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Secretary's Message

November 10, 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


Central Florida Staff and Site Visits

On Monday, I made several staff and site visits in Central Florida. Monday morning Central Regional Detention Director Cathy Lake and I visited the Orange RJDC where we met with Superintendent Jeff Lonton and his Assistant Superintendents Roosevelt Butler and Larry Eason. Jeff provided us with a tour of the facility and introduced us to his hardworking staff.

I also met with June Feezel from Angel Paws, a local animal adoption shelter, which provides our facility with pet therapy dogs for our youth. These meetings consisted of discussions regarding community needs and our continued reform efforts.  I would like to thank all of the staff for taking the time to meet with us and participate in these meetings!

Later that morning, I had the pleasure of visiting Kissimmee Juvenile Correctional Facility along with Residential Services Central Regional Director Thomas McFadyen, Probation Central Regional Director Cathy Lake, Circuit 9 Chief of Probation Jill Wells, Program Operations Specialist Monica Webb, and Victim Advocate Gretchen Kerr, from Longwood.  The visit included a tour of the program, a discussion of the services the program provides, and ways that the program collaborates with the community, including the internship program with Webster University and the facility’s work  with Victim Services of Central Florida. 

The tour was conducted by Program Administrator Kerrick B. May and Unit Director Suhail Perez.  It included a review of the normalization projects that have been completed, sitting in on the career and vocational course taught by the Osceola County educational staff, and speaking with the Youth Advisory Board President Addison Bowling.

Kerrick and Suhail elaborated on the program’s Juvenile Sex Offender Services, Substance Abuse Services, Mentorship Program, and the Behavior Management Services.  Kerrick also discussed the many Restorative Justice Projects that have been completed and the current Food Drive that is taking place during the month of November for the Orlando Union Mission. 

It is always great to have child advocates who have the same vision, mission, and guiding principles as the Department and to have those visionaries operating our residential programs.

That afternoon, I visited the Boys Town of Central Florida, which is a DJJ CINS/FINS Provider. The Boys Town Campus in Oviedo is the second largest facility of its kind in the country. The site works with the state of Florida to combat child abuse and neglect through one short-term Intervention and Assessment center. These programs and services touch the lives of 7,600 children and families in Central Florida each year.


Florida Network Board Meeting

On Friday, I was excited to address the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services Quarterly Board meeting in Southwest Florida. The Florida Network is a statewide association representing agencies which serve homeless, runaway, and troubled youth ages ten and older and their families. Their services include: advocacy for youth, public policy development, public education, data collection and research, and training and technical assistance.




Education Update

I am pleased to share with you this story from the Marion Youth Academy. Arthur Elkins, a social science teacher at the facility gave his students a project by creating a relief map of the United States using a salt and flour concoction. With paint, a projector and persistence the principles behind the perimeters of each state came to life, and who says that U.S. History, economics or geography has to be one dimensional. 



Probation Update

Circuit 9 Reform Specialist Melinda Nelson-Wesley and Statewide Civil Citation Coordinator Theda Roberts participated in a neighborhood rally last Saturday in Orlando. This rally, which was hosted by Bishop A.L. Helligar from Koinonia Ministries of Central Florida, focused on peaceful solutions to violence. Melinda and Theda spoke on our agency’s reform efforts and the Civil Citation Initiative. 





Circuit 7 Commitment Manager Kristina Picone participated in three separate Zumbathons in Volusia County during the month of October to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness. The picture shown here was from the Zumbathon on October 12 in Daytona Beach which featured over 300 participants and rose over $4,200. The event was featured in an article in the Daytona Beach News Journal which you can read by clicking here. Two other Zumbathons were held in Deland and Seville respectively and all three events totaled over $5000, which stayed in the local communities to help provide mammograms to those who could not afford them. 


