda has a wealth of knowledge on legal remedies available under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as well as through immigration and employment law. She has put this knowledge to practice through obtaining T visas for many trafficking survivors and their families. She has also commenced civil litigation for victims, claiming back wages and working conditions violations. Amanda’s work with victims ranges from individuals to large groups of farmworkers discovered through her outreach efforts. Several of these cases have resulted in abusers being charged under federal and state human trafficking laws.

Ilianys Rivera Miranda - Prosecutor of the Year

Ilianys Rivera Miranda is an Assistant United States Attorney from the Middle District of Florida who recently successfully prosecuted a case against a criminal street gang who was exploiting a 14-year-old girl in Orlando. These individuals each face up to life in prison. The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Before coming to the Middle District, Ms. Rivera prosecuted federal cases in Puerto Rico. During her tenure she served in the Violent Crimes Unit and was designated Crime Scene Coordinator and Anti-Terrorism Coordinator. In 2011 her efforts were recognized with the Executive Office of the US Attorney’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance for her successful prosecution of a multi-defendant narcotics conspiracy involving seven murders. The case culminated with a six week trial and all defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Detectives Michael Davis and Richard Trew - Law Enforcement Officials of the Year

Detectives Michael Davis and Richard Trew are partners at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The pair is responsible for the federal indictment of 6 suspected human traffickers in the first half of 2014 alone. On a day off this January, the detectives quickly and effectively collaborated with federal law enforcement and service providers to rescue a seventeen year old girl from a hotel where she was being sexually exploited. Because of the detectives’ tireless efforts, a vulnerable youth was recovered and is now receiving services to aid in her recovery. In addition to their investigative work, Detectives Davis and Trew participate in their local human trafficking task force and provide trainings for the community.


Pasco & Hillsborough Probation Visits

On Wednesday, Assistant Secretary for Probation Tim Niermann and I met with probation staff from Circuit 6 in Pasco County and Circuit 13 probation staff in Hillsborough.

These meetings consisted of discussions regarding community needs and our continued reform efforts, including initiatives that were working well and also challenges we still face.  I would like to thank all of the staff that participated in these meetings and for sharing their insight and knowledge.  



DJJ Employees Giving Back

Last Sunday, four DJJ team members including Juliet Westmoreland from Prevention, Julie Pla from Research and Planning, and Kara Ahearn and Gubernatorial Fellow Abigail Novak from Probation joined forces to take part in a 3K run to raise awareness for the Refuge House at the Southwood Country Club in Tallahassee.

The Refuge House provides direct services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and to their children and families, to eliminate such violence through community education and public advocacy. 

In the attached photo, from left to right, Juliet Westmoreland (Prevention), Julie Pla (Research and Planning), Abigail Novak (Gubernatorial Fellow) and Kara Ahearn (Probation). 

As many of you know, October is  Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Probation staff from Circuit 16 celebrated by wearing pink to bring awareness to breast cancer research.

I would like to thank all of the staff Circuit wide that participated in such a worthy cause! 





Pictured from left to right standing; JPOS Paul Armstrong, JPOS Geoff Peattie and JPO Steve Meredith. Seated from left to right: Allison Steedly, AAII, Elaine Thompson, Reform Specialist and Miranda Gray, JPO. 


Probation Update

During a recent Community Reentry Team (CRT) meeting in Duval County, Dr. Rick Casey with the Project 10 Transition Education Network spoke concerning a special project his organization is working on in conjunction with our agency and the Department of Education. This project will develop effective transition practices for planning education and reentry services through these CRT meetings. I would like to thank the following DJJ employees who attended: Statewide Transition Coordinator Sanshell Bussey, JPOSs Chapell Walker, Steffari Saddle and JPOs Tori Boatman, Cindy Jones, Patrick Crane and Paula Johnson.


