June PbS Person of the Month

Posted by Lisa Martinek
June 01, 2015

It is with great pleasure that Performance-based Standards (PbS) announces Jovan Haynes, Captain of Security at the South Carolina Juvenile Detention Center (SCJDC) in Columbia, SC, as our June PbS Person of the Month.

Jovan has been working at SCJDC for the past 13 years.  Previous to SCJDC, Jovan worked as a contract mental health specialist and at the Justice Resource Institute (South Bridge Center).

Growing up, Jovan saw himself as a professional football player with a degree in business management.  When he completed college and needed a job, a family contact found him a position as a mental health specialist.  Through this experience he realized that he liked working with the youths.  Jovan states “They looked up to me as a young man just a little older than them, and who was also doing well and staying out of trouble.  It made me feel great when one of the youth told me he was going to change his life around and do well like me.”  

Change is one of the more challenging issues that Jovan faces at work.  Participating in PbS has allowed Jovan to see the “big picture.”  He is most satisfied that he has been able to effectively lead staff in the right direction.  Staff are now resolving conflict through talking, listening and the use of therapeutic approaches, which has made the use of force and confinement subsided tremendously.  PbS has made him a better manager and his facility much safer.  For all that Jovan has done, PbS Coach Dave Crowley declares him as “one of the best leaders in making positive change!”

Jovan shared this great story from his facility with us:  

Due to a rare snowstorm in South Carolina, many teachers were not able to come to work, leaving the youths without classroom time during the day. The solution to this down time was to do split recreation with the youths. This causes them to be confined while one half of their unit gets recreation then switch them out. I did not want them to be confined and neither did they, but the officers did not feel comfortable with them all out together as this situation normally ended up in a fight.  I spoke with the youths and explained the plan for the day, which was watching a movie off the unit. As we walked around the building other youths wanted to be a part of the group, and asked to come. It was explained to all the youths that everyone here wanted to participate and agreed to behave. I put the movie on for them and they enjoyed it. After that movie they wanted another movie. (Really it was anything to keep from going back to the unit). I did play another movie and eventually I ended up letting them play video games. Normally, the youths would never receive this privilege unless they earned level. These particular youths had never earned level or even came close.  They now saw what they had been missing, I had three of these youths make level the next month! It was great to hear them in the hall ways telling me that they would be on level on this day, and they were ready to go to the game room. I had a great time with those kids that day because I saw them work together to stay out of trouble. One of our most problematic youths even told another resident that if he behaved he would help him with his reading later. That was priceless!

We find people like you priceless Jovan!  Thank you for your commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of your own and congratulations on being selected as the June 2015 PbS person on the month.