Nine Finalists Selected for the 2017 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Awards Overcame Seemingly Insurmountable Challenges

Posted by Kim Godfrey
June 16, 2017

Challenges facing staff and leaders working in juvenile justice facilities can seem daunting: getting kids to stop fighting, convincing staff to use alternatives to room confinement or restraints when kids act out, making staff and kids feel safe and increasing contacts between youths with families. Like standing at the bottom of a tall mountain ready to hike to the summit but not being to see the top because it’s in the clouds. Too far away, too complicated to find, too difficult to reach.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” -Nelson Mandela

Yet the nine finalists selected for the 2017 Performance-based Standards (PbS) Barbara Allen-Hagen Award took on those challenges and achieved their goals. They overcame resistance to change and made believers out of skeptics. They looked at obstacles such as limited resources as opportunities and patiently implemented new policies, practices, trainings and programming. They did what many think is impossible: changed facility cultures to be free of fighting, managed behavior with healthy, nurturing staff-youth relationships, made everyone feel safe and welcomed families for visits, treatment meetings and events.

Congratulations to the PbS teams at:

Correction Category Finalists:
• Ferris School, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services
• Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility, Montana Department of Corrections, Youth Services Division
• Southwest Utah Youth Center-Long Term, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services

Detention/Assessment Category Finalists:
• Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center, Covington, LA
• Nampa-Observation and Assessment Center, Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections
• Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall, Stanislaus County Probation Department, CA

Community Residential Category Finalists:
• Grace Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services
• Mowlds Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services
• Snowden Cottage, Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services

This is a special group of finalists. For the first time in the PbS award’s 11-year history, the applications were so good that PbS could not select just nine from the pool of nearly 30 so added an additional round of judging of 16 semi-finalists before selecting the finalists. The nine finalists represent some of the very best work done across the country by PbS facilities to implement the adolescent development approach and exemplify PbS’ vision to treat all youths in custody as one of our own.

Congratulations to all!

One winner in each category will be selected by the PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Committee and honored at the PbS State/Agency Coordinator Training and CJCA and PbS Awards Ceremony on Oct. 26 in Chicago. PbS will post a spotlight blog about each finalist's specific efforts to treat all youths in custody as one of our own in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. Please look for these inspiring stories and join us in honoring those who decided to set their sights high and persevered to achieve their goals.