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PbS State and Agency Coordinators Convened to Connect the Dots in Indianapolis!

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) held its second State/Agency Coordinator Training this year in Indianapolis, IN. The training was held in conjunction with PbS’ 20th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Gala at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

About 45 juvenile justice leaders from over 30 states focused on connecting the dots between research, reform and results and were engaged in PbS’ celebration of 20 years committed to treating all youths in custody as one of our own.

Executive Director Kim Godfrey kicked off the first day of training with an enthusiastic welcome and informative presentation about the history and future of PbS. Akin Fadeyi, PbS Implementation Director and Coach, then led an energizer activity and moderated a panel presentation and discussion that connected PbS to behavior management practices. Panel participants included:

  • Judy Davis, Superintendent at Illinois Youth Center-Warrenville,
  • Emil Fischer, Probation Officer at Riverside County Juvenile Detention Center,
  • Al Lick, PbS Coach; and
  • Russ Jennings, PbS Coach.

alt text Panelists from left to right: Russ Jennings, Judy Davis, Emil Fischer and Al Lick.

The panel discussed why behavior management systems are important in adhering to the developmental/research-driven approach to managing kids, the problems caused by punitive and harsh approaches and the positive, incentive-based approaches that benefit kids, staff and families.

Following the panel presentation, attendees watched a short clip of Simon Sinek’s The Golden Circle in which Simon talked about the importance of the why, how and what for the mission of any successful business or organization. The video led into the five workgroups that focused on ‘why, how and what’ for different areas of positive youth development:

  • Demonstrating genuine commitment to fairness, led by Penny Sampson, NH;
  • Ensuring sensitivity to disparate treatment, led by Ja’Net Smith, MA;
  • Engaging families and community, led by Shari Wolf, OH;
  • Planning for the future, led by Casey Traynor, ND; and
  • Creating positive, pro-social staff-youth relationships, led by Chris Blessinger, IN.

alt text The Engaing Familes and Community workgroup led by Shari Wolf, OH.

The first day of the training concluded with PbS coach Aaron McCorkle leading the group in a second energizer activity and South Dakota state coordinator Tonya Wright-Cook surprising Kim and all of PbS with an engraved plaque in honor of 20 years of treating all youths in custody as one of our own.

alt text Tonya Wright-Cook presents her plaque to Kim Godfrey.

Before sending everyone off to the PbS 20th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Gala, Kim made a heartfelt toast expressing her appreciation and sincere gratitude to everyone for making the last 20 years memorable and successful.

The final day of training featured the first ever Coaches Corner and the Coordinator’s Corner. The Coaches Corner included PbS coaches who each covered a general topic:

  • Aaron McCorkle gave his tips on undocumented room confinement and the importance of documentation and notification for line supervisors and facility management;
  • Al Lick talked about tracking data on a monthly basis so that each facility will have up-to-date records of their performance relative to critical outcome measures;
  • Barbara Chayt shared ideas on the organization change process and focused on the importance of the team and buy-in;
  • Janice Shallcross expressed how imperative it was for coaches to be change-adaptive. She explained that coaching required relationship-building and frequent communication to assess the need and to provide instruction, affirmation and encouragement;
  • Lois Jenkins talked about being transparent in an organization in regards to sharing results from each data collection across all disciplines in a facility; and
  • Russ Jennings explained the importance of project management and building PbS sustainability.

The Coordinator’s Corner consisted of six state coordinators who each shared specific topics that resonated with their work at their own facilities:

  • Chris Blessinger, IN, talked about how the role of the state coordinator relates to the role of a PbS coach and the importance of ensuring that information and agency changes are communicated between coaches and coordinators;
  • Heather Plager, NV, shared how picking her PbS team was crucial to implementing PbS in facilities;
  • Jessica Moncada, ID, explained the reorganization process at her facility that elevated the focus on PbS and other areas of particular interest at the state level;
  • Joe Marchetti, AK, put into perspective the geographical challenges that Alaska faces in regards to re-entry and family involvement at his facilities and how they overcome and adapt;
  • Marie Swope, MO, enthusiastically shared her top five reasons for why collaborative buy-in was necessary for successful facility improvement plans (FIPs); and
  • Shari Wolf, OH, informed the group about the steps and strategies she utilized to integrate monthly superintendent reports using PbS FIPs and review reporting.

The training concluded with presenting certificates to all of the attendees, who are looking forward to the training next August, which will be held in Boston, MA.

Yesterday at 12:19 PM

Congratulations to the 2015 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Winners

 

The Performance-based Standards Learning Institute (PbS) honored the winners of the 2015 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Friday night at the PbS 20th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Gala in Indianapolis. The winners were recognized for best exemplifying PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own. Three winners were selected, one from each of the different types of residential facilities participating in PbS: correction facilities, detention/assessment centers and community-based programs. More than 40 facilities from across the country competed for the awards.

The 2015 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winners are:

  • Correction: Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility, Highland Hills, OH
  • Detention/Assessment: Muskegon River Youth Center, Ladoga, IN
  • Community-based: South Hadley Girls Treatment Program, South Hadley, MA

The winners were selected for changing facility cultures and practices that focused more on punishment into environments where staff and youths work together to help the youth learn and grow. Staff in the winning facilities treat youths as developing adolescents with limitless potential and focus on increasing their academic and vocational skills, connecting them to family and community resources so when they leave, the youths have been given the best possible chances to succeed.

“This year’s winners have embraced the science and research showing that when kids are treated like kids, given opportunities to do the right thing, supported in a safe and nurturing environment and engaged in meaningful strengths-based programming, everyone wins,” said PbS Executive Director Kim Godfrey. “The winners took the developmental approach and operationalized it in residential settings. They changed from using practices that don’t help youths, specifically isolation and punishment-driven behavior management approaches, to approaches that help youths understand choices and consequences in a way that builds caring, trusting staff-youth relationships. The 2015 winners and finalists are inspirations for all of us.”

PbS is a data-driven improvement model grounded in research that challenges youth correction, detention, assessment and community-based facilities and agencies to treat all youths in custody as one of our own. PbS was launched 20 years ago by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to address the safety, health and quality of life issues reported in the 1994 Conditions of Confinement Study. Over time, PbS uniquely has established national standards to guide operations and uniform performance outcome measures to continuously, accurately and comprehensively monitor daily practices and cultures in youth facilities.

For more information please visit the PbS website: http://pbstandards.org/ or contact Executive Director Kim Godfrey at 781-843-2663.

This article was published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, August 17, 2015 at 10:12 AM

2015 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Awards Ceremony This Friday

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is excited for the 2015 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Awards Ceremony this Friday where the winners of the award will be announced and celebrated. The awards ceremony is taking place in conjunction with PbS’ 20th anniversary in Indianapolis.

All nine finalists addressed significant challenges facing facility leaders and staff to improve outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Correction Facility Category:

Detention and Assessment Centers Category:

Community-based Residential Programs Category:

Stay tuned to find out which of these amazing facilities and programs win the 2015 award on Friday night!

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:02 AM

2015 Finalist Spotlight: Youth Opportunity Center

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Youth Opportunity Center (YOC) in Muncie, IN as one of the finalists for the 2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the community category. The program was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan reducing youth and staff fear for safety.

The team at YOC recognized that staff and youth perceptions play a key role in how they interact and whether they are able to develop positive rapport with one another—a key aspect of effective programming. Therefore, they held a focus group to figure out why people did not feel safe. Based on the findings, the team updated the grievance process so youths would know their concerns were being addressed, implemented a council for youths so they would have an ongoing voice about safety concerns and improved staffing levels.

Paula Anderson, Director of Compliance, explains that buy-in from staff is key: “We feel that one of the keys to this success is that we have obtained buy-in from everyone in the organization. From our CEO and Board of Directors to our Direct Care Staff, everyone seems to understand that safety is a top priority. We did not need to “sell” this idea to anyone involved. As a result, we have received tremendous support in the development and implementation of our Facility Improvement Plan.”

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015 at 9:10 AM

August PbS Person of the Month

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) honors Dan Weising, Juvenile Services Program Director in Pine Cottage at North Dakota Youth Correctional Center as our August 2015 Person of the Month!

Dan has been the Program Director in Pine Cottage for the past 8 years. He began his career with at-risk youth seventeen years ago while studying at University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. In his final year of college, he took a job working the overnight shift at a local residential treatment center. He had intended to pursue a career in teaching but enjoyed the work so much he stayed on to start a career in juvenile justice. Since working at the residential treatment center, Dan has also worked with the NDYCC as an Institutional Resident Counselor and as a Case Manager before taking on his current role of Program Director in Pine Cottage.

A true role model, Dan is also known to youths in the facility as “Coach” for his work as a high school football and track coach. He has always enjoyed teaching and coaching youths. He rises to the challenge of trying to help youths and finds it most rewarding to build positive relationships with the youths in his care. Dan says he is motivated by “innovation and the idea of evolving approaches to working with the youth in our care.” He uses PbS to model all of his unit improvement plans. He said they are currently focusing on reducing the use of restraints and room confinement.

Dan has been an instrumental part of transitioning the ideology and practices of the secure unit on campus, Pine Cottage, from an isolation-based to a more trauma-informed model. Dan and his team have changed the framework with their program to help youths on a more individualized basis, and Pine Cottage now manages all of the high security, high risk, and volatile mental health population in addition to the Assessment and Detention programs.

Rick Makelky, the Quality Assurance Manager with NDYCC, said “Dan’s calm and patient demeanor in working with the most difficult kids really sets the tone for all of those who observe him.” Dan was nominated for this honor on behalf of the facility, and “also on behalf of the many young men that have entered Pine Cottage scared, confused and angry and left feeling safe, respected and having hope.”

