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Secretary's Message

November 3, 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


Trauma Informed Care Day

On Friday, I was honored to participate in the Trauma Informed Care event at the Betty Easley Conference Center in Tallahassee. As many of you already know, Trauma Informed Care is an approach for engaging those with a history of trauma which recognizes those symptoms of trauma and acknowledges the role it plays in their lives. Many of our youth have a history of trauma and evidence suggests that 27% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a serious mental health disorder. Recently, the Governor proclaimed November 1 as Trauma Informed Care Day and you can read his proclamation here.

The event featured Florida’s Trauma-Informed Care practices, Zackary Gibson from Governor Scott’s Office of Adoption and Child Protection and keynote speaker Tonier Cain, CEO of Healing Neen, who spoke of her emergence from drug addiction, multiple incarcerations, and two decades of homelessness to become a tireless advocate and educator on the devastating impact of childhood abuse. (Pictured above: Secretary Daly, DCF Chief of Staff Jane Johnson, Tonier Cain and Zackary Gibson)


Jacksonville Youth Academy Site Visit

Last week, I enjoyed visiting the Jacksonville Youth Academy, a non-secure program for males (ages 14 to 18).  I was joined by Residential Services Assistant Secretary Moneyham, Education Director Julie Orange, and Northeast Deputy Regional Director for Residential Services Billy Starke.  We were given a tour of the program and its improvements by Facility Administrator Joseph Shuler.   Joe also talked about the work they are doing on normalcy and creating a positive environment for the youth since the program opened in July.  The facility was previously a secure program and creating a more homelike, therapeutic environment was a challenge that Joe rolled up his sleeves and went to work on immediately.

Shown Here (L-R):  Billy Starke, Julie Orange, Laura Moneyham, Sec. Christy Daly, Joseph Shuler, and Program Monitor Katina Horner. 


DJJ Employee of the Month 

I am pleased to honor Circuit 8 JPO Valerie Tyson as DJJ’s Employee of the Month. JPO Tyson, a 15 year veteran with our agency, excels in her job role and epitomizes the phrase “going above and beyond.” JPO Tyson is always willing to take on additional job responsibilities to ensure the very best for the youth in her care.  She is dedicated to her community and has built strong relationships with our judicial partners in the 8th Circuit.  She is a team player and a great example to those not only in her Circuit but for the entire department. 

Please join me in congratulating Valerie on this tremendous honor!

The Employee of the Month for October will be highlighted in the near future and I would like to remind everyone to please keep sending your nominations for the monthly DJJ Employee of the Month Award. You can do so by clicking here


Circuit Advisory Board Spotlight

I would like to recognize Stephanie Glass from Circuit 5 as the Circuit Advisory Board Chair Spotlight for November. Stephanie strives to provide alternative options for youth so that they can overcome life’s obstacles without the stigma of being criminalized.  She runs a Law & Government Explorer Post, a civil citation work program, and Teen Court.  She reviews juvenile detention billing, participates in re-entry team meetings and manages state and federal jail diversion grants.  

Stephanie is a part of the Public Safety Coordinating Council, board member of the Safe Climate Coalition and the Police Activities League, chairs the Shared Services committee, and has previously served as president of the Florida Association of Teen Courts for 5+ years. Her previous work experiences, as a child protective investigator, child abuse counselor and forensic interviewer, and alternative school teacher and therapist, have provided a strong foundation for the diverse juvenile population she serves. In 2011, Ms. Glass received the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Distinguished Service Award for Juvenile Justice at both the local and state levels.  She was also awarded the Donn Davis Public Service Award by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in 2011.  

Stephanie is happily married and has two children, Mackenzie (7) and Benjamin (5).  She attends Grand Island Baptist Church, is a youth YMCA soccer coach, Girl Scout volunteer, and is an active PTO member.  Her greatest personal achievement:  “Balancing work, home, church, sports and activity schedules so that my children see the importance of serving others yet know they are my priority.”