SJPOs Chiquita Fountain and Linda McCray and JPOs Gerry Pea and Rhonda Gard from Circuit 1 participated in a career fair at the University of West Florida on October 30. The event, hosted by the Criminal Justice Student Association, focused on careers in criminal justice and pre-law so that students could get a feel for what type of jobs they might be interested in. Our DJJ staff members met with students to answer their questions about employment and internships with the department. 


Last week, JPOs Aaron Rivas and James Millan from Circuit 8 spoke with local middle school students about drugs and the penalties for drug use in the juvenile justice system. These meetings were in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week 2014. Aaron and James also explained that each youth can choose their behavior, but cannot choose their consequence for their behavior.


Last Friday, Probation staff from Circuit 8 held their 3rd annual Fall Harvest door decorating contest and Chili Cook-Off. This year saw a plethora of contestants and the winners (pictured left) were: Kathryn Brown, JDAP Administrative Assistant- Traditional chili; Susan Stormant, Data Integrity Officer- Non-traditional chili; Jill Clemens, North Regional Director- Spicy and the Door Decorating winner was Susan Stormant. Everyone enjoyed tasting the various types of chili and a wonderful time was had by all.  The chili winners won a golden spoon to display for the year and Susan received an award and a jar of candy for her decorative door.


Circuit 6 JPO Jill Gould teamed up with Britney Kelling from Project Bridge and the Home Builders Institute to attend the Stetson University Law School’s Pro Bono Fair in St. Petersburg on October 21. Jill and Britney attended the fair to help recruit volunteers for the Project Bridge program to serve as mentors or tutors. The duo recruited approximately 15 potential volunteers to help Project Bridge. 




SJPO Troi Owens, JPOS Karin Popkowski and JPO Pierre Connor from Circuit 6 participated in the Family Fun Day at the Police Athletics League of St. Petersburg on October 31. Our probation staff used this community based event to distribute information related to DJJ resources on delinquency, prevention, intervention and community information. 





Probation staff from Circuit 6 held its Staff Appreciation Day on Halloween which was an 1980’s themed costume party entitled, “Triumphant Employee Appreciation and Bodacious Enhancement Day.” The festivities consisted of interactive activities which included guest speaker Dr. Dae Sheridan who made a presentation on compassion fatigue and avoiding burnout. In addition, the 2014 Service Awards were presented to congratulate employees on their years of service. They included:

Reform Specialist Hazel Hudson (5 years), Secretary Specialist Gwendolyn Wright (10 year), JPO Keyra Inmon (10 years),  JPO David Greagrey (10 years), Sr. JPO Victoria  Sanderlin (10 years),  JPOS Melissa Fuller (10 years), JPO Loretta Harvey (10 years), JPO Duane Schrecongost (15 years), JPO Michele Hancock (20 years), Secretary Specialist Madeline Feliciano (20 years), Sr. JPO Linda Muisener (20 years), JPO Jon Justison (25 years), Sr. JPO Ronna Kelley (25 years),  JPOS Yvonne Ortiz (30 years), JPOS Marilyn Walker.


Probation staff from Circuit 17 participated in the 2nd Education Not Incarceration Forum hosted by Broward County School Board Member Dr. Roslyn Osgood. The forum consisted of a panel of experts including CPO Cassandra Evans, Circuit Court Judge Elijah Williams and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. The panel informed the community about the various strategies used to address the school to prison pipeline. 




Office of Program Accountability

With the implementation of the shared services model in the Office of Program Accountability (OPA) came the statewide roll out of the Provider Management and Monitoring (PMM) system across all program areas.  Prior to PMM, Residential and Probation were using a similar system called RSMS to house information regarding contracts and provider performance. 

PMM provides the agency with one location to store all service performance related data for both contracted provider programs and state-operated programs.  Probation Circuit offices and Detention facilities are part of the PMM system which ensures that our Department holds itself to the same level of oversight as our contracted providers. 

Many of the services provided to the youth in our care are done so through contracted providers.  Therefore, it is important that we manage and monitor those services to ensure the youth are receiving quality services and providers are complying with all contractual obligations.  OPA staff are currently working with MIS to enhance various aspects of PMM.  We are excited about the future modifications that will incorporate the new structure of the management and monitoring processes recently put in place. 