In 20 years, Dan sees himself living a similar life. When he retires, he intends to continue coaching and his favorite recreational activity of fishing.

Thank you Dan for your commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own and congratulations on being the PbS Person of the Month for August 2015!

This article was published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, August 03, 2015 at 9:20 AM

2015 Finalist Spotlight: Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility (TYCF) in Tillamook, OR as one of the finalists for the 2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the correction category. The program was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan connecting adult corrections and youth corrections for improved transitional services.

The team at TYCF wanted to work on improving reintegration, but youths were technically adult corrections in TYCF’s custody; therefore, TYCF did not provide aftercare services for them. Although this seemed like a larger problem than what a facility can overcome, the team worked hard and juvenile parole and probation officers work with all youths (whether they are on the juvenile or adult side) to advocate for them while they are in custody. This improvement plan has even assisted other facilities with similar issues.

According to Gary Westoby, PbS State Coordinator, “the key to TYCF’s success can be summed up in two words, networking and communication! OYA is a unique agency with “juveniles” from age 12 up to their 25th birthday. For those agencies with similar dynamics, we would recommend collaborating with your partner agencies and departments to serve the youth completely. This is critical in order for the model to be successful.”

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

This article was originally posted on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 11:28 AM

2015 Finalist Spotlight: Southwest Utah Youth Center

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Southwest Utah Youth Center in Cedar City, UT as one of the finalists for the 2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the detention/assessment category. The program was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan on increasing the volunteer programming in the facility.

The team at Southwest Utah Youth Center determined the youths could benefit most from having more community volunteers who share their talents and insight to help the facility continue to instill skills that will guide the youths to be successful. To get more volunteers, the team reached out to a local comedy group and a women’s crisis shelter who agreed to volunteer and encouraged them to come in on Friday mornings when the facility had the most idle time. The facility also holds a Volunteer Appreciation Night, where the volunteers are given cards from the youths.

Beth Clark, Site Coordinator at Southwest Utah Youth Center, explains “the major key to our success was our staff’s devotion to the improvement plan.” She further adds “through our amazing staff and the use of organization we have been able to witness a change in our youth through their positive response to the volunteers who so generously shared their time with us.”

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 9:43 AM

PbS Perspective July 2015 Highlights Facility Performance in Key Areas

 

Earlier this year, Performance-based Standards (PbS) released the first in a series of publications that offers a snapshot of the conditions of confinement and quality of life in secure facilities. The PbS Perspective January 2015 was well-received and we are pleased to announce the next in this series—the PbS Perspective July 2015!

When PbS reflected on what we have learned over the past 20 years, we realized that looking at data is the first, fundamental step to positive change. Our newest publication shares aggregate data from April 2015 that highlights facility performance in key areas proven to impact youths’ safety and healthy development. Although the publication only shares a few pieces of all the data we collect, the information paints a picture of facility life and gives you an idea about priorities and the current state of juvenile facilities.

Some highlights from the PbS Perspective July 2015:

  • Nearly three-quarters of youths reported that their facility has a good school program;
  • Many staff said they value family members as partners in their work with youths, but not as many said that they have better results when working with families;
  • Staff overwhelmingly agreed they received the training they need to do their job; and
  • About half of youths reported that someone from the facility explained what trauma is and why it matters.

These are only a few of the highlights from the PbS Perspective July 2015. To learn more about isolation, race and ethnicity, staff training and support, education, family, zero tolerance and trauma, read the PbS Perspective or our issue briefs, which delve deeper into specific topics.

This article was published on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 8:18 AM

Congratulations to the Winner of the PbS Kids Got Talent Contest

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is proud to announce the winner of the 2015 PbS Kids Got Talent Contest: Tyrell J. from Coastal Evaluation Center in Ridgeville, SC. Tyrell was selected for performing his original song: “Perfect to Me.” He will perform his song live at the PbS 20th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Gala in Indianapolis on Aug. 14.

“All the performances submitted to the PbS Kids Got Talent Contest were kids with amazing, creative and moving gifts. Tyrell’s song showed his flair for songwriting, acoustic guitar skills and wonderful voice,” said PbS Executive Director Kim Godfrey. “I am really looking forward to hearing him perform live and appreciate all the efforts by the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice to make that happen.”

The PbS Kids Got Talent Contest invited all youths in assessment, correction and detention facilities and community-based programs participating in PbS to submit audio or video recordings of their talents. PbS received 54 inspiring entries that involved 77 youths performing individually or in groups, some original works, from 18 different facilities located in 11 states. The youths danced, sang solos, duets and musicals, performed sports and card tricks, played instrumental guitar pieces, recited poems and painted.

In May, 11 contest finalists were chosen and presented to the PbS Kids Got Talent Contest judges, a panel of esteemed juvenile justice and film production experts: Robert Listenbee, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; Scott Budnick, President of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition; Marie Williams, Esq. Executive Director of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice; Patrick Griffin, Program Officer for Juvenile Justice in U.S. Programs for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Marc Schindler, Executive Director of the Justice Policy Institute and Karen Grau, President of Calamari Productions.

The judges described Tyrell as “very talented” and noted he is a “songwriter in the making”. The judges felt his song was “original and beautiful,” as well as “catchy and fun to listen to.”

“Our first PbS Kids Got Talent Contest exceeded all expectations,” Godfrey said. “We received submissions from facilities known in the past for taking a very correctional and punitive approach to juvenile justice. It shows how facility and agency leadership is embracing the research and science showing kids do better when they are treated like kids.” Watch Tyrell's amazing performance.

Monday, July 20, 2015 at 2:36 PM

2015 Finalist Spotlight: White’s Residential and Family Services

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce White’s Residential and Family Services in Wabash, IN as one of the finalists for the 2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the community category. The program was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan on decreasing injuries to youths as well as the number of youths and staff who fear for their safety.

The behavioral interventions, treatment modalities, and staffing patterns that had previously allowed White’s to succeed in safety were no longer working. The team chose to address injuries and fear for safety since treatment is hindered in an environment of fear, real or perceived. The team at White’s made changes to the orientation process and increased the staff-youth ratio. The big change, however, was the creation of Campus Life Specialists to work with youths in crisis since the program was seeing a rise in youths with mental health diagnoses. As a result, there have been no injuries to youths by other youths and reductions in youth and staff fearing for their safety!

When asked what the key to success was, Josh Bowyer, Campus Life Director, explained that meeting the needs of the population and quantifying data is essential. “The key to our success has been the addition of staff to meet the needs of our population…we continue to work with youth with more acute psychological needs and more criminogenic behaviors. Prior to [PbS] it was difficult to quantify the impact of difficult youth on our houseparent staff.”

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

This article was published on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 9:45 AM

Kid's Got Talent Finalist Spotlight

 

Finalist Spotlight: Wasatch Youth Center

We are four weeks away from the Performance-based Standards (PbS) 20th Anniversay Celebration and Awards Gala in Indianapolis, IN! Participants are anxious to see the Kids Got Talent live performance.

PbS challenged facilities to step outside of the box and participate in the PbS Kids Got Talent contest. Youths in PbS facilities were invited to submit video or audio recordings of their talents. With over 50 very entertaining performances, eleven finalists were chosen after careful consideration.

We are excited to announce that Daniel C. from the Wasatch Youth Center in Salt Lake City, UT is one of the finalists! Daniel's performance was an amazing audio only original poem entitled “Two Faced”. It was both honest and captivating. Listen to Daniel's audio performance.

Thank you Daniel for sharing your talent and congratulations on becoming a finalist. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 3:45 PM

2015 Finalist Spotlight: Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility (CHJCF) in Highland Hills, OH as one of the finalists for the 2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the correction category. The program was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan on decreasing the amount of time youths spent in isolation.

CHJCF saw a spike in isolation in 2008, the same year a lawsuit prohibited isolation as an immediate punishment. The team at CHJCF also wanted to improve the safety and security for both youths and staff and set out on a seven year endeavor to address isolation. The team made many changes including implementing a strength-based behavior management system and a Special Review Team—a meeting led by a clinician with youths, staff and family to discuss causes of behavior and recommended interventions. After seven years and many changes, CHJCF is now 10 hours less than the field average for duration of isolation!

Angie Wurgler, Site Coordinator at CHJCF, explains that improving communications is necessary for sustaining the improvements, but the key to make the changes is data. “Living our efforts everyday through our data, our trends, and how we react to our data is the key to our success.”

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 at 9:44 AM

South Dakota Participants Celebrate National PbS Day!

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) participants have all done amazing work in their programs and National PbS Day was a time for everyone to celebrate! South Dakota had prepared many activities for each of their three facilities in addition to Governor Dennis Daugaard proclaiming June 5 as National PbS Day in the state!

East Campus kicked off the day with a 5K run followed by an awards ceremony and outdoor BBQ with youths and staff. Both Brady Academy and Youth Challenge Center teamed up and played a few games of softball, volleyball, rope course activities and zip lining. The programs also enjoyed a BBQ lunch.

Staff members were also celebrating with a bagel and beverage bar and a PbS table where staff could help themselves to items. Program managers each gave an elevator speech about a PbS topic, PbS Coach Al Lick presented certificates and Secretary of Corrections Denny Kaemingk and Director of Juvenile Corrections Doug Hermann concluded the recognition by reading the Governors Proclamation.

To end the day of celebration, motivational speaker Donna Hanks spoke to the youth and staff.

Thank you for sharing your stories and pictures with us and be on the lookout for more blogs about National PbS Day celebrations!

Monday, July 06, 2015 at 11:59 AM

Kid's Got Talent Finalist Spotlight

 

Finalist Spotlight: Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility

The countdown has already begun for the Performance-based Standards (PbS) 20th Anniversary Gala in Indianapolis, IN and participants are excited to see the Kids Got Talent live performance!

