JJ week highlight: Facility Operations

Tena Sonko
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 7:57am

As Juvenile Justice week continues today, we turn our attention to Juvenile Facility Operations. Staff in this unit operates two types of secure commitment centers for youths in North Carolina: juvenile detention centers and youth development centers.

Many types of staff members are crucial to ensure that children are properly care for while committed to a juvenile justice facility. Children must eat, and proper nutrition is crucial. Cumberland Juvenile Detention Center’s Cook Supervisor, Tena Sonko, has the knowledge, heart and will to make sure that children in her care are properly fed.

One example of her dedication to juveniles was showcased in early August when Cumberland JDC lost the use of its freezer and refrigerator due to mechanical issues. Not only was the existing on-site food supply lost, but the center was unable to order any perishable food items. Sonko immediately stepped into action, by reaching out for assistance from community restaurants. Her quick action brought donations of three meals a day from 10 local restaurants, for nearly a month. This involved many additional hours of planning, including traveling to pick-up the meals, and then returning to the facility to plate and serve the meals to the center’s students.