We have almost reached the end of the pledge drive for the 2014-15 Florida State Employees’ Charitable Campaign (FSECC).  The pledge system will stop accepting online pledges at 5 p.m. EST on November 7, 2014. If you intend to pledge and have not already done so, below is a brief summary of the steps you will take:

Step One: Register and/or Login

Go to the pledging tool at https://www.givingnexus.org/_fsecc/  or via www.fsecc.com 

Step Two: Pick Your Favorite Charity(ies) 

You will need to designate at least one charity to receive your gift.  

Step Three: Make Your Pledge

There are 3 ways to pledge – recurring payroll deduction, a lump sum by check (made out to FSECC), or cash

Step Four: Allocate Your Pledge

Once you have made your charity designation, enter the total amount you wish to donate in the box provided. If you have designated more than one charity, the minimum annual gift to each charity is $5.  As you add allocations, the system automatically recalculates the portion of your total pledge that remains to be allocated. When your remaining total is $0, your allocations are complete.

Step Five: Complete Pledge Process and Print Receipt 

If your donation is for a one-time sum in cash or a check, you must take a copy of your pledge receipt along with your donation in cash or check (made out to FSECC) to your agency volunteer coordinator no later than 5 p.m. EST on November 7.

Please Visit www.fsecc.com  for more information.

 

Thank you for participating in the FSECC and helping to support its many charitable causes. 


Office of Program Accountability

Bureau of Monitoring and Quality Improvement Progress 

The Bureau of Monitoring and Quality Improvement has a process in place where the Regional Supervisor sends to the program director a review evaluation form after each annual compliance review. The review evaluation allows the program to rate the annual compliance review team on their overall performance, professionalism, overall knowledge of the quality improvement process, whether or not review team members maintained objectivity, and if the team members completed a thorough evaluation of the information provided for review.

Program directors are also able to evaluate the overall review process as to whether the review team provided the program staff an opportunity to respond to each reviewed key indicator, especially with exceptions noted, and if the rating definitions and appeal process were explained during the entrance conference.  Lastly, the program is able to rate the review team on whether or not the preliminary ratings presented during the daily debriefings represented an accurate evaluation of the program’s current overall performance. Program directors are encouraged to provide recommendations on what changes could be made to make the Quality Improvement review process better.

The Bureau has received a great response from reviewed programs during this FY14-15 review cycle. Although not too many recommendations to change the process have been provided, the information presented in each evaluation is used by the Bureau Chief and Regional Supervisors to tweak practices and focus on training for monitors to make the process more efficient and as non-disruptive as possible. 


Prevention Update

Community Engagement Coordinator Verla Lawson-Grady took part in a program entitled “Youth Education through Services and Women on the Rise Youth Forum,” on October 15 at the Walker Ford Community Center in Tallahassee. The purpose of the forum was to educate and assist youth to become responsible members of their community. Topics included: “Attitudes – How Others Perceive You,” “Breaking the Communication Barrier amongst Teens and Parents/Law Enforcement/Court System/Authority,” “Society’s Perception of the African-American Male,” and “What determines your SUCCESS?” The forum was hosted by Visions of Manhood, Inc. , a DJJ Prevention program whose mission is: “To educate and assist all males and females who are in need of knowledge, support and/or encouragement to become more responsible youth and effective men and women.”

Visions of Manhood sponsors programs that encourage fathers to provide financial support and to be involved in children's lives; Male Responsibility Youth Initiative, an intervention program, focuses on substance abuse prevention, legal system, health issues, conflict resolution, anger management (in school system for at-risk students, ages 10-19); Youth Education through Service (males) and Women on the Rise (females) programs combine restorative justice and service learning to divert first time offenders (ages 8-18) from the juvenile justice system; In Lieu of Suspension, allows students facing school suspension to attend a program to continue in school and learn importance of education; and Parenting education programs for parents ordered to complete requirements.

