Thursday, October 20, 2016

Harris County Juvenile Probation recently received technical assistance through the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention for a Train the Trainer on a curriculum entitled Towards Equity. Toward Equity is a 25-hour curriculum specifically designed for juvenile justice professionals and provides comprehensive, interactive training lessons designed to increase competence about sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, while providing practitioners with increased knowledge, tools, and resources for working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in the juvenile justice system. 

TJJD was able to send two staff to attend the Train the Trainer to become certified in training the curriculum.  TJJD will explore ways on how we can implement all or part of the curriculum to both TJJD staff and probation personnel.  The Juvenile Justice Training Academy will provide a formal announcement once the curriculum is able to be implemented.

For more information, please contact Kristy Almager at 512.490.7125 or or Chris Ellison at 512.490.7245 or Chris.Ellison@tjjd.texas. gov.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Delegates from the thirteen community resource councils that are affiliated with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department met on May 6 to elect new officers for the State Volunteer Resource Council for Texas Youth. Incumbent officers President Glen Hilton, Vice-President Raul Arredondo, Treasurer Wachelle Williams, and Member-at-Large Glenn Faulk were reelected for another term of service. Juan Quintanilla, a delegate from the Volunteer Council for Texas Youth in San Antonio, was elected as the State Council’s Secretary for a two-year term.

Out-going Secretary Sandra Willard, of the McLennan County Community Resource Council, was presented a plaque recognizing her three years of service on the State Council’s executive committee. Sandra will continue to serve on the McLennan County Council that provides support and activities at the McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility.

The State Volunteer Resource Council was established to support a network of local community resource councils affiliated with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. They meet semi-annually to provide networking opportunities for local delegates. At the May 6th meeting, TJJD Chief of Staff Chelsea Buchholtz presented a “State of the Agency” address to the delegates, who will, in turn, take the information back to their local councils.

PHOTO: Juan Quintanilla, a delegate from the Volunteer Council for Texas Youth in San Antonio, accepts the oath of office after being elected Secretary for the SVRC.

Friday, October 14, 2016

TJJD halfway houses encourage youth to take part in community activities and services.  Many youth at the Schaeffer House in El Paso elect to attend worship services at different denominations in the community.  In May, several youth chose to be baptized during services at Friendship Baptist Church.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Youth from the Gainesville State School recently participated in the United Way Day of Caring. Youth were chosen to participate in two projects. One was in Valley View, Texas, where youth painted all the metal work at the community park. They were able to give the park a fresh new look in record time! Youth also traveled to Lindsey, Texas, where they created five new flower beds. These beds are being planted with flowers and shrubs that attract butterflies. These new butterfly gardens are the talk of the town.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Red Nose Day was celebrated by the Ron Jackson Orientation and Assessment Unit May 26, 2016.  The money raised through Red Nose Day will help transform the lives of children living in poverty in the U.S. and internationally and supports projects that ensure kids are safe, healthy, and educated.  It’s a day to be silly and celebrate changing lives.

PHOTO: Top Row Left to Right: Regina Cunningham, Thelma Rodriguez, John Williams; Middle Row Left to Right: Katherine “Nikki” Brown, De Lana Smethers, Ruth Thompson, Karen Trevino, Cheryl Crawford, Guillermina Nieto, Wade Desemar, Elizabeth Rodriguez; Sitting Left to Right: Michael Montgomery, Theresia Balfour and Kegan Oliver

Thursday, October 6, 2016

TJJD has implemented a series of new courses designed to assist staff with additional tools to aid in the successful performance of their jobs.  The Juvenile Justice Training Academy (JJTA) will offer Gang Awareness and Grooming to both TJJD staff and probation personnel.  Suicide Prevention and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury is specifically targeted to TJJD staff, however, a revised version is currently being developed for probation personnel.  These courses will be implemented to all new and tenured staff.

Gang Awareness was developed by the JJTA with the assistance of Office of Inspector General and State Programs and Facilities.  This course provides a basic overview of gangs and gang-related behavior, including components of gang membership. Using scenario-based training, it allows participants to determine whether youth behavior is reportable as gang membership or activity.   The course also outlines reporting requirements for suspected gang activity.  This will be the first of a phased progression of courses in Gang Awareness.  At TJJD, each facility will also provide staff with a presentation by the Office of Inspector General to identify gang related issues and trends that are specific to that facility or region.

Grooming: Are You Vulnerable? was developed by the JJTA with the assistance of the Administrative Investigations and Treatment professionals.  This course covers grooming techniques youth use to manipulate staff into compromising their professional ethics and boundaries. This module also reviews the six types of people a groomer may target.  Participants self-assess using a checklist to determine their susceptibility to various grooming techniques used by youth. This course also provides staff with information regarding types of errors a staff member makes if being groomed and how to intervene on behalf of one another in an effort to protect staff and stop the grooming process.

Suicide Prevention was developed by the JJTA with the assistance of the Treatment professionals of TJJD.  This course introduces new employees to the policies and procedures governing the management of suicidal youth at TJJD. Staff will learn to identify the warning signs and symptoms found in youth dealing with suicidal behavior and five important points that when applied can help prevent suicide attempts by the youth under the care of the juvenile justice system. Staff will recognize how important a professional attitude is towards helping TJJD youth dealing with suicidal thoughts, actions, and behaviors.

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury was developed by the JJTA with the assistance of the Treatment Division of TJJD.  This course explains the difference between non-suicidal self-injury behaviors (NSSI) and suicidal behaviors. Staff will recognize the warning signs and motivating factors of NSSI. Staff will also learn what to do if they manage a youth who is pre-NSSI, committing NSSI, or post NSSI.

For more information, please contact Kristy Almager at 512.490.7125 or or Chris Ellison at 512.490.7245 or Chris.Ellison@tjjd.texas. gov.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The City of Corpus Christi hosted its annual city-wide event “Beach to Bay Marathon Race” this past May.  The rainy conditions didn’t keep away the runners, volunteers, staff and youth from York House who succeeded in cleaning up the five-acre area along the beach in record time.  This annual event brought in $1500 to the Corpus Christi Community Resource Council for Texas Youth to support TJJD youth at York House.