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DPS Dispatch

Storm Response Series: While North Carolina braced for Hurricane Florence, numerous NC Public Safety agencies joined in the storm preparations, response and recovery. Today's blog provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the efforts of the juvenile justice employees.  

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Last month, 25 male students from Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center spent a day at Frank Liske Park in Concord training with Carolina Panthers players and staff, including Mario Addison (All-Pro starting defensive end) and Kawann Short (starting defensive tackle). The excitement was evident as the players exited the bus to meet the young men. Watch video here.

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Society today oftentimes judges programmatic success from data and trend lines, but when it comes to Juvenile Justice, focusing purely on analytics and spreadsheets makes it easy to forget the Section’s mission to intervene and shape tangible change in the lives of REAL people. Presenting young people with opportunities to experience confidence-building success helps reduce factors that create adult offenders out of North Carolina’s best resource – our children.

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Each May, the nation recognizes National Nurses Week culminating on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, recognized as the founder of modern nursing. In North Carolina, Juvenile Justice looks to celebrate the positive impact our nurses provide to the youth they serve -- and to recognize the collaborative work of professionals across our system to support juvenile success.  It seems an appropriate time, as we prepare to celebrate National Nurses week (May 6-12), to highlight an example of the ongoing, daily contributions of Juvenile Justice nurses.

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The Juvenile Justice Section recognized five of its general instructors earlier this month during an awards ceremony held during the Section’s annual General Instructors meeting. Kimberly Quintus, Director of the Juvenile Jurisdiction Reinvestment Act, led the awards ceremony, and Deputy Secretary William Lassiter presented awards to the following individuals during the March 2 event: 2017 Juvenile Justice Instructor of the Year: LaTonya MiddletonCourt Counselor, District 11 (Harnett, Lee, Johnston counties)

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According to the 18th century English poet Alfred Austin, “To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” With that in mind, Juvenile Justice Health Services has initiated a unique partnership with N.C. State University’s Department of Horticultural Sciences to design and install sensory gardens within the recreation yards on two juvenile facilities in North Carolina.

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Twenty-one high school-aged juveniles at Alexander Juvenile Detention Center recently competed in the center's annual gingerbread house competition. Nutrition Supervisor Beverly Cash coordinated the efforts by baking homemade gingerbread. Each student was given an unassembled gingerbread house, white frosting,assorted candies and 2.5 hours to create their masterpieces. Teacher John Hendrix primed the students' creativity by showing them a video of this year’s National Gingerbread House Competition held annually at the Omni-Grove Park Inn in Asheville. 

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The students and staff of two juvenile detention centers in North Carolina put their creative muscles to work to construct a sports-themed creation for the 2017 Made by Milk contest. The project encourages students to use their creativity, while learning to recycle by repurposing milk cartons. Instead of just throwing out trash, create something cool with it! Both facilities are past contest participants.

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