On September 25th, Circuit 18 ACPO Denise Devlin attended the first class of YouthThrive™-Protective and Promotive Factors for Healthy Development hosted by the Brevard Family Partnership. This 21 hour instructor led training  was offered as Brevard County child welfare agencies venture into a new frontier of youth work, focusing on factors that decrease risk and promote resilience.  The 19 certified trainers are now tasked with taking this trauma informed and trauma focused model to the community to teach how the guiding premises shape our work with youth and improve our outcomes.


CPO Dan Rodgers and Reform Specialist Tracy Olson from Circuit 18 were honored as 2014 Community Champions at the Children’s Cabinet of Seminole County meeting Wednesday in Sanford. Dan was recognized for his work as the Cabinet Vice Chair for the last year and the chairman of the Research and Evaluation Committee.  Tracy was recognized for her work with the Federation of Families and Youth MOVE Seminole. During this past year, the Federation of Families and Youth Move participated in the first youth and parent orientation night sponsored by the probation officers in Seminole County. 


   

Last Friday, Probation staff from Circuit 18 participated in EPICS Training. This training, which helps officers improve and expand up on their EPICs skills, was led by Reform Specialists Tracy Olson, Randy Reynolds, Marc Gilmet and Melinda Wesley.  The remainder of C18 staff will be trained in the near future.




On Monday, SJPOs Sara Driver and Mary Mosley, JPOS Jillian Lewandowski and JPOs Lois Moltane and Heather LaVerne from Circuit 7 attended and hosted a display both at the annual Health and Human Services Summit sponsored by “One Voice for Volusia” in Daytona Beach. Approximately 500 community participants and 73 agencies, including DJJ staff and Circuit 7 Advisory Board members, were in attendance. 




Prevention Update

Last Saturday, girls from the PACE Center in Manatee County participated in the YES! Awareness Youth Empowerment Symposia at the PACE Center for Girls of Manatee County. Exposing PACE girls to new adventures and giving them opportunities over the weekend is a goal at PACE.  The girls enjoyed lunch at Michael's on East and listened to speakers address the topics of self-protection, substance abuse, identity theft, and bullying.




Faith Partners in Circuit 2 participated in a chaplaincy training last Saturday at the Leon County Detention Center. Faith partners participated in the faith volunteer and chaplaincy basic training. 

The purpose of this training was to educate members of the faith community to actively participate in the department’s prevention and intervention efforts. This training gave members of the faith community information needed to assist in preventing youth from entering the DJJ system and prevent youth from going deeper into the juvenile justice system.

In the attached photo, Pastor Gary Montgomery, Faith Chairman of the Circuit 2 Circuit Advisory Board, welcomes attendees to the Circuit 2 faith network training. Pastor Montgomery and his wife, Josephine operate Living Stones International, a faith-based children and family outreach and social service organization serving "children of inmates and their families." The Montgomery’s won the DJJ Champions of Hope award at the 2013 National Faith Symposium.  


On September 26, Miami-Dade Juvenile Services Department Chaplaincy Program engaged the faith community with a Chaplaincy Training at the Edison Salvation Army in Miami. The Circuit 11 DJJ Faith Network and Chaplaincy Program and the Miami-Dade Juvenile Services Department Engage 305 Chaplaincy Program educated faith- and community-based organizations about how to partner, engage, encourage, lead, and inspire our youth and families being served through DJJ.

Participants were also informed of the needs of the youth and families and how their organization could work to meet those needs including mentoring, food, transportation, clothing, youth development, substance abuse, shelter, and other appropriate services.  




The Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services recognized October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. At the Bridge, staff works with youth affected by domestic violence every day. Both their First Stop for Families program and their shelters see youth who have encountered domestic violence in their young lives and Bridge staff must be prepared to deal with the repercussions that it brings. This month, staff at the Bridge will remember that they are the first step in ending domestic violence in a child's life.