Forum participants included representatives from DJJ, Visions of Manhood, Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County Sheriff’s Office and a local attorney.

In the above photo (from left to right): Norman Billups, Tallahassee Police Department; Rhonda Jess, Visions of Manhood Inc., Program Facilitator; Verla Lawson-Grady, DJJ Community Engagement Coordinator; Joe Thomas, Executive Director, Visions of Manhood, Inc., and Nick Fryson, Department of Corrections


The PACE Center for Girls in Jacksonville attended the See The Girl Summit on October 24 at the main branch of the Jacksonville Public Library. The Girls from PACE of Jacksonville attended the summit to experience a thought-provoking one-day conference that highlighted the latest research, girl-centered programming practices, specialized interventions for survivors of human trafficking and advocacy and public policy reforms. 




Community Engagement Coordinator Verla Lawson-Grady manned a DJJ display table at the Florida A&M University Health and Safety Day last Tuesday at the Hansel Tookes Student Recreation Center on campus. The annual event is designed to promote health, wellness and disease prevention for students, faculty, staff and citizens. Approximately 300 people attended. Health Day is a part of the annual FAMU Homecoming activities. The event featured free health screenings and an abundance of disease prevention information for all who attended. Faith Coordinator Craig Swain also attended and conducted faith engagement outreach during the event.

In the photo: Verla Lawson-Grady, left, poses with Dede Daly, Interim Secretary Christy Daly’s mother, who was also conducting community engagement at the FAMU Health and Safety Day event.






DJJ Faith Coordinator Craig Swain attended the meeting of the Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys last Wednesday at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach. The role of the Council is to make “a systematic study of the conditions affecting black men and boys, including, but not limited to, homicide rates, arrest and incarceration rates, poverty, violence, drug abuse, death rates, disparate annual income levels, school performance in all grade levels including postsecondary levels, and health issues.” 

The Council may also “study other topics suggested by the Legislature or as directed by the chair of the Council.” In addition the Council “shall receive suggestions or comments pertinent to the applicable issues from members of the Legislature, governmental agencies, public and private organizations, and private citizens.”


Last week, Prevention staff working in partnership with staff from the Bureau of Contracting and the Bureau of Finance and Accounting presented workshops in Panama City and Pensacola entitled, “Doing Business with the Office of Prevention and Victim Services.”

In order to assist stakeholders doing business with the Office of Prevention and Victim Services, staff is conducting workshops at various locations throughout Florida.  The presentations will provide stakeholders  an introduction to the federal funding  stream and contracting processes that include reviewing MyFloridaMarketPlace, registering  in the Vender bid System, Request for Proposals, and properly preparing a response.


Last Wednesday, Delinquency Prevention Specialist Tina Levene spoke to the Victimology and Victim Services class at the Southern Technical College in Tampa. Tina’s presentation focused on DJJ services as a whole and a detailed explanation of Prevention Services. The students had many interesting questions. They discussed criminal personalities and the prevention of youth getting into the system by increasing protective factors and decreasing risk factors. Overall, the class was a success and many of the students sparked an interest in prevention services rather than reactive services. 


Detention Update

The Collier RJDC held it first Detention Advisory Board meeting recently during their quality improvement review. This newly developed board, which will meet monthly, consisted of representatives from the Collier County School Board, Sheriff’s Office, South Region Detention Office and community partners. During this first meeting, the board discussed additional programming for our youth and employee recognition. 



Youth from the Okaloosa RJDC received their monthly pet therapy visit with two dogs named Boomer and Mattie. In addition, local Crestview resident Anthony Aranda spoke to the boys in our facility about his life stories. Anthony has a brother in prison and was headed down the same path himself before he joined the military and turned his life around. Anthony stood as an inspiration to all of the youth at our facility. 


The Circuit Advisory Board from Circuit 5 purchased shirts for the food service staff at the Marion RJDC to celebrate “pink out” month in October which is designed to raise awareness for breast cancer. These ladies take great pride in looking fabulous! 