The nation-wide talent contest invited all youths in PbS facilities to submit recordings of their talents. With over 50 submissions ranging from singing and dancing to card tricks and spoken word, eleven finalists were chosen after careful consideration.

We are happy to announce that Edward R. from the Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility in Oregon is one of the finalists! Edward was selected for his amazing acoustic guitar playing and rendition of R&B singer Ray J’s song ‘One Wish’. Watch Edward's performance.

Edward was also recognized in the Tillamook Headlight Herald for his incredible voice and guitar skills! Congratulations Edward and stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Monday, July 06, 2015 at 11:54 AM

California Participants Celebrate National PbS Day!

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) celebrated the first-ever National PbS Day on June 5. Participants from all over the country were sent celebration kits that included balloons and party favors to help kick-start program festivities! Two California facilities used these celebration kits to really show their PbS spirit.

NA Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility hosted a Hawaiian Luau fully equipped with decorations and food! They printed PbS data on posters to easily share information and two of the Kids Got Talent participants shared the motivation behind their performances. After a poetry reading and dance routine by the youths, the day ended with cake and punch.

O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility also shared their data on posters to applaud improvements made by staff. Youths assisted with creating and hanging decorations using PbS colors and preparing hors-doeuvres for all staff members and had a lot of fun! Youths were very engaged and interested in PbS and took full advantage to ask questions and learn more from staff.

Thank you for sharing your stories and pictures with us and be on the lookout for more blogs about National PbS Day celebrations!

Monday, July 06, 2015 at 11:51 AM

Kids Got Talent Finalist Spotlight

 

Finalist Spotlight: NA Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility

We are only six weeks away from the Performance-based Standards (PbS) 20th Anniversary Gala and participants are excited to see the live performance by the PbS Kids Got Talent winner!

The nation-wide talent contest invited all youths in PbS facilities to submit audio or video recordings of their talents. We received over 50 submissions ranging from poetry and airbrush art to basketball tricks and dancing. After careful consideration eleven finalists were chosen to move on to our esteemed panel of judges.

PbS is pleased to announce Jesus A. from NA Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton, CA as one of the eleven finalists. Jesus was selected as a finalist for his honest and endearing original poem entitled ‘Nobody’s Perfect’. Watch Jesus' performance.

Thank you Jesus for sharing your incredible poem and congratulations on becoming a finalist. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Monday, July 06, 2015 at 11:49 AM

2015 Finalist Spotlight: Muskegon River Youth Home

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Muskegon River Youth Home in Ladoga, IN as one of the finalists for the 2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the detention/assessment category. The program was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan on decreasing the amount of time youths spent in isolation.

The team at Muskegon noticed a large difference between their amount of isolation and the amount the field was using. After reviewing their average daily population and number of staff, they realized they did not need to use isolation so often. The team reviewed all incidents and determined a number of areas for improvements including verbal interventions, offering locations for youths to retreat, staff training and reassessing youths every 15 minutes once they are in isolation. These changes resulted in a 72% decrease in the duration of isolation!

Leah Miels, Program Director at Muskegon, noted “the key to the facility’s success, by far, was creating staff buy-in.” She explains that providing staff with training and hard numbers and statistics had a huge impact on the staff’s desire to work even harder with troublesome youths.

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015 at 10:39 AM

July PbS Person of the Month

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce that Cecil K. Davis, Superintendent of Camp Summit Boot Camp in LaPorte, IN, is the PbS Person of the Month recipient for July.

As a youth Cecil was inspired by his favorite TV characters in the shows he watched: Wyatt Earp, The Rifleman and Gunsmoke. Eventually he fulfilled his childhood dream of emulating these TV characters by serving three years in the US Army and becoming a police officer. He has been working at Camp Summit for the past 6 years. Cecil holds a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies from Indiana University.

Chris Blessinger, Chief of Operations Director of the Indiana Department of Youth Services (IN-DYS), says “Camp Summit immediately embraced the PbS process and I have to credit that to Cecil. The culture in the facility has widely improved due to their continued efforts to strive to be the best.” Mike Dempsey, Executive Director of IN-DYS, adds “Their [Camp Summit’s] success is unquestionably the result of the dedication and the leadership of Cecil throughout this [PbS] process. Cecil has ensured that he is personally engaged and knowledgeable of the PbS process and he has ensured this same level of investment throughout the facility.”

Job satisfaction comes to Cecil by witnessing the difference he can make in the lives of the students that come through the facility. He finds the biggest challenge he faces at the facility to be family engagement. He emphasizes the importance of having parents and guardians work with the facility and reentry staff to continue to motivate and support their sons once they are released back to their communities. “The more involved the parents/guardians the better the chances for continued success.”

Cecil credits PbS with providing avenues to improve his professional skills and knowledge to implement and maintain the best possible programs to ensure the success of the youth. Camp Summit has maintained a PbS Level 4 for the past three years and was the 2012 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winner for corrections.

When he isn’t working, Cecil tries to get in at least three rounds of golf per week. He also enjoys spending time jet skiing on beautiful Lake Michigan.

Thank you for your commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of your own Cecil and congratulations on being selected as the July 2015 PbS Person of the month.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015 at 9:14 AM

National PbS Day Was a Huge Success!

 

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” -Voltaire

Let’s all agree: It is fun to celebrate! It feels good and Voltaire is right: we all benefit.

I wasn’t sure what would happen on June 5, the first-ever National PbS Day. We sent posters and a celebration kit with PbS balloons and party favors to all participating PbS facilities and asked them to join together for a national celebration of our 20th anniversary on that day. It turned out to be a party across the USA, stretching from our home state of Massachusetts to California, down to Delaware and South Carolina, across Pennsylvania to Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Pictures show some of the creative fun PbSers had (you must log in for access). There were PbS banners and flags, field day competitions and performances, murals, posters, art work and cake, cake and more cake!

Probably the biggest and most unexpected celebration was the proclamation by the Gov. of South Dakota declaring June 5 National PbS Day!

Our hope was to create excitement and a national "buzz” to recognize all the work PbS participants do to meet our commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own. It’s hard work, often overlooked and frequently underappreciated. One of the things that drew me to this work more than 20 years ago was seeing staff working in the facilities here in Massachusetts creatively and consistently make the daily routine of facility life fun for the youths, which resulted in fun for themselves. I know from my own teenage children that a celebration can shift just about any bad mood. For me, even the littlest appreciation makes my day.

Neuroscientists say our brains are hardwired to think negatively the majority of the time. They have data showing we are more likely to see what’s wrong, not good enough or just wish things were different in some way. But I’ll posit that PbS has data on the opposite: what you look for, you find, and on June 5 we found a lot of appreciation, celebration and fun! Thank you all.

Stay tuned for more blogs sharing National PbS Day celebrations.

Monday, June 29, 2015 at 10:13 AM

2015 Finalist Spotlight: South Hadley Girls Treatment Program

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce South Hadley Girls Treatment Program in South Hadley, MA as one of the finalists for the 2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the community category. The program was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan on incorporating positive youth development into all aspects of their programming.

The team at South Hadley carefully researched behavioral support systems—attending webinars and conferences and visiting other programs who had successfully transitioned from a point and level system—to find a behavioral support system that matched their ongoing efforts to offer services that are gender-specific, trauma-informed and based in positive youth development. Once they decided on a system, South Hadley made numerous changes including monthly trainings related to positive youth development and trauma and more opportunities for youths to voice their opinions and concerns such as weekly community support meetings and student advisory sessions. The changes have resulted in more youths reporting that the rules are fair, they understand the program rules, they understand the behavioral support system and staff show respect!

Melissa King, Administrator at South Hadley, noted that support for staff is essential to success. “We moved slowly and gave staff tools as we proceeded with the transition. Staff's ability to access support from the Administrative team is the key to the success of the new behavioral support system.”

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 9:34 AM

Kids Got Talent Finalist Spotlight

 

Finalist Spotlight: Camp Tillamook

Performance-based Standards’ (PbS) nationwide Kids Got Talent contest invited all youths in PbS facilities to submit recordings of their talents.

With over 50 submissions ranging from singing and dancing to card tricks and spoken word, eleven finalists were chosen after careful consideration.

We are happy to announce that Josh C. from Camp Tillamook in Oregon is one of the finalists! Josh does a phenomenal job using an airbrush technique to create a portrait. Watch Josh's performance.

Thank you Josh for sharing your incredible art work and congratulations on becoming a finalist. The winner of the Kids Got Talent contest will perform as a special guest at the PbS 20th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Gala in Indianapolis, IN! Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 3:47 PM

2015 Finalist Spotlight: Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center (COJC) in Tecumseh, OK as one of the finalists for the 2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the corrections category. The facility was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan on creating a safe environment conducive to helping youths acquire and use skills from their treatment program.

The team at COJC shared a common philosophy of a treatment-oriented approach rather than a correctional model. However, this shift required a complete change in culture, but the team at COJC wouldn’t let that stop them. An endless list of positive changes were implemented including offering college tours, developing an Honors Unit and replacing the black “storm trooper” uniforms with khakis and colored polos to present a non-threatening look to the youths. All of the changes resulted in a large decrease in injuries to staff and youths!

Carol Miller, Deputy Division Director, explains “COJC Administration feel they still have a long way to go but the change in COJC is both sustained and evidence based. They know they are making a positive difference in the adjudicated youth in Oklahoma and are steering a solid path with navigation assistance from PbS.”

