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Adair Juvenile Detention Center honored with DJJ award
By Jason Reynolds
Frankfort, KY - On Wednesday, September 8, 2021, Lt. Governor Jaqueline Coleman and Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Commissioner Vicki Reed held a virtual awards ceremony to honor and recognize a total of 62 staff members, individual community offices and facilities who serve the commonwealth's at-risk youth population.
Detention Center of the Year was awarded to the Adair Regional Juvenile Detention Center for showcasing outstanding abilities in providing services for the entire state's high-level at-risk youth.
During the ceremony, Lt. Governor Coleman thanked the award recipients for going above and beyond for the commonwealth and the youth they serve, particularly during a year where many personal and professional hardships surmounted.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many obstacles and challenges, particularly to those working in congregate settings. This awards ceremony recognizes DJJ staff who have risked their health and safety for the betterment of the commonwealth's' youth," said Lt. Governor Coleman. "These sacrifices and displays of teamwork made by DJJ staff exemplifies what being part of Team Kentucky is about, and I am honored to be able to thank the staff for their hard work and congratulate the award recipients."
With almost 1,000 employees, DJJ serves the state's justice-involved youth by providing the care, education and skills set they need to become successful citizens. As of today, a total of 238 youth are in the custody of DJJ at the Regional Juvenile Detention Centers, Youth Development Centers and Group Homes. Additionally, 258 youth are being monitored by DJJ while under supervised placement in the community.
At the onset of the national pandemic, DJJ implemented aggressive preventive measures to protect the safety and security of all staff and youth residents and meet the compelling public health challenges of COVID-19. All efforts made by DJJ were implemented with guidance from the Department for Public Health.
Preventative measures implemented in response to COVID-19, include; limiting the transfer of youth throughout the agency, increasing sanitization protocols, screening staff for COVID-19 symptoms twice daily, mandating face coverings and implementing social distancing. Staff used virtual technology for youth to interact with their family and loved ones more frequently than previously available through in-person visitation. Youth appeared virtually for court appearances. In June of this year, DJJ reopened in-person visitation for vaccinated family and friends; however, virtual visits continue for anyone interested. Read the full release here.
In an effort to save lives and protect the health of staff and youth, DJJ recently entered into a partnership with Wild Health for COVID-related services with a goal to increase vaccination participation and respond to the rapid spreading delta variant of COVID-19. Wild Health will be providing vaccination on-site to facility staff and youth 12 and older, upon request, in addition to periodically testing youth and staff at all DJJ state-wide facilities. They will also provide intensive support and testing in the event of an outbreak. Wild Health will routinely provide educational seminars to the staff and youth on the benefits of receiving their Shot of Hope. Wild Health is providing all services to DJJ free of charge.
This past year, DJJ staff were committed to enhancing public safety and reducing recidivism through quality educational opportunities. For the 2020-2021 academic year, 52 youth graduated from high school and an additional 6 youth earned a GED, while in the custody or care of DJJ. Youth residents earned a total of 142 vocational certificates during the 2020-2021 academic year. Vocational opportunities available include: Building and Apartment Maintenance/Carpentry, Building and Apartment Maintenance/Electrical, Welding, Masonry, Horticulture, Business, Computer Training, Fiber Optics, Copper Cabling, Home Audio, Energy Management, Telecom and Grounding and Bonding. Read the full release here.
DJJ Commissioner Vickie Reed, appointed by the Gov. Andy Beshear on Aug. 16, praised the agency's personnel for going above the call of duty to ensure youth in Kentucky's care have the right tools and resources to succeed and improve their lives.
"Today, we honor the DJJ staff who are working hard to reduce youth crime and recidivism," said Commissioner Reed. "From connecting with youth and families to ensure their safety and well-being to volunteering your time and services to other facilities in need, your efforts have positively changed the lives of your co-workers and the youth you serve."
DJJ strives to promote a comprehensive array of cost-effective services for at-risk youth. These services are directed toward preventing delinquency, providing efficient rehabilitation services, and altering the rate of recidivism with appropriate aftercare while minimizing risk to the community.
The 2021 award recipients include:
DJJ currently is hiring for a variety of jobs and position levels. To join the excellent team of dedicated professionals and help make a different in a youth's life, please click here to fill out an application: https://kypersonnelcabinet.csod.com/ats/careersite/search.aspx?site=1&c=kypersonnelcabinet.
For more information, visit the Department of Juvenile Justice's website.
This story was posted on 2021-09-08 17:06:40
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