Front row: Martha Youmans and Lissette Godfrey Back row: Nikki Taylor, FSD Sheila Gillum, Brenda Pate


Our youth from the Escambia RJDC were busy channeling their inner artist this week, as they decorated Halloween bags. These bags were stuffed with goodies, and were given to the children from the Children’s Home of Pensacola.





Probation Update

JPO Demeitra Battle and other probation staff from Circuit 20 partnered with Keiser University to educate our youth on the juvenile justice system and what options they have post high school. Demeitra worked with Keiser’s Community Relations Coordinator Keith Jackson to inspire youth from the local community, some who are currently involved with our agency. The participants were provided with career interest inventories as well as a personality inventory to assist in pinpointing which careers they may be most interested in pursuing.  Keith showed the youths videos on the advances in technology and about what the future has in store.  Overall, the program was successful and was a different approach for the probationers in Circuit 20.  This event helped youth set new goals for their future and also provided more insight on their involvement with juvenile justice. 


Statewide Civil Citation Coordinator Theda Roberts and Circuit 20 Reform Specialist Lut Clarcq completed Civil Citation training with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Cape Coral Police Department. Theda provided training to these deputies and encouraged each one of them to utilize Civil Citation. The duo also met with the LIFE Assembly of churches to provide an update on our reform efforts and asked for assistance to increase Civil Citation. Following the training, Theda received this e-mail from Sergeant Matt Chitwood from the LCSO:

Thank you so much for your time as well.  We issued our first civil citation yesterday.  The flow chart made it an easy process.  The deputy was all ready to take the kid to the JAC, and then I reminded him about the mandatory civil citation.  It was on a misdemeanor vandalism case.  Please feel free to pass along anything else you think might help us out here on the front lines.

 

Sgt. Matt Chitwood




Last Saturday, Circuit 20 Reform Specialist Lut Clarcq from coordinated with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to organize the Third Annual Make a Difference Day at Veterans Park in Lehigh Acres. This event provided agencies and businesses the opportunity to promote their mission in the community. During the event, probation youth were given an opportunity to earn valuable community services hours by helping set-up tents, cleaning and tearing down tents. DJJ shared their tent with the PACE Center for Girls of Fort Myers and distributed brochures and materials while educating the public on a variety of topics including prevention, intervention and transitional services. I would also like to thank JPOs Demetria Battle and Tia Williams for their help with this event. 


The Tallahassee Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) team held their tenth session last week at the Leon County Sherriff’s Department.  All of the parents and youth in attendance actively participated in the session which featured a presentation on safety from Sheriff’s Deputy Jessica Inkner who also took the attendees on a tour of the facility. Assistant Secretary for Probation Tim Niermann was on hand to provide support as well as dinner and Halloween treats for the kids. The SNAP boys and their parents expressed a great deal of excitement and appreciation for the opportunity.

Pictured left to right:  SRO Shawn Edwards, Gubernatorial Fellow Abby Novak, AA I Lauren Floyd, Director of Policy and Programming Jeannie Becker-Powell, Statewide Reform Coordinator Kara Ahearn, Reform Specialist Liz Phillips, and Assistant Secretary Tim Niermann


Last Thursday, members from the Office of Probation and Community Intervention’s Headquarters staff participated in the 14th annual Florida State Employees Charitable Campaign (FSECC) 5k run. The FSECC is the single authorized solicitation of state employees to voluntarily benefit charities providing programs that meet human or environmental needs in our community, across the nation and abroad. 

Pictured left to right:  Statewide Reform Coordinator Kara Ahearn, Director of Policy and Programming Jeannie Becker-Powell, AA I Lauren Floyd, Gubernatorial Fellow Abby Novak, Assistant Secretary Tim Niermann, Statewide Transition Coordinator Sanshell Bussey, and Management Review Coordinator Chantelle Dishman


Circuit 14 JPO Robin Myers accompanied a youth in her care during the graduation ceremonies from the Bay County Juvenile Drug Court on October 23. The Drug Court stands as a local intensive outpatient drug rehabilitation program. Upon entering the drug court back in February, this youth overcame many situational and personal obstacles to become the first youth to graduate from the drug court program in over a year. After completion, Circuit Court Judge Allen Register terminated this youth from probation. Robin said that this youth “was a true pleasure to work with and even taught me some things about adapting and overcoming situational circumstances!”