Residential Update

Daytona Juvenile Residential Facility, a high-risk commitment program for males, ages 13 to 18, which is operated by G4S Youth Services, LLC, held a “Block Party” for the residents last month on the day that school was not in session due to a teachers’ training day.  The young men enjoyed some delicious, grilled burgers and hot dogs that were cooked by Facility Administrator Paul Brown and Assistant Facility Administrator Javonte Crenshaw.

The Block Party included special activities such as a football throwing contest, Ping-Pong ball target practice, and a basketball game.  Vocational Instructor Ebony Prince-Mack did a great job of coordinating the day and all the residents said they had a great time. 





       



Above:  The young men enjoyed the football throwing contest and being able to play a game of checkers or just talk with each other.


As part of the normalization efforts for the young men at the Orange Youth Academy and Orlando Intensive Youth Academy, co-located programs for males, ages 14 to 21, which are operated by G4S, the staff came up with the idea to take school pictures of the young men just like students do annually in community schools.  The young men really liked this idea and it gave them an opportunity to show off their new uniforms.  The new school uniforms include khaki pants, polo shirts, belts and better quality gym shoes.  All the youth were given two, individual photographs to send to their parents or guardians; each individual portrait looked like the type of portrait a student would sit for on “school photo day” in the public school system at home.  Special thanks go to staff members, G. William, T. Townes, and in-house photographer A. Ferguson for making it possible to provide the boys and their families with school photos.  Shown below are group photos of two of the programs’ classes.







Last month, the residents of the Brevard Group Treatment Home (BGTH), a non-secure program for males, ages 12 to 15, which is located in Cocoa and operated by Aspire Health Partners, traveled to Merritt Island to participate in “Feasting for Firefighters.”  Feasting for Firefighters is an event sponsored by the Eastern Florida State College Collegiate Veterans Society to benefit the Merritt Island Volunteer Fire Department. 

The event featured fun family activities that included carnival and midway games, 50/50 raffle with gift baskets and other prizes, a live band and a DJ, the Brevard Zoo Animal Encounter, fire trucks, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, a Brevard County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, Smokey Bear™, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, U.S. Coast Guard Commander Bee Perry and Chief Aaron Morgan.

The young men of BGTH volunteered to staff the different game booths, as well as helping to clean up after the event.  Most importantly, the young men got an opportunity to interact positively with law enforcement and other local heroes during the event.  A special thanks goes to Activities Coordinator Diana Robinson for always finding meaningful restorative-justice opportunities in which the BGTH residents may participate.






The Boys & Girls Club (BGC) of Tabula Rasa on-site at DOVE Academy, a non-secure program for females, ages 15 to 18, which is operated by Twin Oaks Juvenile Development, Inc., recently implemented the “Money Matters” project.  Money Matters is a project that is designed to teach the “giRls” how to manage and budget money, balance a checkbook, differentiate between wants and needs, how to look for housing, and how to fill out job applications and create a résumé.  

BGC Site Director Brenda Cobb, who is always looking for community resources to enhance the Money Matters curriculum, decided to take the giRls on mock interviews in the local community.  Prior to the interviews, she taught the young ladies preparation essentials, such as: how to look for a job that is best suited to an individual’s skills and interests, key terms to know for interviews, questions to ask a potential employer, how to research and get to know the company when applying for a job, what to do once the job is offered, and what to do in the event of an employer terminating the employment (being fired or laid off). 

Additionally, the giRls completed applications for various jobs.  After reviewing the applications, they discussed in depth the importance of a job application and résumé.  They discussed the importance of making a positive first impression along with some do’s and don’ts of the interview process. 

Brenda helped acquire appropriate interview clothing for the mock interviews.  Along with Brenda, Education Director Amy Barnes, Twin Oaks Juvenile Development BGC Director Nicole Gonzalez, and Twin Oaks Corporate Administrative Projects Director Jean Horton also solicited donations of clothing, shoes and accessories to create a DOVE Job Closet.  They received a great deal of cooperation from several businesses that were willing to participate and were very excited to be a part of what BGC and DOVE are working toward for the residents. 