The performance measure elements of PMM are being modified to better provide for statewide tracking of reporting on provider compliance with those performance measures.  A new module to incorporate an electronic program alert system is being developed.  In addition, the overall permissions and team structure currently existing in the system are being modified to reflect the current organizational structure.  Jennifer Bailey is the OPA coordinator for this PMM project.  Please feel free to contact her should you have any questions or concerns!   


Detention Update

On October 30, the youth from the Orange RJDC welcomed Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill to the facility. Commissioner Hill gave a very dramatic speech about her vision which calls for more community involvement and neighborhood meetings. Commissioner Hill also stated that she favors local businesses and community involvement to help our youth and invited each youth to seek her in the future so that she can do whatever she can to help facilitate their personal success. Her words of experience and encouragement made a very visual impact on the youth at the facility. 






Last week, the Marion RJDC received some very special guests as representatives from the Jacksonville Zoo made a visit to the facility. The youth at Marion learned a lot about the animals visiting from the Zoo and most importantly were able to interact with them. 









As you know, last Friday was Halloween and youth and staff from around the state got into the spooky spirit of the holiday. In Volusia county youth from the girls mod at the Volusia RJDC decorated masks to wear during the festivities, while staff opened up their doors to the tricker treaters that graced their hallways. Shown in these pictures below are the art masks from the Volusia RJDC and trick or treaters from Pinellas RJDC.


Last week, Bill Nelson provided training for Detention Supervisors and Managers at the Central Regional Office in Tampa and the Orange RJDC.  Bill trained these staff members on everything from grievances and discipline to unemployment, FMLA,ADA and workers compensation. 





It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Kevin Housel as the Chief of Detention Services, Central Region.  Kevin has over 25 years of experience working in residential, community based, and detention programs in both Pennsylvania and Florida.

Kevin began his DJJ career in 1999 at Orange Detention as a Community Youth Leader Supervisor and was promoted to the Assistant Superintendent position at the Osceola Regional Juvenile Detention Center in 2001. In 2004 he began his tenure as the Superintendent of St Lucie Regional Juvenile Detention Center.  Kevin was the Superintendent of the Year for the south region in 2012, as well as, the recipient of the Assistant Secretary Award for Teamwork for his willingness to serve as the acting Superintendent for a number of detention centers in the south during periods of transition.

Kevin’s extensive knowledge of detention operations will be a tremendous asset to the central region detention team.  Please join me in congratulating Kevin on his appointment.


Juvenile Detention Officer Graduation Ceremonies

Congratulations to the newest DJJ detention officers (JDOs), who graduated today in a ceremony at DJJ headquarters in Tallahassee.  JDOs supervise youth in state-operated juvenile detention centers as they await an appearance before the court, or placement in a juvenile residential treatment facility.  The graduates successfully completed 240 hours of training to become certified officers.  They will work in the DJJ facility listed next to their name.  Thanks to Heather Hart, superintendent of Bay Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC) for delivering the graduation address.  Kudos to Senior Learning Consultant Duane Pace of the Office of Staff Development and Training and Troy Jones of Orange RJDC, who trained the officers for this position of critical responsibility.

Front row (left to right): Tawny Mangiaracina–Bay RJDC

Row 2: Shekiera Smith–St. Lucie RJDC , David Booker–St. Lucie RJDC, Gregory McConnell–Duval RJDC , Frank Clements–Bay RJDC , Octavia Williams–St. Lucie RJDC,  Raul Cruz–Marion RJDC,   Grace Hall–Okaloosa RJDC.

Row 3:  William Davis–Volusia RJDC , Henry Jordan–SWF RJDC , Brian Ehrmantrout–Volusia RJDC , Bianderea Darkins–Monroe RJDC , Deana Carr–Volusia RJDC , Sharrieff Vincent–St. Lucie RJDC , Jeremy James–Volusia RJDC.