Photo:  Sonya Lowe, PCMI Director of Operations, Youth T. B., Judge Allen Register, JPO Robin Myers




SJPO Troi Owens, JPOS Yvonne Ortiz and JPO Tonya Mathis from Circuit 6 participated in a domestic violence workshop in Pinellas County on October 25. The featured guest speaker during this event was Nicole Marchman who is the founder of the None Lost Movement which stands as an advocate for domestic violence awareness. During her speech, Nicole addressed the topics of self-esteem, self-value, self-defense and self-awareness. 



Probation Staff from Circuit 11 joined the fight against breast cancer by participating in a walkathon in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club-Northwest area. DJJ staff and STEP facilitators used this opportunity to interact with our youth in an effort to raise Breast Cancer Awareness. In addition, the Lincoln Square probation office was decorated in pink and information was posted on breast cancer as well as the importance of early detection. I would like to thank the staff from the BGC for organizing this event: Program Director Kenny Wilcox, Unit Director Gail Everett and Event Staff Coordinator Ashley Peters. 


Left to right: Valrose Graham, JPOS, Alicia Borders, SS, Laketta Ballard, JPO, Pam Peters and Joshua Patience


JPOs Bryan Hill and Heriberto Gonzales from Circuit 11 attended the 68th Annual Florida Association of School Social Workers Conference in Deerfield Beach two weeks ago. Bryan and Heriberto set up a DJJ display both where they provided information and brochures to many of the vendors in attendance about the services our agency has to offer. The conference featured two keynote speakers: Dr. Stephen Sroka from Case Western University and Chancellor Dr. Paula Allen-Meares from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Both spoke on topics regarding behavioral intervention techniques and the challenges between the community, family, schools, and law enforcement in finding new ways we can all work together in finding solutions for our troubled youth.


Nearly 200 guests gathered at the Westin Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale on October 17 for the farewell celebration for South Probation Director Vanessa Hargray. Vanessa, who retired from the agency on Friday, was honored by ACPO Charles Bethel as well as a host of family members, colleagues and regional team members. Other former retired DJJ employees including Greg Johnson, Perry Anderson and Feirmon Johnson spoke during the ceremony and welcomed Vanessa to the world of retirement. Vanessa will be greatly missed for her no-nonsense approach that was rooted in a foundation of unwavering compassion for children. On behalf of the entire agency, I would like to wish her well in her retirement. 


The Circuit 10 Focus Group and staff participated in The City of Bartow’s annual Halloween festivities.  Staff decorated the building and  were greeted with over 75 trick-or-treaters from eight local day care centers.   The City of Bartow is celebrating 66 years of providing community Halloween festivities, which Circuit 10 DJJ Probation has been a part of for the past 10 years!

Pictured from left to right: Natalie West JPOS, Rosa Ardito SJPO, Amber Phillips AA, Roberto Pinero JPO, Andrew Correa SJPO, Amy Entrekin JPOS, Lisa McGinnins JPO, James McCoy JPO


Residential Update

At the Daytona Juvenile Residential Facility, a high-risk program for males, ages 13 to 18, which is operated by G4S Youth Services, LLC, Community Case Manager Ann McPherson created a “Helping Hands Closet” that includes clothing and shoes for youth who are leaving the program.  Staff members and a faith partner, Open Hand Ministries, donate to the closet to ensure that each young man starts off on the right foot when he leaves the program.