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award in the corrections, detention/assessment and community categories will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 10:38 AM

Kids Got Talent Finalist Spotlight

 

Finalist Spotlight: Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility

With just eight more weeks before the 20th Anniversary Gala, Performance-based Standards (PbS) is gearing up for our Kids Got Talent live performance!

The nation-wide talent contest invited all youths in PbS facilities to submit recordings of their talents. With over 50 submissions ranging from singing and dancing to card tricks and spoken word, eleven finalists were chosen after careful consideration.

We are happy to announce that Elijuwon R. from the Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility in Logansport, IN has made the list of finalists! Elijuwon captivates the audience with his high energy and awesome dance moves. Take a look at his performance!

Thank you Elijuwon for sharing your incredible dance moves and congratulations on becoming a finalist. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 12:39 PM

Kids Got Talent Finalist Spotlight

 

Finalist Spotlight: Illinois Youth Center – Warrenville

In celebration of Performance-based Standards’ (PbS) 20th Anniversary, PbS challenged facilities to step outside of the box and participate in the PbS Kids Got Talent contest.

Youths in PbS facilities were invited to submit video or audio recordings of their talents. We were stunned by the 50 + submissions with over 70 performers. Performances ranged from singing and dancing to video art and sports tricks. Each and every performance was unique and entertaining. After viewing all the entries, the field was narrowed down to eleven top finalists. Next, the 11 finalists’ videos will be reviewed by a panel of six judges, who are professional film makers and national youth justice leaders. The winner they select will be notified at the beginning of June and be invited to perform live at PbS’ 20th Anniversary and Awards Gala Aug. 14 in Indianapolis!

We are happy to announce The Fabulous Females from the Illinois Youth Center - Warrenville in Warrenville, IL have made the finalist list! Under the direction the Storycatchers Theatre, The Fabulous Females do an amazing musical performance entitled “Someone You Can Trust”. It was inspirational and heartwarming. Take a look at the performance.

Thank you all for sharing you incredible voices. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 11:48 AM

2015 Finalist Spotlight: Greene County Juvenile Detention Center

 

Every year, facilities and programs across the country submit applications for the Barbara Allen-Hagen (BAH) Award, which honors a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify Performance-based Standards’ (PbS) commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own. These facilities and programs show their commitment by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices and services using PbS’ data-driven improvement model that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

PbS is pleased to announce Greene County Juvenile Detention Center in Springfield, MO as one of the finalists in this year’s detention/assessment category. The facility was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan on reducing the use of isolation and room confinement.

Through their own experience of providing care to youths in confinement as well as research, the team at Greene County Juvenile Detention Center recognized the detrimental effects confinement can have on youths such as increased levels of fear and an increase in suicidal thoughts. Therefore, the team carefully analyzed their data to ascertain the reasons why room confinement was being used and found some creative solutions! For example, some youths ended up in room confinement for not showering. Not only did the nurse conduct hygiene classes, but the facility purchased a gentler soap since youths complained of dry skin.

When asked what they would recommend for replications at other facilities, Superintendent Marie Swope noted that facilities should not only allow for questions, but “troll for solutions knowing that the suggestions offered are authentic reflections of what is really happening and consequently what can really work.”

The BAH Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Barbara’s dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. Winners of the award in the corrections, detention/assessment and community categories will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 11:06 AM

Kids Got Talent Finalist Spotlight

 

Finalist Spotlight: Ventura Youth Correctional Facility

In celebration of Performance-based Standards’ (PbS) 20th Anniversary, PbS challenged facilities to step outside of the box and participate in the PbS Kids Got Talent contest.

Youths in PbS facilities were invited to submit video or audio recordings of their talents. We were stunned by the 50 + submissions with over 70 performers. Performances ranged from singing and dancing to video art and sports tricks. Each and every performance was unique and entertaining. After viewing all the entries, the field was narrowed down to eleven top finalists. Next, the 11 finalists’ videos will be reviewed by a panel of six judges, who are professional film makers and national youth justice leaders. The winner they select will be notified at the beginning of June and be invited to perform live at PbS’ 20th Anniversary and Awards Gala Aug. 14 in Indianapolis!

PbS proudly announces Ryan D. from the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility in Camarillo, CA as a finalist! Ryan does an amazing rendition of R&B artist Babyface’s song ‘When Can I See You Again’. In the performance, he shares not only his amazing voice but his impressive skills on the acoustic guitar. Take a look at Ryan performing “When Can I See You Again”.

Thank you Ryan for sharing your awesome talents and congratulations on becoming a finalist. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015 at 3:09 PM

June PbS Person of the Month

 

It is with great pleasure that Performance-based Standards (PbS) announces Jovan Haynes, Captain of Security at the South Carolina Juvenile Detention Center (SCJDC) in Columbia, SC, as our June PbS Person of the Month.

Jovan has been working at SCJDC for the past 13 years. Previous to SCJDC, Jovan worked as a contract mental health specialist and at the Justice Resource Institute (South Bridge Center).

Growing up, Jovan saw himself as a professional football player with a degree in business management. When he completed college and needed a job, a family contact found him a position as a mental health specialist. Through this experience he realized that he liked working with the youths. Jovan states “They looked up to me as a young man just a little older than them, and who was also doing well and staying out of trouble. It made me feel great when one of the youth told me he was going to change his life around and do well like me.”

Change is one of the more challenging issues that Jovan faces at work. Participating in PbS has allowed Jovan to see the “big picture.” He is most satisfied that he has been able to effectively lead staff in the right direction. Staff are now resolving conflict through talking, listening and the use of therapeutic approaches, which has made the use of force and confinement subsided tremendously. PbS has made him a better manager and his facility much safer. For all that Jovan has done, PbS Coach Dave Crowley declares him as “one of the best leaders in making positive change!”

Jovan shared this great story from his facility with us:

Due to a rare snowstorm in South Carolina, many teachers were not able to come to work, leaving the youths without classroom time during the day. The solution to this down time was to do split recreation with the youths. This causes them to be confined while one half of their unit gets recreation then switch them out. I did not want them to be confined and neither did they, but the officers did not feel comfortable with them all out together as this situation normally ended up in a fight. I spoke with the youths and explained the plan for the day, which was watching a movie off the unit. As we walked around the building other youths wanted to be a part of the group, and asked to come. It was explained to all the youths that everyone here wanted to participate and agreed to behave. I put the movie on for them and they enjoyed it. After that movie they wanted another movie. (Really it was anything to keep from going back to the unit). I did play another movie and eventually I ended up letting them play video games. Normally, the youths would never receive this privilege unless they earned level. These particular youths had never earned level or even came close. They now saw what they had been missing, I had three of these youths make level the next month! It was great to hear them in the hall ways telling me that they would be on level on this day, and they were ready to go to the game room. I had a great time with those kids that day because I saw them work together to stay out of trouble. One of our most problematic youths even told another resident that if he behaved he would help him with his reading later. That was priceless!

We find people like you priceless Jovan! Thank you for your commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of your own and congratulations on being selected as the June 2015 PbS person on the month.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, June 01, 2015 at 10:50 AM

Kids Got Talent Finalist Spotlight

 

Kid's Got Talent Finalist Spotlight: Camp Florence

In celebration of Performance-based Standards’ (PbS) 20th Anniversary, PbS challenged facilities to step outside of the box and participate in the PbS Kids Got Talent contest.

Youths in PbS facilities were invited to submit video or audio recordings of their talents. We were stunned by the 50 + submissions with over 70 performers. Performances ranged from singing and dancing to video art and sports tricks. Each and every performance was unique and entertaining. After viewing all the entries, the field was narrowed down to eleven top finalists. Next, the 11 finalists’ videos will be reviewed by a panel of six judges, who are professional film makers and national youth justice leaders. The winner they select will be notified at the beginning of June and be invited to perform live at PbS’ 20th Anniversary and Awards Gala Aug. 14 in Indianapolis!

PbS proudly announces Noah S. from Camp Florence in Florence, OR as a finalist! Noah does a phenomenal job reciting his poem entitled ‘Spring to Life’. It was insightful and creative. Take a look at his amazing performance.

Thank you Noah for sharing your incredible poem. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Friday, May 29, 2015 at 12:45 PM

Congratulations to the PbS 2015 Kids Got Talent Finalists

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is proud to announce the finalists for the 2015 PbS Kids Got Talent Contest. The contest invited all PbS participating facilities and programs to submit audio and video submissions of youths presenting their talents. The finalists were selected from over 50 submissions of various talents ranging from singing and dancing to sports tricks and video art. The 11 finalists chosen demonstrated exceptional talent, creativity and enthusiasm.

The 2015 PbS Kids Got Talent Contest finalists are:

  • Nicodemus G.—Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility, Larned, KS
  • Bransen W., Brendon B., and Carson M.—Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, Grants Pass, OR
  • Daniel C.—Wasatch Youth Center, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Tyrell J.—Coastal Evaluation Center, Ridgeville, SC
  • Jesus A.—NA Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility, Stockton, CA
  • Noah S.—Camp Florence, Florence OR
  • The Fabulous Females—Illinois Youth Center – Warrenville, Warrenville, IL
  • Edward R.—Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility, Tillamook, OR
  • Elijuwon R.—Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility, Logansport, IN
  • Josh C.—Camp Tillamook, Tillamook, OR
  • Ryan D.—Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, Camarillo, CA

The winner will be announced in June and will perform at the PbS 20th Anniversary Gala and Awards Ceremony on Aug. 14 in Indianapolis.

“I’m not sure what has me most speechless: the awe-inspiring, take-my-breath-away performances by incarcerated kids submitted for the PbS Kids Got Talent Contest or the fact that despite initial skepticism and grumblings about the difficulties filming youths in custody, more than 50 individual performances have been submitted,” said PbS Executive Director Kim Godfrey. “Both the quality and quantity of the talent submissions are awesome. They tell me that youth justice reforms are happening, cultures are changing and PbS’ commitment to treating all kids as one of our own is beginning to grow roots.”