Back row: Eric Hunter–Volusia RJDC,  Roberts Watts–Duval RJDC , Orville Manns–SWF RJDC , Jordan Fassett–Okaloosa RJDC , Michael Smith–Duval RJDC, Ricky Johnson–Marion RJDC,  Albert Harding–SWF RJDC. 


Prevention Update

Delinquency Prevention Specialist Tina Levene was recently profiled in the October edition of the Circuit 13 Probation Star Newsletter. “Hello, My name is Tina Levene,” the article begins. “One of many of my passions is going to the Detention Center and speaking with the females. I wrote a book called, Let your lessons become your blessings, and donate my book to each female in Detention.”

“My book is about: How to transform trauma into purpose. Every mistake does not define our future. If you have been abused, it was not your fault. Prevention is key in all aspects of young people’s lives. Prevention of making poor decisions and the prevention of repeating those negative consequences by learning new ways to live a healthy life.”

“If you need a speaker for your youth or need any resources for the families you work with, please know I am always here to assist you. Thank you for your efforts in keeping our community safe by stopping youth delinquency. You make a difference!”


Tina was also the keynote speaker at a drug treatment graduation on October 29 which was hosted by Bridges of America in Auburndale. Thirty-three females graduated from the drug treatment program, and Tina spoke during the ceremony offering words of support and encouragement on the special occasion.











On October 22, the UACDC Tampa I Prodigy Program, a DJJ Prevention Provider, presented artwork to Hillsborough County’s Fire Rescue Station No. 14 during a recommissioning ceremony. Fire Station 14 was constructed in 1969 and originally served as a volunteer station. The Fire Station closed for a few years after a new station was built nearby. Station 14 reopened in February 2014 after an extensive makeover that included raising the roof to accommodate today’s larger engines and rescue vehicles.

In 2001, the station was dedicated in memory of Captain Darryl J. Dzugen, who passed away of natural causes shortly after returning to the station after fighting a fire. The University Area Community Development Corporation Interim Executive Director and CEO Sarah Combs presented some Prodigy youth artwork in celebration of the event and service to the community in which many of the Prodigy youth live and sleep peacefully under the watch of Station 14.      

In the attached photo, Sarah Combs University Area CDC interim Executive Director and CEO (right) presents artwork created by Prodigy youth to Chief Ron Rogers of the Hillsborough County Fire Department, during the Recommissioning Ceremony of Station No. 14.


Davida Bowen, Site Manager for the Tampa I Prodigy Program a DJJ Prevention Provider, was named employee of the quarter last month by the University Area Community Development Corporation in Tampa. Davida has been the Prodigy cultural arts program Site Manager for just eight months. During this short time, she has accomplished outcomes with the Prodigy program that usually take over a year.

Specifically, this quarter, she obtained the highest number of new youth served – 182 - in any one particular month throughout the history of Tampa I Prodigy, a DJJ Prevention provider. She not only met all program goals, she exceeded them! This Prodigy program is in such demand that she has to double as an Instructor for the Music Production class. 

Davida is not one to sit behind a desk, as she is always out in the community searching for youth and parents to educate on the benefits of being in the Prodigy program.  She is committed to doing whatever it takes to have the most successful Prodigy program ever at UACDC, and for that and much more she was acknowledged as Employee of the Quarter.  


The PACEWorks Career Exploration Class from the PACE Center for Girls of Palm Beach County attended a dynamic career class at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando on October 20. Program girls and transition girls who participate in the PACEWorks! program traveled to the park to meet with Disney staff to explore careers in zoological sciences. PACE was given a “behind the scenes” tour and met with subject area experts to get up to date information regarding the field.

PACEWorks! is a transition program that focuses on education and career skills. After school tutoring, assistance with college enrollment, career readiness workshops, college/vocational program tours, financial independence classes, internships, creation of portfolios, and volunteer projects are a few areas addressed through PACEWorks!