This month, the staff will donate dress shirts, pants, ties, belts, and shoes to present to the youth who graduate the program.  The goal is for each graduate to have professional attire for job interviews.  Clinical Director Keniesha Francis, Health Services Administrator Ashley Alban, and Physical Plant Worker John Hildreth assisted in preparing the “Helping Hands Closet.”

Pictured here:  Community Case Manager Ann McPherson (front) and Clinical Director Keniesha Francis (back) stand inside the completed “Helping Hands Closet.”





At the Okeechobee Girls Academy, a non-secure program for females ages 13 to 18, and is operated by G4S Youth Services, LLC, the residents participate in the Home Builders Institute Program where they are always learning new vocational skills.  Most recently, the girls completed a boat to compete in the 4th Annual Adam Bryant Minimal Regatta.  The youth built and designed the boat (shown right) to race in the competition that was held in Okeechobee County.  The rules of construction for the competition were very specific and challenging as follows: 

Boat Construction:  Homemade boat race using “minimal” materials: one 4’x8’ sheet of ¼-inch luan plywood, 24-feet of 2”x4”s, one 60-yard roll of duct tape, and one pound of screws.  You can use all the paint you want, but no urethane, adhesives, or caulking may be used.  Boats from previous years’ races are permitted.  Other items (cardboard, rope, cloth, tape, wood, etc.) may be used in the decoration of the boat, but may not contribute to the structural integrity, buoyancy, stability, or water seal of the boat.


Last month, 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, hosted its inaugural “The Missing Peace 5K” at Viera High school in Viera, FL.  The Missing Peace 5K was a vision of Program Administrator Joseph Nixon to celebrate World Peace in addition to raising money to supplement the many normalization initiatives at BGTH.

The race was extremely successful with more than 166 registrants.  Amongst the participants in the race were members of the Aspire Health Partners, Inc. executive team, as well as DJJ regional staff members Carldernett Davis, Monica Webb and Denise Devlin.  The boys from the program were stationed along the 5K route, handing out water to the runners and walkers.

The Missing Peace 5K received and raffled off more than $4,000 of in-kind donations, including cruises to the Bahamas, yearly memberships at Anytime Fitness with personal trainers, and Chanel gift baskets worth over $500.

More than 100 medals were given away, as well as plaques for the top overall finishers.  The event was “themed” so folks had the opportunity to dress up to celebrate peace.  There were some very unique outfits!

BGTH Senior Youth Counselor Nichole Clement took home the best dressed award, narrowly beating out Team Development (Babette Hankey, Christie Suehle and Shannon Robinson). 

The overall winner of the event was Joseph Cappola (pictured to the right) who will forever hold the title as the first winner of The Missing Peace 5K.  The biggest winners of the day were the young men of BGTH who raised more than $1,100 to further their normalization initiatives.

Special thanks go to all of Aspire’s DJJ team but most notably the planning committee:  BGTH Administrative Assistant Cheryl Burchfield, BGTH Activities Coordinator Diana RobinsonBGTH Morale Chairperson/Direct Care Staff Member Rashawnda Anderson, and Brandy Schafer, from the Aspire Development Office.


Kissimmee Juvenile Correctional Facility (JCF), a high-risk program for males ages 14 to 18, which is operated by Sequel TSI of Florida, LLC, held a “Spook Away Breast Cancer Family Day” in honor of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The students and staff members wore the color pink to represent breast cancer awareness.  Parents, students, and staff members learned more about breast cancer by watching an educational video

The day’s events also included a song of praise that was dedicated to those loved ones who did not survive breast cancer.  The young men and staff members shared stories of family members who succumbed to cancer and honored their memories. 

A special lunch was prepared for everyone who attended and the boys’ families were able to win various gift cards throughout the day.  The residents enjoyed having their faces painted and their photos taken with their families.  It was an awesome time educating the Kissimmee Family on the subject of cancer in general.






























