2016 Barbara Allen-Hagen Finalist Spotlight: Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center

Posted by Patricia Rafferty
June 21, 2016

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center (FPJDC) in Covington, LA as one of the finalists for the 2016 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the detention category. The program was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan to systematically reduce the use of isolation and room confinement.

As FPJDC staff worked closely with their PbS Coach, they became aware that their facility’s use of isolation and room confinement was consistently above average. After touring several other facilities and observing best practices firsthand, FPJDC staff agreed unanimously that change was in the best interest of their residents and together set a goal of facility-wide improvement. Three complementary approaches were developed to address the high instances of isolation use: a new sanctioning system for minor offenses, a resident mentoring program and the addition of de-escalation teams to every shift. FPJDC also introduced a new mediation system, which allowed their behavior management response to become more youth-centered.

Key to the success of FPJDC’s isolation reduction initiative was the “implementation of a sanction specifically for compliant residents committing minor offenses. This change gave residents an opportunity to manage their behavior and realign to program expectations before earning automatic time-based isolation sanctions,” remarked Courtney Casnave, one of the PbS team members at FPJDC. Barbara Allen-Hagen judges were thoroughly impressed with several characteristics of FPJDC’s action steps; one remarked that besides their careful and systematic approach, “also impressive is their inclusion of stakeholders: parents, probation officers, counselors, teachers and direct care staff.” Overall, FPJDC’s “focus on prevention and positive approaches will yield tremendous dividends into the future.”

The 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 Aug. 5, 2016. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

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Staff at Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center

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Teamwork

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Field Day