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is a data-driven improvement model grounded in research that challenges youth correction, detention, assessment and community-based facilities and agencies to treat all youths in custody as one of our own. PbS sets national performance-based standards of excellence to guide facility operations, services and programs to best serve youths, staff and families. PbS provides tools, training, technical assistance and expert coaching to continuously monitor daily practices and facility culture with performance outcome measures. Over the past 20 years, PbS uniquely has established uniform data definitions and a quality assurance process that creates the most timely, comprehensive and accurate national database of its kind.

PbS was launched by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention specifically to address safety, health and quality of life issues in youth facilities identified as problematic in the 1994 Conditions of Confinement Study. PbS’ primary purpose is to provide facility leaders and staff with national standards to guide operations to best serve youths, staff and families and to continuously monitor daily practices and culture within facilities with performance outcome measures. Over time, PbS uniquely has established uniform data definitions, outcome measures and a quality assurance process that creates the most timely, comprehensive and accurate national database of its kind.

In 2004, PbS was a winner of the Innovations in American Government Award by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University for uniquely and effectively improving conditions of confinement and the quality of life in facilities for young offenders.

For more information, please visit the PbS website: http://pbstandards.org/ or contact Executive Director Kim Godfrey at 781-843-2663.

This announcement was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 12:31 PM

Gearing Up for National PbS Day!

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is gearing up for [National PbS Day on Friday June 5, 2015 in celebration of our 20th Anniversary! We’ve invited our nearly 200 participating facilities nationwide to celebrate along with us!

Tonya Wright-Cook, State Coordinator in South Dakota, has begun preparing for their PbS Day celebration. The girls at STAR East Campus have a 5K run planned for youth and staff. Brady Academy and the Youth Challenge Center have a morning schedule that includes a ropes/ challenge course for youths and staff to participate in. A BBQ lunch will held for all!

Governor Dennis Daugaard, has even issued a proclamation which recognizes June 5, 2015 as National PbS Day in South Dakota!

Thank you Tonya for all of your enthusiasm and hard work to make National PbS Day rock in South Dakota! We look forward to sharing more celebration stories from our participants.

Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 4:37 PM

Kids Got Talent Finalist Spotlight

 

Finalist Spotlight: Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility

In celebration of Performance-based Standards’ (PbS) 20th Anniversary, PbS challenged facilities to step outside of the box and participate in the PbS Kids Got Talent contest.

Youths in PbS facilities were invited to submit video or audio recordings of their talents. We were stunned by the 50 + submissions with over 70 performers. Performances ranged from singing and dancing to video art and sports tricks. Each and every performance was unique and entertaining. After viewing all the entries, the field was narrowed down to eleven top finalists. Next, the 11 finalists’ videos will be reviewed by a panel of six judges, who are professional film makers and national youth justice leaders. The winner they select will be notified at the beginning of June and be invited to perform live at PbS’ 20th Anniversary and Awards Gala Aug. 14 in Indianapolis!

PbS proudly announces Bransen W., Brendon B. and Carson M. from the Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility in Grants Pass, OR as one of the eleven finalists! The trio performed an original song entitled “Lullaby” which was written by Branson W. The group sang and played their own instruments and did an amazing job synchronizing each of their talents into a solid performance. Take a look at the amazing performance.

Thank you guys for sharing your incredible musical skills. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 11:55 AM

Congratulations to the 2015 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Finalists

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is proud to announce the finalists for the 2015 PbS Barbara Allen Hagen Award recognizing facilities for young offenders that best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own. The finalists were selected from about 40 high-quality applications from across the country that developed and implemented strategic plans to change practices and services using PbS’ data-driven improvement model that resulted in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families. In addition to demonstrating with data they improved the conditions of confinement and quality of life, the finalists were selected because they linked the improvement strategies to research, developed thorough sustainability plans and connected daily operations with the ultimate goal of providing effective and developmentally-appropriate care for youths placed in residential facilities.

The nine finalists addressed significant challenges facing facility leaders and staff including reforming adult-oriented cultures to be youth-focused and less punitive, increasing volunteers and volunteer programming, improving reentry services, reducing and eliminating harmful practices such as isolation and restraints and creating developmentally-appropriate behavior management systems.

The 2015 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Finalists are:

Correction Facility Category:

  • Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center, Tecumseh, OK
  • Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility, Highland Hills, OH
  • Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility, Tillamook, OR

Detention and Assessment Centers Category:

  • Greene County Juvenile Detention Center, Springfield, MO
  • Muskegon River Youth Center, Ladoga, IN
  • Southwest Utah Youth Center-Detention, Cedar City, UT

Community-based Residential Programs Category:

  • South Hadley Girls Treatment Program, South Hadley, MA
  • White’s Residential and Family Services, Wabash, IN
  • Youth Opportunity Center, Muncie, IN

One winner in each category will be selected and honored at the PbS 20th Anniversary Gala and Awards Ceremony Aug. 14 in Indianapolis.

“All the applications reflect what we have learned over the past 20 years about how to treat adolescents placed in youth justice facilities as kids and how to help them mature to be healthy productive adults – it’s awesome to see such demonstrated and documented commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own,” said PbS Executive Director Kim Godfrey. “Despite the changing laws and leaders, politics and funding, there is tremendous good work being done on behalf of youths entering the justice system. It’s not easy and it’s not done, but it is imperative we recognize what works.”

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is a data-driven improvement model grounded in research that challenges youth correction, detention, assessment and community-based facilities and agencies to treat all youths in custody as one of our own. PbS sets national performance-based standards of excellence to guide facility operations, services and programs to best serve youths, staff and families. PbS provides tools, training, technical assistance and expert coaching to continuously monitor daily practices and facility culture with performance outcome measures. Over the past 20 years, PbS uniquely has established uniform data definitions and a quality assurance process that creates the most timely, comprehensive and accurate national database of its kind.

PbS was launched by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention specifically to address safety, health and quality of life issues in youth facilities identified as problematic in the 1994 Conditions of Confinement Study. PbS’ primary purpose is to provide facility leaders and staff with national standards to guide operations to best serve youths, staff and families and to continuously monitor daily practices and culture within facilities with performance outcome measures. Over time, PbS uniquely has established uniform data definitions, outcome measures and a quality assurance process that creates the most timely, comprehensive and accurate national database of its kind.

In 2004, PbS was a winner of the Innovations in American Government Award by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University for uniquely and effectively improving conditions of confinement and the quality of life in facilities for young offenders.

For more information please visit the PbS website: http://pbstandards.org/ or contact Executive Director Kim Godfrey at 781-843-2663.

This announcement was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 9:30 AM

Kids Got Talent Finalist Spotlight

 

Finalist Spotlight: Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility

In celebration of Performance-based Standards’ (PbS) 20th Anniversary, PbS challenged facilities to step outside of the box and participate in the PbS Kids Got Talent contest. Youths in PbS facilities were invited to submit video or audio recordings of their talents. We were stunned by the 50 + submissions with over 70 performers. Performances ranged from singing and dancing to video art and sports tricks. Each and every performance was unique and entertaining. After viewing all the entries, the field was narrowed down to eleven top finalists. Next, the 11 finalists’ videos will be reviewed by a panel of six judges, who are professional film makers and national youth justice leaders. The winner they select will be notified at the beginning of June and be invited to perform live at PbS’ 20th Anniversary and Awards Gala Aug. 14 in Indianapolis!

PbS proudly announces Nicodemus G. from the Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility in Larned, KS as a finalist! Nicodemus performed an amazing rendition of pop artist Ariana Grande’s song ‘Break Free’. In the performance, he commands your attention with his confident stage presence and amazing vocals. If you aren’t smiling along with him by then end of his performance you must not have been paying attention! Take a look at Nicodemus perform Break Free.

Thank you Nicodemus for sharing your awesome talent and congratulations on becoming a finalist. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 2:10 PM

May PbS Person of the Month

 

Russ Tortorella, program director at the Goss Secure Treatment Facility (GST) in Taunton, Massachusetts, is the Performance-based Standards (PbS) Person of the Month for May 2015!

Russ has been at GST for 15 years. His interest in working with youth started after he graduated from the University of Maine, Orono. He took a job working at a Department of Youth Services (DYS) Homeward Bound program where staff worked with clients for 24 hours a day for 26 straight days. He found the work enjoyable and never looked back.

PbS Coach Dave Crowley describes Russ as a modest person, and a terrific director that has led GST to a Level 4 every data collection.

When asked what the most challenging issue he faces at work is, Russ states that the ever changing population in the juvenile justice field creates a new challenge on a weekly, daily and even hourly basis. He adds however, “the ability to problem solve for solutions, working collaboratively with team members and other programs in resolving the current challenge is also what I find the most rewarding.” In more than 22 years in this field, he still finds that there are new challenges each day.

Russ credits PbS with impacting their program in two ways. First, PbS has given them the tools to discover problem areas, which in turn help them to develop improvement plans. Secondly, PbS has provided networking opportunities. “We have utilized other PbS sites through our coaches to problem solve and created standards/procedures for the betterment of our clients and staff.”

Russ shared a great success story with us: We had a client invested in treatment with us for over two years with the maturity to know that home was not a suitable location for him to be successful. He was willing to relocate and work with another DYS region to start anew. During his new start he kept in touch with us and on one occasion called during a time of weakness and asked for help. We assisted in getting him equipped with the help he needed to continue his positive focus. It’s been more than five years since he left our program and a year since we’ve heard from him, but we do know that he earned his bachelor’s degree, has a good job and a new family!

