DJJ Participates in DeKalb County’s 8th Annual Community Day with Law Enforcement
Story support by Mary Catherine Heard
To celebrate the upcoming school year, the 8th Annual Community Day with DeKalb County Law Enforcement was held on August 2. The youth who participated had a fun-filled morning bowling and eating pizza with law enforcement officers at the Stars and Strikes bowling alley in Stone Mountain.
Representatives from the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, DeKalb County Solicitor’s Office, DeKalb County District Attorney, DeKalb County Police, DeKalb County School District Office of Public Safety and DeKalb County Marshal’s Office attended to interact with the youth in a relaxed setting.
Officers from DJJ’s DeKalb High Intensity Teams (HITS) attended with youths that are under DJJ supervision. DeKalb HITS joined fellow law enforcement agencies in collecting school supplies and backpacks to give to the youths who attended. Event organizers believe that starting the school year off right means having the necessary school supplies needed to succeed.
Several officers, including Juvenile Probation Manager (JPM) Bernardra Kagwe, spoke to the youths attending the event about the importance of completing their education and how law enforcement officers are ready and willing to support them. The youth also took a pledge with DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston to stay in school, work hard, maintain excellent attendance and be ready to learn.
Community Day with Law Enforcement was started by Thomas Walker, Sr. and former DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown in order to showcase officers of the law as positive role models and to help decrease juvenile delinquency in schools and communities. Special thanks is given to Papa John’s pizza for donating lunch and community partners like Publix for donating school supplies.
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is a proud participant in National Night Out events around Georgia including those in: Coffee County, College Park, Columbus-Muscogee County, Dougherty County, Evans County, Brunswick-Glynn County, Macon-Bibb County, McIntosh County, Paulding County and Savannah-Chatham County.
On August 1st, DJJ Victim Services team members partnered with the College Park Police Department for a National Night Out event at the College Park Auditorium.
DISTRICT TEN/DOUGHERTY COUNTY
District 10 DJJ staff participated in the National Night Out event sponsored by the Dougherty County Police Department on Monday, July 31, 2017. The event took place at Radium Springs Elementary School in Albany. Dougherty Community Services Office (CSO)/High Intensity Teams (HITS) staff collected, sorted and handed out over 160 packages of school supplies to students of all grade levels. The event was well attended and was covered by WALB-TV and shown on the news that night.
On Tuesday, July 25, 2017, the Evans County NAACP hosted the Evans County National Night Out event at Bacon Ford Park in Claxton. The Evans County CSO, along with Victim Advocate Tiffany Robinson, Regional Volunteer Coordinator Cynthia Joyce and other members of DJJ’s Victim and Volunteer Services team participated in the event. Speaking with citizens and young people of Evans County, staff provided information on DJJ services to the community. Other attendees included members of the Evans County NAACP, Claxton Mayor Terry Branch, Evans County School Superintendent Dr. Marty Waters, Evans County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) Director Rose Morris, Claxton Fire Chief Harold Rogers and members of the Claxton Police Department, Hagan Police Department and Evans County Feed the Hungry.
The DJJ Office of Victim and Volunteer Services partnered with organizers of National Night Out events in Macon-Bibb County. The Macon-Bibb “Kick Off” Block Party took place on August 1st at the Macon-Bibb Senior Citizens Complex. Local law enforcement and firefighters were dunked in a dunking booth, senior citizens played cards and a line dancing team entertained the crowd. DJJ staff members were warmly received during their time at the Block Party.
DJJ staff who attended the Paulding County National Night Out Event on August 1st included Paulding JPM Nikki Covera and JPPS II Cristen Olivo.
DISTRICT ELEVEN/BRUNSWICK/GLYNN COUNTY/SAVANNAH/CHATHAM COUNTY
On Tuesday, August 1, 2017, JPPS III Jasmine Smith and JPO II Willie Nelson attended the National Night Out event in Brunswick in Glynn County. JPPS III Smith and JPO II Nelson enjoyed their time networking with other local law enforcement agencies and spending time with the youth.
The Bryan/McIntosh CSO participated in National Night Out in Pembroke on August 1, 2017, hosted by the Pembroke Police Department. Participating agencies included: • Bryan County Emergency Management • Bryan County Fire/Rescue First Responders • Bryan County Fire Department • Gateway Behavioral Health • Bryan County Family Connections • Department of Natural Resources • U.S. Military K-9
Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook and U.S. Representative Buddy Carter also attended. JPM Kimberly Stevens and her team of JPPS staff from the Bryan/McIntosh CSO had the opportunity to take a picture with Representative Carter during the event.
Also on August 1st, JPPS Paulette McCrea and JPPS Sabrina Wright attended the National Night Out event in Coffee County. DJJ staff in Coffee County had a great time with community members and law enforcement during the event.
Chatham Multi-Service Center (MSC) staff participated in National Night Out at the Savannah Impact office on August 1, 2017. The Chatham staff was set up a tent and participated in giving out school supplies and hygiene items for the youth who were returning to school for the 2017-2018 school term. Several community partners participated in the National Night Out: the Savannah-Chatham Police Department, Amerigroup, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, Publix (which provided all the food), Savannah Fire Department and many community vendors.
Members of the Muscogee County MSC, Intake and CSO staffs attended National Night Out in Columbus on August 1st.
To learn more about National Night Out, visit http://natw.org.
PBIS at DJJ: Elbert Shaw RYDC Employee of the Month Michelle Kittle
Photos and information provided by Lt. Kristen Nix. Story and design by Mary Catherine Heard.
The Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC) announced that Juvenile Detention Counselor (JDC) Michelle Kittle was recently named the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Employee of the Month for the facility. The PBIS Employee of the Month award is open to all in fields of Safety and Security, Medical, Counselors, Mental Health, Education, Food Service, Maintenance, Business, Personnel, Support Staff and Administration.
To become the PBIS Employee of the Month at the Elbert Shaw RYDC, employees must:
• Possess a positive attitude towards work responsibilities, co-workers, and youth and be willing to serve as a role model for others.
• Show a willingness to exercise servant-leadership, take initiative and accept and carry out additional responsibilities beyond regular job assignments for the good of DJJ.
• Be consistent, dependable and punctual in reporting for duty.
JDC Kittle Michelle Kittle is described by her co-workers as honest, dependable and compassionate. Kittle works tirelessly to ensure her work responsibilities are accomplished daily. As a counselor, she always takes time to listen to the youth and diligently maintains communications with parents and guardians. “It amazes me how after all her years here, she still very much cares about the youth and is known for giving caring and honest advice. JDC Kittle will always take time out of her day to lend a helping hand,” said one of her supervisors. She is admired for her perseverance despite any obstacles or challenges she may face. She is appreciated for “all the years, tears and level of commitment she has given to the youth and staff at this facility." DJJ thanks JDC Kittle for her service and commitment.
PBIS is an evidence-based, data-driven framework proven to reduce disciplinary incidents, increase a school’s sense of safety and support improved academic outcomes. More than 23,000 U.S. schools are implementing PBIS and saving countless instructional hours otherwise lost to discipline. The premise of PBIS is that continual teaching, combined with acknowledgement or feedback of positive student behavior, will reduce unnecessary discipline and promote a climate of greater productivity, safety and learning. PBIS schools apply a multi-tiered approach to prevention, using disciplinary data and principles of behavior analysis to develop school-wide, targeted and individualized interventions and supports to improve the school climate for all students.
To learn more about PBIS at DJJ, visit http://www.djjnewsandviews.org/pbisatdjj.
On July 26th, the Eastman Regional Youth Detention Center (Eastman RYDC) held “Splash Into Summer," a fun-filled youth activity with water sports and cool treats to beat the summer heat. The event was developed for youths who met appropriate behavioral requirements for the facility. Thirteen youth had a blast taking turns riding the Slip-N-Slide, playing water pool tug-a-war and participating in games like the Water Bucket Over-N-Under.
The “Splash into Summer” event is part of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. Proving that good behavior often is rewarded, youth who had zero recent incident reports were allowed to participate in aquatic activities, enjoy eating shaved ice and play other games on the Eastman RYDC recreational field.
Based solely on the smiles, “Splash into Summer” was a great success and enjoyed by all. During the event and afterwards, youth were heard telling their friends that they could not wait to participate in the next PBIS event.
PBIS is an evidence-based, data-driven framework proven to reduce disciplinary incidents, increase a school’s sense of safety and support improved academic outcomes. More than 23,000 U.S. schools are implementing PBIS and saving countless instructional hours otherwise lost to discipline. The premise of PBIS is that continual teaching, combined with acknowledgement or feedback of positive student over the counter behavior, will reduce unnecessary discipline and promote a climate of greater productivity, safety and learning. PBIS schools apply a multi-tiered approach to prevention, using disciplinary data and principles of behavior analysis to develop school-wide, targeted and individualized interventions and supports to improve the school climate for all students.
To learn more about PBIS at DJJ, visit http://www.djjnewsandviews.org/pbisatdjj/.
Congratulations Patrina Harp on being selected as Central Office Employee of the Month for August 2017!
Ms. Harp is a Personnel Technician in Human Resources. According to her supervisors, she has consistently shown expert knowledge in her field. Her willingness to assist anyone with personnel questions at a moment’s notice is truly commendable. She has shown dedication to her position and team members.
Over the past couple of years she has worked numerous special projects with efficiency and without complaint. She is attentive to the minutest of detail and never hesitates to stop what she’s doing to assist any member of the team. With a diversified skill set, she has been very helpful and maintains a friendly attitude towards all of our customers. She epitomizes the values of this agency and is deserving of the Employee of the Month award.
Please join me in congratulating Ms. Patrina Harp on a job well done.
The Nominations Committee
NOMINATION PROCESS DJJ’s Employee of the Month Recognition Program – How Nominees Are Selected
Beginning January 2015, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice kicks-off its first “Employee of the Month” program for Central Office employees. Names of nominees are selected by the DJJ Executive Team from members of their units or divisions and submitted to be recognized as the Central Office Employee of the Month. Included with the nomination is a one page write-up detailing why the staff member should be given consideration to be selected Employee of the Month.
Then each month, the Nomination Committee makes their selection for the employee to receive public appreciation the following month. The written nomination is reviewed and signed by Commissioner Avery D. Niles and posted for public recognition on the DJJ “News & Views” website. Each nominee selected by the committee will be recognized at a monthly DJJ Board Meeting and entitled to use the Employee of the Month parking space reserved at Central Office.
The DJJ Central Office Employee of the Month award is intended to recognize and support those stand-out DJJ team members who bring additional motivation, determination and vigor to the workplace through their personal ethics, advocacy, positive attitudes and innovative solutions to impact the professional challenges faced by their dedicated colleagues and the troubled youth they serve.