St. John’s Juvenile Correctional Facility, a high-risk program for males (ages 14-18) that is operated by Youth Services International, Inc., joined with Unity Outreach, Inc. (a non-profit, organization) to help local breast cancer patients.  They held a “Breast Cancer Awareness Relay” that raised money and awareness.  While participation was optional, 97% of the youth signed up to be take part in the event. 

The youth listened attentively and respectfully as Volunteers Peggy Jones and Christy Joubert provided information and statistics on breast cancer that were applicable to both males and females.  They also motivated the youth on the importance of looking beyond themselves by providing support to people in need, explaining the positive impact of helping others through community service. 

The residents and staff members enjoyed running in the relay.  Afterward, the youth enjoyed a pink, strawberry cake and Ms. Jones raffled off t-shirts.  To end the event, a couple of the youth took over the microphone and thanked Unity Outreach for taking the time to motivate, educate, and inspire them.

All proceeds generated by staff participation went towards Unity Outreach to provide financial support, hope, and resources for breast cancer patients in the St. Augustine community.


Last week, the staff and students at Orange Youth Academy (OYA)—a program for males, ages 14 to 21, operated by G4S Youth Services, LLC—joined together for a Breast Cancer Awareness activity on October 22, when all of the students wore a pink shirt. 

During a campus meeting with the students, a teacher who also is a breast cancer survivor shared her story of battling breast cancer.  Staff members also were encouraged to wear pink during the month of October to show their support of those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. 

Everyone came together to pose for a picture outside of the facility, forming two pink ribbons.


Last week, Northeast Deputy Regional Director for Residential Services Billy Starke, Commitment Manager Virgil Wright, and Probation & Community Intervention Reform Specialist Donna Clayton participated in the Community Fair at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville.  Students were provided with information on employment opportunities, internships and services the Department provides to the youth in our communities.


Shown here is Billy Starke (right) with Dr. Reuben O. Perechi, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Professor of Criminal Justice at Edward Waters College. 


Last week, the Office of Residential Services held its first-ever statewide Residential Management Review meeting that included the members of the residential management review unit, regional operations staff members, and leadership team members who are involved in processing residential incident reviews.  This meeting gave everyone an opportunity to collaborate on how to process and complete reports, relating to the Central Communications Center (CCC) incident reports.  The various staff who handle the reports on a daily basis were able to share information, provide technical assistance, and develop guidelines for consistency throughout the state.  Topics included 24-hour regional response, assignment of cases, PREA and CCC incidents, conducting reviews, and PAR-related incidents.

In addition to Assistant Secretary Laura Moneyham, Programs & Policy Coordinator Meg Bates, and OMC Manager/CCC Program Area Liaison Candace Seifert, presenters included Statewide PREA Coordinator Gene McMahon, Staff Development & Training Sr. Learning Consultant Duane Pace, and Office of Inspector General Investigations Coordinator Gerard Ward.  All of the presentations were well received and feedback from participants was positive.

Special thanks go to Candy Seifert who pulled together an agenda with serious topics but found ways to include special, fun activities for this hardworking group, and to Patricia Boyd and Lytha Belrose who assisted in meeting preparation.  

Back Row (L-R): Johnny Richardson, Therman Gullette, Laura Moneyham, Dwight Poole, Mary Mills, Tom McFadyen, Meg Bates, Nick LeFrancois.

Next Row Down (L-R):  William Donnelly, Billy Starke, Ken Houk, Neil Stier, Darrell Bacon, Mike Lindsey.

Next Row Down (L-R):  Mack McLeod, Monica Webb, Tommy Fawcett, Gerard Ward, Carldernett Davis, Katina Horner, Lois Salton, Sophia Ifill, Lori Jernigan.

Front Row (L-R):  Lori Hardyman, Melinda Gouldsbury, Candy Seifert, Janie McGeorge.


The Wellness Wire

Please find a link below to the November edition of The Wellness Wire. This monthly publication provides calendars of events hosted by providers of Florida State Group Insurance and tips to improve health and emotional well-being. 

Volume 2 │ Issue 11 │ November 2014


























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