When Russ isn’t at GST he can be found taxiing his kids to their numerous activities, where he enjoys being a spectator. Thank you Russ for your dedication to all of the youths within your care and congratulations on being selected as the PbS Person of the Month!

Friday, May 01, 2015 at 9:50 AM

PbS Participants Plan Great Activities for 2015!

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) participants provide great activities for youths throughout the entire year. Starting on New Years Day, facilities offer New Years resolution activities. To help get through the cold winter months, facilities also offer creative outlets and community service activities. Here are some of the activities that facilities have offered so far this year!

Coastal Evaluation Center wasted no time at the start of the year for their activities. Students were tasked with interviewing the staff members about their New Year’s resolutions after they were taught interviewing skills and given a quick demonstration on approaching someone for an interview. Students interviewed many staff members including the facility administrator, social workers and security staff and then created a presentation display board using the information from the interview.

Youths from all South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice facilities (DJJ) participated in a Habitat for Humanity project. Over 300 volunteers, many who were DJJ youths, helped to build a new home for Rebecca Bijoux and her children. DJJ director, Sylvia Murray says that in addition to the hands on skills, the youths learn so much more such as the importance of giving back.

Ventura Youth Correctional Facility supports their youths’ creativity for music. One of the youths, Ryan Daniels, is self-taught, inspired by his love of music. The facility provided him a guitar which he keeps in his room and he plays whenever the inspiration stirs. According to Ryan, music is a calming force that helps him cope with the vicissitudes of being incarcerated. Recently, he entered the PbS Kids Got Talent contest and hopes to go into a music-based career!

Each facility in the Ohio Department of Youth Services finds its own unique way of providing great activities for youths. Youths at the Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility participated in a day on-the-job experience at a family-owned farm. Youths were taught about the inner workings of a tree farm that grows Fraser Firs, Concolor Firs, Black Hills Spruces, White Pines, Scotch Pines, and Blue Spruces. 57 youths from Circleville Juvenile Correctional Facility signed a pledge committing to 40 days of peace in their facility. During this 40-day period, youths write in journals on a daily basis and wear wristbands to remember their commitment to non-violence. Meanwhile, youths at Indian River Correctional Facility gave back to the community by creating fleece blankets for patients at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Thanks to all the PbS participants who shared the activities they provide for youths and we look forward to hearing about outdoor activities during the spring and summer months!

This article was originally posted on the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 11:28 AM

April PbS Person of the Month

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce that Stephanie Sinju, assistant program director at the Wasatch Youth Center, is the PbS Person of the Month recipient for April.

Stephanie has been working at Wasatch for the past 1 ½ years. Prior to that she was at Decker Lake Youth Center serving in various capacities for 17 years and has done work with the Utah State Hospital and a children’s shelter.

Stephanie has had a nearly lifelong interest in psychology. A 10th grade psychology class sparked her interest in learning about people and their behaviors; she knew then that she wanted to pursue a career that involved helping others. She is now a licensed clinical social worker.

Helping others is what makes Stephanie such an asset to the team in Utah. Dorie Farah, PbS state coordinator, says “She’s been a go to person for the division on PbS. I have also seen her prepare, present and provide follow-up training to her staff with PbS results.” Stephanie states that working with PbS helps her to know if they are accomplishing their tasks and alerts them to areas of concern. She also adds that using PbS provides the staff the opportunity to be part of the process.

For Stephanie, the most rewarding aspect of her job is seeing the youths they work with make new discoveries that motivate them to do well and then seeing them succeed. She is quick to point out that the dedicated work done by staff who believe in the youths and help them succeed is truly inspiring.

When she isn’t working, Stephanie loves spending time outdoors in beautiful Utah, the state she grew up in and still calls home. She enjoys camping, hiking, biking and gardening.

We find you truly inspiring Stephanie! Thank you for your commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of your own and congratulations on being selected as the April 2015 PbS Person of the month.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Friday, April 10, 2015 at 9:01 AM

New PbS Issue Brief: What Youths, Staff and Families Say about Community-based Programs

 

About one-third of the nearly 60,000 youths in residential placement are in community-based programs. Research shows that youths’ experiences in residential facilities, positive connections to family and the quality of the staff-youth relationships impact youths’ behavior in custody and their likelihood of re-offending. Yet little is known about the quality of life, conditions and services provided in community-based programs.

PbS’ new issue brief—What Youths, Staff and Families Say about Community-based Programs—offers a unique national perspective about the safety, fairness, family-facility connection, staff-youth relationships, service and treatment plans and reentry preparations in community-based programs. PbS’ survey results are both comforting and surprising: only 4% of family members felt their child was not safe in the program, one-quarter of youths feared for their safety and 14% of staff feared for their safety. Families additionally reported that they participated in the development of their child’s treatment plan. Similarly, most youths said that they were able to give opinions about their service plans goals. This type of data provides information to better understand the program dynamics—and can only be found by asking the questions.

For more information on the perceptions of community-based programs, read the new issue brief. Also see PbS’ other issue briefs for data on isolation, staff perceptions, family involvement and more!

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Friday, March 06, 2015 at 10:52 AM

March PbS Person of the Month

 

The March 2015 Performance-based Standards (PbS) Person of the Month honor goes to Chris Dorman from the Naselle Youth Camp in Washington state. Chris has worked at the Naselle Youth Camp for the past 18.5 years and has been involved with PbS since their candidacy in 2005. He is the longest standing PbS site coordinator in the state. In addition to his role as a PbS site coordinator, Chris is also a full-time mental health coordinator and a designated suicide prevention specialist.

Mr. Dorman originally set out on a career path in business administration with an emphasis on finance and accounting. It was not until he learned about a family member’s involvement with the juvenile population that made him realize what he truly wanted to accomplish in life. He states “I realized my heart was with kids and not with the prosperity that came with success in the financial services industry. I knew I could have a positive impact on their [kids] lives.” It is this same desire that continues to motivate Chris to continue in his current position. “I have the opportunity to be an adult that cares about them and can provide a service that improves their quality of life.”

Chris tells us that participation in PbS has impacted his position by reinforcing the importance of quality assurance and affirming that regardless of their current placement kids deserve the best quality of life possible.

Mr. Dorman was instrumental in the development and application of a statewide facility improvement plan, which focused on the automation of the youth record and improving the health screening process. Jennifer Redman, M.S., institution programs administrator, had this to say about Chris: “Mr. Dorman approaches his work with the end goal in mind; to provide youth treatment in a safe and healthy environment so they can reintegrate into their community with skills to be successful. He is a bright spot in the juvenile rehabilitation system.” Chris was also the coordinator of events for “Unity Day” at the facility which supported the PACER organization’s anti-bullying campaign. Staff and Youth wore orange clothing and participated in activities that focused on bullying prevention.

When he is not at work, Chris enjoys travel, fishing, coaching and exercising. In 20 years he hopes to be partially retired, doing volunteer work with a children’s hospital, attending sporting events and soaking up the sun! Congratulations and thank you Chris on your commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of your own.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, March 02, 2015 at 11:01 AM

PbS Participants Find Creative Ways to Engage Youths

 

Juvenile facilities and programs find some creative ways to keep youths engaged. Performance-based Standards (PbS) participants have shared some of the things they have done including having a well-known artist teach at their facility and holding a TED Talk for the youths.

Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility (LJCF) in Indiana welcomed a well-known artist, Emanuel Martinez, to instruct their students at the facility. Martinez says he likes to encourage youths to have a more positive outlook on themselves and commends LJCF for incorporating art at the facility. This isn’t the first experience the facility has had with Martinez either. Back in 2012, Martinez created a mural at LJCF and last year, two youths at the facility won awards through a contest from Martinez’s organization, Emmanuel Project.

While LJCF keeps kids engaged through art, juvenile facilities in Ohio tried a different approach—having youths share their ideas and experiences through a TED Talk. TED, a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, hosts an event every year called TEDx Youth Day for youths to participate in talks. The Ohio Department of Youths Services (DYS) participated for the first time last year with about 30 youths in attendance.

The event took place via video conferencing, allowing for communication among their three facilities. Twelve DYS youths talked during the two-hour event to share stories of their life as children, the actions that led them to their commitment at DYS and what they have learned while in our custody. Several of the youths displayed their talents by playing the guitar, breakdancing and reading poetry. The youths were grateful for the opportunity to participate in the TEDx Youth Day and expressed a desire to do it again next year.

Thanks to the PbS participants who shared the unique ways they engage youths in art and public speaking!

This article originally appeared on the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 12:34 PM

PbS State and Agency Coordinators Training a Huge Hit Among Attendees

 

The Performance-based Standards (PbS) State/Agency Coordinators Training was a huge success for more reasons than just the sunny and warm location! The evaluations from our participants showed we met our goal of providing our attendees with information they can bring back to their jurisdiction. In fact, one attendee commented “Wonderful training! I am excited and can't wait to get back to implement some of the information!”

The excitement around our training was common among both newbies and veterans. One attendee who has attended previous trainings wrote “thank you for another outstanding conference” while a first-timer commented “loved it! Was so valuable to me and am going to talk with director about coming regularly.”

One of the biggest hits from our training were the workgroups where the attendees gathered into smaller groups discussing topics ranging from protecting against retraumatization to incentive-based behavior management. No matter which groups the attendees were in, nearly everyone agreed that they both contributed and learned something from their workgroups! One attendee commented “the workgroup sessions are very productive and a good way to exchange information and effective strategies.” Other attendees said they even wanted more time in the workgroups since so much great information is shared. We look forward to facilitating and inspiring more workgroups at our next training.

