Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center Named Finalist for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

Posted by Patricia Rafferty
August 21, 2017

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center (FPJDC) as one of the finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the detention category. The facility was selected as a finalist for addressing youth fear for safety by implementing data-driven training programs.

The PbS team at FPJDC developed a Facility Improvement Plan (FIP) to address the rising percentage of youth reporting fear for safety. The team reviewed additional PbS data and noted other factors known to increase youth fear such as assaults/fights, restraints, confinement, injuries and contraband rates were not high. Concerned that this unexplained fear would prevent the youth from finding success at FPJDC, the team got creative in determining the cause and working toward a solution.

The team started with a thorough review of the initial orientation experience to determine appropriate staffing, orientation content and how the content was being presented to youths. Following the review, the team implemented regularly scheduled orientation classes for new youth, led by key staff, to ensure the rules of the behavior management system were understood. During these classes, youths were given surveys so staff could get a sense of their fears and concerns coming in to the facility. With both of these interventions to refine the orientation process, new youth had more confidence in understanding facility operations and were given a voice to address concerns.

Additionally, the team used the youth feedback and Staff Climate Survey data to determine which training programs would best fit the needs of youth and staff in addressing fear. Courses such as “Effective Communication,” “De-escalation of Conflict,” “Supervision of Youth,” and “Developing Healthy Relationships” were scheduled more frequently to empower staff to consistently and purposefully promote a therapeutic and safe environment, the mission of FPJDC.

The team holds agency-wide PbS meetings and has a volunteer, staff-led committee to continuously strategize, promote buy-in and sustain efforts. Collecting additional data and regularly reviewing the results helps the team stay current and meet changes in the population. The proactive, solution-focused approach has been effective and the team cites the consistency of training programs resulting from gathered feedback as a major key to success.

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Oct. 26, 2017. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Leadership group tour

Staff training on effective communication 

Staff appreciation day