On May 8th, Department of Juvenile Justice Regional Director Marcia Daniely and her management staff honored the men and women who make up the hard working staff of District Six. With food, fellowship, and and fun for the entire District Six staff, the Employee Appreciation Luncheon was an appropriate ending to a week's worth of thanks during DJJ's Employee Appreciation Week.
District Six encompassee most of Middle Georgia including Bibb, Crawford, Peach, Houston, Wilkinson, Baldwin, Jones, Jasper, Putnam, Hancock, Morgan, and Greene counties. Among the many facilities managed by the District Six staff include the Milledgeville ITU and the Macon RYDC.
Congratulations again to all of the District Six staff who do their part to make the Department of Juvenile Justice one of the best places to work in Georgia. ONE TEAM. ONE MISSION.
Spring is here and that means that it is time to plant the Wellness Community Gardens at the Sumter Youth Development Campus. This year, raised beds have been newly constructed by the Sumter YDC youth to house the variety of bulbs, plants and seeds selected for the gardens.
The Sumter YDC Wellness Gardens are part of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS at DJJ) that rewards the good behavior of DJJ youth with fun and exciting projects and activities. Two groups of Sumter YDC youth had the ability to purchase PBIS Social Time to assist a local volunteer coordinator with the planting of the on-site Bountiful Harvest Community Garden and garden sites located at Cafe Campesino and the Good News Ministry Incorporated (GNMI) Enrichment Campus both located in Americus.
The harvest of vegetables and plants from the on-site garden and the garden located at Cafe Campesino is being distributed to the families of youth during the normal weekend visitation period. The bounty provided by the Good News Ministry garden is being used to assist with a monthly community feed program that benefits the elderly and sick in Southwestern Georgia. Youth assigned to the caseloads of the DJJ Sumter HITS Program can meet their court-ordered community service hours by helping to work at the gardens located off-site.
The Sumter YDC Wellness Community Gardens helps to benefit both the local community and our youth. Kudos to everyone at the Sumter YDC who are willing to share their time, talents, and gifts to make a difference with this great program. Special thanks goes out to Volunteer Coordinator Patricia Hill for her dedication to the success of the Wellness Community Gardens.
On May 6th, the Department of Juvenile Justice participated in a Cybersecurity Virtual Exercise with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Hosted by the Department of Homeland Security Cyber Division and FEMA's Emergency Management Institute, this Virtual Table Top Exercise (VTTX) took place over four hours with one hour dedicated to a facilitated discussion about cyber threats and three hours of an exercise scenario. Over 150 people participated in the Cybersecurity Virtual Exercise representing thirteen federal, state, and local agencies.
The Cybersecurity VTTX exercise helped raise awarewness of cyber risk management, cyber-related planning, and other issues related to cyber incident prevention, protection, and response. In the scenario presented by the FEMA Emergency Management Institute, government agencies had to respond to all potential consequences of a flood with the loss of vital communication services. In addition to dealing with internal issues related to the flood, participating agencies also had to develop a plan incorporating interdisciplinary and interagency coordination.
The Department of Juvenile Justice would like to thank Douglas Kahn and the entire FEMA Emergency Management Institute Team for putting together this informative and important test exercise. Additional thanks goes out to David Schwartz for organizing participation of the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Congratulations to Diana Aspinwall -- Selected Central Office Employee of the Month for May 2015!
For the month of May, the nomination committee would like to recognize Ms. Diana Aspinwall.
Assistant Deputy Commissioner Aspinwall was nominated for her continuous hard work and dedication to the agency. Ms. Aspinwall during the month of April and every month works hard to support the staff and mission of this agency. Last month DJJ had a case that proved to be challenging for everyone involved. ADC Aspinwall worked to make sure the needs of a local youth were met properly while ensuring that the support staff also had access to quality counseling after a very trying and traumatic time. She accomplished all this with little or no sleep for several days!
In addition to this task, she has co-managed Juvenile Needs Assessment duties with ADC Joe Vignati, to make certain this key project stays on target for production as one of the agency’s strategic pieces for achieving Juvenile Justice Reform.
On a different scale, Ms. Aspinwall is often relied upon as an agency information source to help explain the evolution of current department practices and initiatives. The Commissioner’s Office will often call on her for the historic background information that has driven agency practices in the past and she has always been able to deliver the story.
She is an undisputed advocate for youth. She mentors a young man who comes from a background of substance abuse and has very little family support. Just recently, this young man invited her to his success story graduation after completing his substance abuse program.
ADC Aspinwall is worthy of recognition every month based on her continued dedication to Georgia youth.
Congratulations ADC Aspinwall for being selected Employee of the Month of May. Thanks for a job well done.
The Employee of the Month 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.
DOUGHERTY CSO/HITS: NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS WEEK
STORY SUPPORT BY LAURA PIKE
Earlier this month, the Dougherty CSO staff was a proud participant in the 2015 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. With the theme of “Empowering and Engaging the Community”, the Albany-Dougherty County Crime Victims’ Rights Week stressed the importance of empowering victims by giving them the information and assistance they need to make informed decisions about their own lives as they recover from crime.
Robbin Green along with representatives from the following agencies: Mayor Dorothy Hubbard, Albany Police Dept., Greg Edwards District Attorney, The Office of Victims Assistance, Dougherty County Police Dept., Open Arms, Liberty House, Dougherty County Juvenile Court, Sherriff Sproul, The Lilly Pad, Albany State University Police Dept., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Georgia Legal Services, and the Marine Corps Logistics Base
Proclamation Program for NCVRW Ceremony
Robbin Green with Chairman Christopher Cohilas
On April 20th, the Dougherty CSO/HITS staff participated in the placement of flags in the local Courthouse flower bed. Each flag placed represented the average number of crime victims served by the Dougherty County District Attorney’s Office and the Victim Witness Assistance Division of Albany Dougherty County within thirty days. Currently, the numbers of victims being helped in the area is over three hundred fifty individuals.
April 21st saw the Dougherty CSO/HITS staff present at the Proclamation and Wreath Presentation Ceremony at the Government Center for Empowering and Engaging the Community 2015. Read and signed local Mayor and Commission Chairman, the proclamation touched upon the work that law enforcement, victim service providers, and other local organizations have in helping victims of crime in South Georgia. After the laying of a crime victim memorial wreath, volunteers who attended the ceremony received carnations and certificates to show the community appreciation for their efforts each and every day.
Kenshay Snead and Sheba Black sticking a flag into the courthouse flower bed for victims.
The Department of Juvenile Justice would like to thank the members of the Dougherty CSO/HITS staff for taking a proactive approach to the needs of crime victims. For more information on victim rights in the United States, visit http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/.
(Left to right) Mike Funk- Volunteer for Victims Assistance, Annette Brown- PA DJJ, Christina Foster- JPM, Robbin Green- JPPS III, Sheba Black- JPPS II, and Tevia Wiggins- JPPS II.