We were also really excited to see that participants are excited to be part of PbS’ 20th Anniversary celebration year and are inspired by the direction PbS is going for 2015! PbS is eager to share how far we’ve come in the past 20 years and where we plan to go next. Having amazing state and agency coordinators support us really helps us achieve our goals.

In addition to the attendees sharing their excitement about the training, many shared great suggestions for our next one including topics ideas for workgroups and what they would like to hear from other states.

We thank all of the attendees for their hard work and support at our most recent training and look forward to making the next one in August even better!

This article originally appeared on the CJCA blog.

Friday, February 20, 2015 at 10:21 AM

PbS State and Agency Coordinators Gathered to Connect the Dots!

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) kicked off its 20th Anniversary and held its first event of the year, the 2015 PbS State/Agency Coordinator Training in Long Beach, CA. The training, which involved about 70 juvenile justice leaders from over 30 states, aimed to help these leaders connect the dots between research, reform and results and engage them as leaders in PbS’ celebration of 20 years committed to treating youths in custody as one of our own. Attendees were welcomed Wednesday night with an outdoor reception at Hyatt the Pike to meet one another and get ready for the following days’ activities.

Executive Director Kim Godfrey commenced Thursday’s activities by getting participants enthused about PbS’ 20-year history and the evolution of PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own. The welcoming address was followed by a panel presentation on trauma-informed care by great presenters:

The presentation stressed the importance and relevance of trauma-informed care in juvenile justice and how to sustain or improve upon current practices and policies in a trauma-informed way. The presenters kept the audience engaged by using video exercises and connecting to the facility level such as getting staff buy-in.

Following the panel presentation, participants joined workgroups to get into the details of implementing trauma-informed care: how to create a safe environment led by Velvet McGowan, SC; how to protect against re-traumatization led by Nancy Carter, MA; how to get staff buy-in led by Chris Blessinger, IN; tools to identify trauma led by Dr. Marrow; and how to address staff trauma led by Varney. The participants enthusiastically contributed to their workgroups; they suggested trainings, policies and practices that help tackle these topics and addressed the challenges, benefits and tips to implement them. Additionally, the workgroup participants suggested which PbS data elements help them monitor how they’re doing in that area. The workgroups enthusiastically shared the results of their discussion with the full group.

Next up on the agenda was a panel presentation on the PbS Goals, Standards and Blueprint Revisions for 2015. Godfrey and Akin Fadeyi, Implementation Director and PbS Coach, talked about the need and the process to review and revise the goals, standard and the blueprint document. PbS State Coordinators and PbS Board of Directors members McGowan and Tonya Wright-Cook, SD, described their involvement in a panel of field experts and practitioners that reviewed the goals and standards and their appreciation of the process. The presentation discussed the tweaks and changes to the goals and standards but the big moment came when project coordinator Lisa Martinek wowed participants by giving them their first look at the new easy-to-navigate blueprint that will be released later this year. Participants were eager to see the new document and even more eager to start using it!

After Russell Sanders, LA Florida Parishes, led an energizer activity, technology manager Brendan Donahue led a lively presentation and discussion about PbS’ newest technology, the kiosk. He talked about who should be involved with the kiosks, addressed concerns about Wi-Fi, explained the value and helped participants understand how to get the most out of their kiosks. Last, but certainly not least, participants were excited to see the next generation 10” kiosk.

When all the kiosk questions were answered, participants were asked to partake in specialized workgroups to close out the day:

  • Reg Garff, UT, led a discussion to help finalize the Family Survey for Detention and Assessment Centers which has been in pilot since May 2014;
  • Chris Blessinger, IN, and PbS Coach Al Lick guided a conversation with community-based programs that focused on what the programs consider the most important PbS measures to consider for a future report;
  • Tonya Wright-Cook, SD, led a discussion about the various incentive-based behavior management systems, how to implement them, what works and what PbS data helps measure their success;
  • Judy Davis, IL, focused her group’s discussion on trainings, practices and policies that are unique and helpful for female programs; and
  • Marie Swope, MO, and PbS Coach Barbara Chayt reviewed PbS data that helps facilities monitor and prevent sexual victimization; this in-depth discussion will help guide a new PbS report. The day concluded with the workgroups sharing their findings; there was a lot of interest in the topics and the only complaint was more time to discuss them!

The final day of training featured the Spotlight Session where our participants shared stories of their successes. The Spotlight Session was brought back by popular demand after last year’s reviews:

  • Penny Sampson, NH, gave us an update on her agency’s work eliminating isolation and room confinement in New Hampshire, why their agency focused on this, what’s happened over the last year, struggles and successes;
  • Emil Fischer, Riverside County, CA, shared how his agency revamped their incident reporting system and created a strong database which allows them to look at records in detail across facilities and evaluate trends continuously through the use of an administrative dashboard;
  • Megan Milner, KS, talked about their work to change the facility culture from the adult corrections model to a more updated and current model of juvenile corrections; through improved staff communications and persistence, their team has seen a vast improvement in the culture backed up by PbS data that shows a downward trend in both youth and staff’s fear for safety;
  • Mike Both, PA, highlighted their work with the family initiative with Penn State and the Evidence-based Prevention & Intervention Support Center including a curriculum for families and how they can support their child’s treatment plan and how technology can enhance family involvement and visitation; and
  • Nancy Carter, MA, talked about how their facilities have used PbS’ improvement plans and data to work on Massachusetts’ strategic plan that focuses on Positive Youth Development and Family Engagement.

Each table also worked on an elevator speech- what they would say about PbS in less than 60 seconds? Each group targeted a particular audience and participants did a great job expressing what PbS does for practitioners, youths, legislators, agency administrators and leaders, media, families, communities and the public; this exercise reflected their level of excitement, understanding and appreciation for what PbS provides.

In between all the great presentations and workgroup activities, Jessica Moncada, ID, led partner exercises in which participants were able to share what their biggest challenges and successes have been, helping them “connect the dots” between agency leaders; they were happy to share and learned from each other’s successes while realizing that some of the same challenges exist no matter what state they’re in.

The training concluded with some laughs as Godfrey recognized Barbara Chayt for her time and dedication to treating all youths in custody as one of our own with a little roast. The participants are now looking forward to the next training in August which will celebrate the 20th Anniversary in a big way with the winners of the PbS Kids Got Talent Contest and the Barbara-Allen Hagen winners.

This article originally appeared on the CJCA blog.

Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 2:23 PM

PbS Prepares for 20th Year Celebrations

 

We may not have had Sam Smith, Beyonce or Pharrell Williams, but our name was in lights and we had many, many stars from across the country join us to kick-off the Performance-based Standards (PbS) 20th anniversary Feb. 4 in Long Beach, CA. The 57th Grammy Award had nothing on us.

PbS has celebrations planned all year to mark 20 years dedicated to treating all youths in custody as one of our own and promoting a data-driven improvement model ground in research that holds systems of care to the high standards of operations, programs and services.

Some highlights coming up:

  • PbS Kids Got Talent Contest – all youths in PbS participating facilities are eligible to submit video and audio recordings of their talents; the winner will perform at the PbS 20th Anniversary Gala (all expenses paid.)
  • National PbS Day on June 5 – all PbS participating facilities will receive a “PbS Celebration Kit” to create a fun event to celebrate PbS successes and stories. We will collect and share pictures of the various celebrations from across the country.
  • PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winner videos – the three winning facilities will receive a short video produced by PbS to honor the individuals and efforts that led to the winning improvement to facility quality of life and conditions of confinement.

Achieving 20 years of anything is very significant. Two decades have built the foundation for what’s ahead. For PbS, we are fully grounded in our values and mission to challenge juvenile justice agencies and facilities to achieve the best possible outcomes for youths, staff, families and communities. We have grown steadily over the years, developing PbS to meet the needs of the field and enhancing PbS to align with research and technology. We have a lot to celebrate and I look forward to a very special year of PbS.

This article originally appeared on the CJCA blog.

Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 9:54 AM

February PbS Person of the Month

 

In order to find our February Performance-based Standards (PbS) Person of the Month, we had to travel to one of the furthest reaches of the United States – Nome, Alaska. There we found Stephanie Masters Johnson, Mental Health Clinician for the Nome Youth Facility, Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

Stephanie has been working at the facility for nearly eight years. After moving to Alaska with her husband ten years ago Stephanie had the opportunity to do some contracting work with the Nome Youth Facility. “I learned a great deal about youth in detention and the traumas they had faced in their lives through this work and began to increasingly understand how past traumas can drive behaviors.” When a full time clinician position was approved for the facility Stephanie made the transition to her current position.

Stephanie is passionate about bringing together families and communities, which is an integral part of the culture in the villages that the Nome Youth Facility serves. The biggest challenge Stephanie sees in her work today is gaining access to these families as the geographical area Nome serves encompasses approximately 37,000 square miles. However, one of the most rewarding aspects of Stephanie’s job is traveling to the villages to meet with families. “I appreciate the chance to learn from the youth and families about their culture, history and way of life.”

Stephanie has also been a champion of spreading the word about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) across Alaska. She has partnered with Iditarod Musher Aaron Burmeister who for the past two years has carried the FASD prevention and awareness message along the 1000 mile sled dog race. The 2014 message was “Alcohol and Families Do Not Mix…Mush On.” The promotional/educational materials were purchased by a small grant from the DJJ as well as a private donor.

Janice Shallcross, PbS Coach says of Stephanie: “She has been instrumental in implementing trauma informed-care at the facility. I have seen Stephanie’s interactions with both staff and youth and it is evident how well respected she is.” Stephanie credits PbS with helping the Nome Youth Facility see the areas of needed improvement, and providing a process to develop and track their success’.

