DPS Dispatch

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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We wrap up our recognition of Juvenile Justice week this afternoon with a spotlight on our Central Office staff. Central Office is the tie that binds it all together, housing budget, purchasing, IT, human resources, training, policy and management/oversight of Juvenile Justice. A central figure in Central Office is Bonnie Clark, whose working knowledge of administrative processes and procedures – a critical part of day-to-day operations – is second to none.

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It's TGIF -- and we are certainly thankful for the staff of Treatment Services during Juvenile Justice week and beyond. Mental health is a complex and pivotal segment of juvenile healthcare. Juveniles committed to North Carolina's juvenile justice system present with multiple and complex behavioral health needs. Psychological program managers within Juvenile Justice -- such as regional Psychological Program Manager Dr.

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Education Services is charged with fulfilling all state and federal mandates of a traditional school system for youths committed to state juvenile facilities. Janet Dalton, a teacher at Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center, tries to reach even the most resistant learners by providing games and activities for her students to make the classroom enjoyable while the students learn. An avid math enthusiast, Dalton has volunteered on several occasions to assist other teachers.

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