The first round of interviews was conducted at Cato Fashions in Chipley where the store manager interviewed four giRls who came prepared with their applications for a sales position, which went really well.  The manager commented that she would have hired any of them in a real life situation.  The overall response from the giRls was that they learned things about themselves they didn’t know, their self-confidence has increased, and they don’t feel as nervous about future interviews.  

BGC will continue this project, providing each resident with the opportunity to participate in a mock job interview off-site.

The BGC of Tabula Rasa is a charter held by Twin Oaks Juvenile Development, Inc. and is a member of the National Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  Each youth is a member of the BGC while in the program and following graduation.  The activities provided by BGC staff enhance youth activities and provide structured after-school activities such as tutoring, certifications and learning opportunities to improve interpersonal skills.


Detention Update

I would like to highlight the Collier RJDC who has been busy transforming the correctional environment to a trauma-informed environment. As you can see by these pictures, Collier has updated the lobby with decals; the sub control to greet parents has been cleaned and updated to be utilized, and the gym on the premises is beginning to come together.  




Last Sunday, Superintendent Cody Wood from the Leon RJDC here in Tallahassee made a presentation to the Lambda Alpha Epsilon honor society at Florida State University about possible careers within the juvenile justice system. Superintendent Wood spoke on the reforms that are shaping our agency right now and about the changes he has seen in the juvenile justice system during his 22 years of service.  On Tuesday, Major Wood gave these students a tour of the facility focusing on reforms and the trauma informed care softening that the facility has been working on. 


Office of Program Accountability Update

The Programming and Technical Assistance Unit (PTA) provides support to DJJ Programs to ensure effective delivery of delinquency interventions.  We’ve recently completed a series of staff surveys to gain feedback related to the services provided by the (PTA) unit.  The surveys indicated there were several opportunities for improvement including: increasing collaboration with program operations teams; re-evaluating the program referral process; evaluating and prioritizing the types of services offered by the team; and educating stakeholders on the services offered by the team. 

To address these opportunities, the Office of Program Accountability initiated a workgroup with members representing each of the program areas.  The first team meeting was held on Friday, Oct 10th.   The team reviewed the team charter and customer survey results, and prioritized a list of new services that the PTA unit may provide to support the various programs.  The next meeting is scheduled for October 17th where the team will review the referral process, trainer qualifications and action steps needed to move forward with the new priority services. 


Staff Development and Training Update

Please join me in congratulating the following individuals who have been selected for the DJJ Certified Public Management (CPM) Program for 2014–16! These individuals were selected from a wide field of qualified candidates.

Lut Clarcq, Probation Reform Specialist for Circuit 20

Sandi Coker, Staff Development and Training Supervisor of Curriculum & Evaluation

Cassandra Evans, Chief Probation Officer for Circuit 17

T. Dodie Garye, Personnel Human Resource Analyst

Katherine Jackowski, Research and Planning Senior Management Analyst Supervisor

Stacey Kakarigi, Detention Senior Management Analyst II

Joshua Kuch, Prevention Statewide DMC Coordinator

Michele Lewis, General Services Director of Purchasing and Leasing

Michell McCarthy, Residential GOC II  for Placement and Classification

Garrett O. Tucker, Program Accountability Senior Management Analyst Supervisor

Condelia Ward, Program Accountability Contract Management Deputy Supervisor

Elisa Watson, General Counsel Public Information Officer

CPM is a nationally recognized program that builds management and leadership skills among public service employees. It is the highest level of leadership development currently offered by the Department. The two-year CPM course of study is conducted by the Florida Center for Public Management (FCPM) at Florida State University. FCPM is highly respected and widely recognized for its strong curriculum. To learn more, visit the FCPM website at http://www.fcpm.fsu.edu.




                  






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