The girls had a chance to enjoy a few of the park’s attractions before their class. The Expedition Everest ride seemed to be their favorite attraction!


PREA Update

Congratulations to the Pasco Regional Juvenile Detention Center for passing the PREA Audit!  The Audit Report can be found on the Department’s Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Web page which you can read by clicking here

Also, new to the PREA Web site is the five-part PREA Orientation video series for youth in the care of the Department.  The videos can be found online here.  Many thanks go to the DJJ team who worked on the scripting and production of, and starring roles in the videos:  Office of Residential Services Assistant Secretary Laura Moneyham, Statewide PREA Coordinator Gene McMahon, Patrick Fargason from the Office of Communications, Detention-HQ GOC-II Shannon Piotrowski, Leon Detention Center Superintendent Cody Wood, as well as a special thanks to JDO Supervisor at Leon Detention Sherell Dancy. 


Residential Update

Last week, the Northwest Regional Office of Residential Services held its Quarterly Program Directors’ Meeting at the Panhandle Area Education Consortium in Chipley.  The meeting was well attended with every residential program in the Northwest Region was represented:  Program Director Walton Youth Development Center Melanie James, Home Builders Institute Program Coordinator at Walton Youth Development Center Angela Forward, Facility Administrator JoAnn Bridges Academy Tuwollar Mobley, Program Director Okaloosa Youth Development Center Derek Peoples Escambia Boys Base , Supervisor Jonathan Wiggins, Program Director JUST/TOVA II Donald Lasseter, Supervisor & Training Coordinator DOVE Academy Shyron Johnson, Okaloosa Youth Academy/Crestview SOP Program Director Mike Currie, and RAM-C Program Director Ron MatthewsJeffrey Jean-Jacques from AMIkids Pensacola, a day-treatment program, also attended.   

The meeting was led by the Office of Residential Services Northwest Regional Director Mary Mills, SMA II Lori Jernigan, Commitment Chief April Lewis, Administrative Assistant Natosha Faul, Operations Review Specialist Dwight Poole, GOC-II Neil Stier, Lead Commitment Manager Sean Dorsey, commitment managers Shauntrai Bruton and Amy Daglish, and GOC-II/General Services Liaison Kelvin Sanders.

Among the packed agenda was this quarter’s Program Spotlight—Okaloosa Youth Academy and the Crestview Sex Offender Program (both operated by Gulf Coast Treatment Center)—presented by Program Director Mike Currie.  Mike discussed the fears, obstacles, lessons learned and successes as the programs transitioned into a more normalized environment.  A few keys that aided in their success were remembering “it’s more than paint and furniture” and to involve the staff members and residents at all levels.  He also pointed out that as boys continue to graduate and new youth are admitted, they have to keep their focus new, fresh and relevant to the youth in the program.  

Mike also shared with the group the ever-evolving programming, which includes the incorporation of clubs:  Poultry Management, Carpentry, Golf Course Management, and Green Thumb.  These activities are outside of education, vocational programming and group therapy.  The boys decide which club sounds the most interesting to them and then apply for club acceptance.  Each boy must interview for a position within the club.  The young men have developed specific duties for each club and each member does a different job each day.  These duties are integrated into the youth’s behavior management system.  When the youth performs his assigned job, he receives a designated amount of tokens that he may use in the token store and other on- and off-campus incentives.

Shown below is Program Director Mike Currie as he discusses the “Basics for Us,” regarding the normalization plans for the Okaloosa Youth Academy and the Crestview Sex Offender Program.







The youth at the RAM-C Program, a non-secure program for males, which is operated by Twin Oaks Juvenile Development, Inc., are working to give back to the community.  Every weekend, the youth are assigned a community project in the community of Greenville, FL.  This particular project entailed the youth cleaning up and beautifying the grounds around the home of an elderly citizen.  The RAM-C staff assisted the youth in completing this project, which taught the boys the importance of helping those in need and gave them an opportunity to apply the landscaping skills they have been taught in the program. 

BEFORE THE CLEAN-UP:







AFTER THE CLEAN-UP:




  


The girls of Frances Walker Half Way House (FWHH), a non-secure program for ages 13 to 18, located in Titusville and operated by Aspire Health Partners Inc., have been engaging in various restorative justice projects.  The first includes helping out at Discovery Church with the annual rummage sale.  Under the direction of Program Volunteer Sheryl Lucas, four residents helped set up on Friday night—the day before the sale—and spent all day Saturday helping with sales, assisting parishioners, and cleaning up at the end of a long day.

A second project was proposed by the FWHH Impact of Crime (IOC) group under the direction of IOC Facilitator and Program Compliance Manager Brittany O’Brien. The girls chose to paint flower pots, fill them with flowering plants, and deliver them to the Royal Oak Rehabilitation Center as part of their restorative justice project.  They noted how much the experience moved them and how grateful the patients were to receive the gifts. 


Recently, the Hastings Comprehensive Mental Health Treatment Facility/Gulf Academy “Wildcats” hosted an intramural flag football game against the Jacksonville Youth Academy “Jaguars.”  Both teams hit the playing field with little preparation in the previous week due to several rain storms.  Neither the weather nor the muddy field conditions could slow either team down!

Both teams started slow, unable to score on their first possessions.  With their second possessions of the game the Hastings/Gulf Wildcats drove the length of the field to score the game’s first touchdown.  The JYA Jaguars’ defense led the way, ensuring a close game as the offense moved the ball effortlessly but struggled to make touchdowns.

After several big plays and long drives from both teams in the second half, the Hastings/Gulf Wildcats seemingly had the game won as regulation wound down.  After a defensive penalty, which would have ended the game with a Wildcats victory, the Jaguars took advantage of the opportunity by scoring in the game’s final seconds of regulation. 

Both teams showed great sportsmanship throughout the entire game and celebrated at the end of the game by enjoying a feast of barbeque while watching the nation’s top collegiate football teams face off on television.  Special thanks go to Florida High School Athletic Association Referee Rigie Allen, a Hastings/Gulf employee, and to all of the staff members who came out on their scheduled day off to support the youth.  


Miami Youth Academy, a non-secure program for males, ages 14 to 18, which is operated by G4S Youth Services, LLC, currently has two outstanding young men working in the facility’s kitchen in order to earn SafeStaff® Employee Foodhandler Certification.  This certification prepares the youth for work upon release from the program.  Hands-on experience in the kitchen is a valuable addition to their resumes. 

The cafeteria staff members provide the boys with training about kitchen responsibilities and customer service skills, which enhances the vocational education provided by the SafeStaff® curriculum.  The youth assist with the lunchtime meals and the cleanup that follows.  This is a privilege that is earned by consistently demonstrating positive behavior and performance in all facets of the program.


As Walk on Water Equine Ranch expands, so do the opportunities for the boys of 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, to participate in meaningful restorative justice community-based projects and beneficial work experiences.  In September, the BGTH boys helped replace a fence around the barn at the Walk on Water Equine Ranch and removed tile.  According to BGTH Activities Coordinator Diana Robinson, prior to this project, she had no idea that a young man in residence had previous experience and expertise installing fencing in the Ocala area. 

Walk on Water Equine Ranch provides equine therapy to children with various conditions such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Behavioral Disorders, etc.  Owner Patti Bryan continues to rave about the behavior and work ethic of the young men of BGTH.  A special thanks goes to Patti for giving our young men the opportunity for competency development and an opportunity to participate in equine therapy on a weekly basis.


The staff and students of Kissimmee Juvenile Correctional Facility (JCF), a high-risk program for males ages 14 to 18, which is operated by Sequel TSI of Florida, LLC, named Direct Care Staff Raphael Charles as the inaugural recipient of the Employee of the Year Award (2013–2014).  Raphael has worked at the facility for 10 years.  The consensus across the board was that he goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that the staff and students leave with a smile.  His leadership and dedication is second to none.  Congratulations, Raphael!  





Escambia Boys Base (formerly known as Pensacola Boys Base), a non-secure program for ages 14 to 18, which is operated by AMIkids, Inc., was recently awarded the The President’s Volunteer Service Award, “presented by the Corporation for National and Community Service in recognition and appreciation of your commitment to strengthening our nation and for making a difference through volunteer service.”

The program was nominated for this award by the local Habitat for Humanity program.  The award was presented to the program at their annual dinner on October 30.  The award is a result of many years of teamwork and volunteer services provided by the youth in the program to the local community.  Escambia Boys Base shared this recognition with the entire Department of Juvenile Justice, as well as AMIkids.  


Quarterly State Agency Training Managers Meeting

The Office of Staff Development and Training (SD&T) hosted a fun and engaging session of the quarterly meeting of state agency training managers on November 5. The group is coordinated by the Florida Department of Management Services (DMS). Approximately 20 leaders attended from agencies including APD, DBPR, DCF, DFS, DHSMV, DOC, DOE, DOR, DOT, FDLE, JAC and the Department of Citrus.

SD&T instructional designers Filiz Aktan and Kenny Reeves fascinated the participants with cutting-edge information about gamification of learning experiences and game-based learning. Both are well-qualified on the subject. Filiz has created a learning game for autistic children and Kenny and designed video games professionally in Silicon Valley. To see a slide view of their presentation, click here.

Chris Johnson with the FDLE Bureau of Professional Development said in an email following the meeting, “Thanks for making today’s Training Manager’s meeting so informative.  I learned some key things…” 

Kudos to Denny Clark, Sandi Coker, Filiz Aktan, Kenny Reeves, Kimi Johnson and Samadhi Jones for creating a powerful experience to advance staff learning and development among all Florida’s state agencies. Thanks to Kimberly Kemp at DMS for coordinating the event!


Staff Development and Training Update

Real Colors Certified Facilitators

SD&T has collaborated with the Office of Detention to bring Real Colors human behavior training to DJJ!  Real Colors training provides an easy understanding of personality and temperament characteristics, enhancing teamwork and effectiveness as staff members work with youth and one another.

The following SD&T and detention staff are now certified as Real Colors facilitators: Christina Ash–SD&T learning consultant, Tanesha Blackmon–SD&T learning consultant, Denise Cannon–Miami-Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC), Jacqui Clark-Hagan–SD&T professional development coordinator, Kiva Hagans–SD&T learning consultant, Louise Hill–Orange RJDC, Caitlinmae Jed–Bay RJDC, Andrea Minnis–SD&T learning consultant, April Walker–Hillsborough Juvenile Detention Center, Arnica Wilson–Volusia RJDC, Cina Wilson Johnson–SD&T deputy director, and Johnny Young– Southwest RJDC.

Thanks to SD&T’s Jacqui Clark-Hagan for bringing this useful tool to the attention of DJJ, and to Detention’s Maureen Honan. Real Colors certification training was held October 21-24 in St. Petersburg.

SD&T Strategic Planning and Team-Building Retreat

SD&T held a productive, uplifting, team-building, full staff retreat October 27-30. First among the several highlights from the four-day session was a series of informative presentations from the offices of Detention, Probation, Prevention, Residential, and Research and Planning. Elaine Bryant, PhD., led team-building exercises at the FSU Reservation and strategic planning at Wakulla Springs. The retreat strengthened understanding of the team’s goals and was instrumental to strategizing and prioritizing upcoming projects. It also enabled team members to get to know one another’s skills and expertise, enhancing collaboration within the team. Thanks to Director Denny Clark for modeling this best practice with his staff and to Deputy Director Cina Wilson Johnson, who coordinated the many events, and orchestrated a sumptuous breakfast for the kickoff! Kudos to Dr. Bryant for exceeding expectations in presenting a delightful experience that made the team’s hard work even more rewarding!





















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