When she is not working, Stephanie can be found in her own kennel of 23 sled dogs! “They are my pride and joy and provide the necessary balance between the demanding and emotional work we do and my own self-care.” The kennel is named after her home state of West Virginia – Almost Home Sled Dogs.

Congratulations to Stephanie on being February’s PbS Person of the Month, and mush on!

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015 at 12:27 PM

PbS Participants Open Facility Doors

 

Holding an open house at a juvenile facility can have a profound impact; it gives parents of the youths at the facility an opportunity to see how the facility operates, meet with teachers and see their child’s work firsthand. Opening facility doors also allows important members of the community such as a state’s governor to visit the youths!

The Kansas Juvenile Correctional Facility Complex (KJCC) recently held their first open house, where youths had the opportunity to show off their schoolwork and introduce their parents to their teachers at the facility's newly-renovated Lawrence-Gardner High School (LGHS).

“Parents and caregivers of juvenile offenders in placement away from home or in a correctional facility are often unable to participate in the educational experience,” said KJCC Deputy Superintendent Megan Milner. “They are invited to program planning conferences and even [Individualized Education Program] planning sessions, but it’s not normal to see parents roaming the halls of school or casually meeting with the individuals teaching their child.”

School staff volunteered to come in on a Saturday so the open house could coincide with KJCC’s regular visitation times. Family members were grateful to see their children’s work and hear about their progress and were also able to view projects built in the construction program.

In addition to family members coming to the facility, somebody like the governor of the state could also stop by. This was the case at the Stevenson House in Delaware. Governor Jack Markell and Cabinet Secretary Jennifer Ranji toured the facility and visited youths in the classrooms and living units. Youths were given an opportunity to ask questions and some asked questions pertaining to education and jobs, expressing sincere interest in their futures. The youths were receptive to the information provided by the Governor and appreciated him making the time to visit the Stevenson House Detention Center. This opportunity allowed the youths to realize their voices and opinions are being considered, that they are a true part of the community.

Thanks to the Performance-based Standards (PbS) participants who shared their stories!

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Friday, January 30, 2015 at 1:15 PM

PbS Perspective: Decreasing Isolation and Positive Family Results

 

As PbS reflects on the past 20 years, we realize that looking at data is the first, fundamental step to positive change and reform and are eager to share what we have learned. Twice a year juvenile justice facilities participating in Performance-based Standards (PbS) collect qualitative and quantitative data in a wide range of facility operations including safety, order, security, education, programming, fairness, positive youth development, connection to family and community and health and behavioral health.

PbS Perspective January 2015 is the first in a series of publications that offers a snapshot of the conditions of confinement and quality of life in secure facilities. This Perspective offers aggregate data from October 2014 in important areas of juvenile justice. Even though the data presented in the Perspective shows you just a small portion of everything we collect, the information paints an informative picture of facility life and gives you an idea about priorities and the current state of juvenile facilities.

Reducing isolation has been a priority for PbS; research shows that the use of isolation impacts the safety and security of youths and can lead to higher rates of suicide. The focus has paid off; since October 2010 the average duration of isolation has decreased for correction, detention and assessment facilities. This is a true testament to how our participants use their data to make tremendous improvements in their facility!

More recently, PbS began focusing on family, launching the Family-Youth Initiative in 2012 to help our participants strengthen connections between staff, youths and families. The October 2014 collection marked the first time the family survey was available to all correction facilities to distribute to youths’ family members and the results are positive. Most family members feel respected and valued and staff help family members stay in contact with their child.

These are only a few of the highlights from the PbS Perspective. To learn more about trauma, education, staff training and support data, read the PbS Perspective or our issue briefs, which delve more into specific topics such as isolation and trauma-informed care.

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 1:46 PM

Reflections on 20 Years’ Improving Conditions of Confinement

 

It was 20 years ago the Congressionally-mandated Conditions of Confinement Study prompted the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to launch the Performance-based Standards (PbS) project to address and improve the unsafe, too often dangerous, largely ineffective and unresponsive deep-end facilities responsible for young offenders. While many fewer youths now are placed in facilities, they remain a staple in our justice system and the approximately 70,000 youths incarcerated need and deserve our collective efforts to treat them like one of our own.

That has been PbS’ mantra since 1995: we are committed to treating all youths in custody as one of our own. It has guided us to create national standards and outcome measures that challenge juvenile justice agencies to provide the highest quality operations, programs and services and to provide the field with tools to measure and monitor their work using outcome measures and data. We have been very fortunate to have had federal support for about 11 years and to have established an effective and meaningful data-driven improvement model strong enough to transition to a self-sustaining fee-for-service non-profit. We have a lot to celebrate and are planning to celebrate a lot in 2015.

We also are going to share what we have learned from our data, which is probably one of the largest, timely, uniform and comprehensive available describing conditions of confinement both from quantitative administrative data and qualitative descriptive data from surveys of youths, staff and families. PbS data looks at facility safety, order, security, education, programming, fairness, positive youth development, connection to family and community and health, mental health, substance use, trauma and reentry treatment and services. We are not a research organization but believe the aggregate PbS data is the best available showing how youths in custody are treated and describing the cultures and climates in residential placement. The data comes from about 200 facilities in 32 states who by choice join us in our commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own; what happens in the remaining facilities is mostly unknown, unreported and/or unverified so there is no control or comparison group. And my guess, until proven otherwise, is that PbS facilities are better places for youths.

We know from our work over the past 20 years that looking at data is the first step to positive change and reform. With all this in mind, I hope you read the first publication of our 20th year, reflecting on the most recent PbS data (October 2014): PbS Perspective.

This article was also published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, January 12, 2015 at 2:16 PM

January PbS Person of the Month

 

Congratulations to our January PbS Person of the Month, Tonie C. Pringle from Midlands Evaluation Center (MEC) in Columbia, South Carolina!

Tonie Pringle aka Mama P. has been working at the Midlands Evaluation Center for five years. As a former site coordinator she initiated a very successful mentoring program whereby specific staff and youths were linked together by personality types. This would not be a surprise to anyone that knows Mama P.—mentoring kids in her community is what brought her to a career in juvenile justice.

She is motivated by her personal experience. As Tonie explains, “My son was lost to the system from me working all the time as a single mother. He told me I could make a difference in other children’s lives and give them values, love and understanding.” It is this kind of loving attitude that she brings to the youths at Midlands Evaluation Center which earned her the nickname of Mama P. “To have troubled youth of all age and race come through the doors of Midlands and see you as a mother figure WOW!” In fact her proudest accomplishment at work is having helped to develop a family atmosphere at the center.

Tonie credits PbS with giving her the freedom to be able to work more with the youths and educate them on having a positive manner which will receive a positive response. PbS also helps her motivate and encourage staff members when times seem hard with handling challenging youths.

PbS Coach Dave Crowley had this to say about Tonie: “I know she contributed so much toward very improved staff- youth relations at MEC. The improved results were seen in the climate surveys. Tonie is one of those humble, extremely dedicated workers dedicated toward improving the possibilities of future success of the youths there. She finds it difficult to accept credit for what she sincerely believes is just her job.”

When Tonie isn’t at work she enjoys going to church, doing community service and socializing with her sisters. In 20 years she hopes to still be Mama P. to her community and to her grandkids.

Congratulations again to Mama P. on being the January PbS Person of the Month and thank you for your commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of your own.

This story was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Friday, January 02, 2015 at 11:09 AM

PbS Participants Celebrate the Holidays

 

Performance-based Standards (PbS) participants are helping youths and staff get into the holiday spirit by organizing various activities and events.

The Christmas Choir at Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility in Indiana performed traditional Christmas Carols for staff and students at its annual holiday event. The staff and students greatly enjoyed the event, which was held by the Religious Services Department and led by Chaplain Connie Hedges.

Youths at the Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility also assisted the Salvation Army with their annual Christmas food basket and gift drive, which provides food and gifts for families in need in the Cass County Indiana area. This year the program gave away frozen turkeys, chickens and dry goods, as well as dolls, games, bicycles, clothing and baby supplies to 240 families. The students from the facility assisted in collecting and delivering the items to the selected families.

Green Hill School in Washington held its annual Family Holiday celebration. Over 300 family members of youths residing at Green Hill School participated in a day of festivities including a holiday meal, holiday pictures with youth and families and an afternoon of visitation and games. One visitor who sponsored a youth said “I enjoyed attending the holiday event at Green Hill on Saturday. The young man I was paired with was very receptive that I had taken the time out of my day to attend this.” This person was so moved by the event that she asked how she could be a volunteer at Green Hill School.

Youths at the female juvenile unit at the Juvenile Corrections Center- St. Anthony in Idaho participated in the Giving Tree project. The youths made ornaments for trees that were up at several local businesses. Each ornament has a gift tag attached with the desired gift, donors remove the ornament and return it to the tree with the desired gift. The youths helped deliver all of the wrapped gifts to the families and learned the true meaning of service to others. This is the third year that the youths have been participating in the project and it has been getting bigger each year.

Staff and youths at the Camp Summit Boot Camp in Indiana participated in numerous community service projects for the holiday season. Youths assisted the Salvation Army by stocking shelves and stuffing food items in the backpacks for school kids to have meals on weekends. Volunteers also helped the “Deserving Children’s Shopping Tour,” by setting up for the event which provided 350 children with Christmas gifts this year. Additionally, staff and youths went caroling at several nursing homes in the areas and delivered food donated by staff to the Good Shepherd Food Pantry.

Thanks to the PbS participants who shared their holiday events and helped get staff and youths in the holiday spirit!

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 11:59 AM

PbS Participants Partner with the Community

 

Participants in Performance-based Standards (PbS) partner with community organizations to help youths and their families, allow youths to participate in volunteer activities and bring community members’ skills and knowledge to the facilities.

The Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services has partnered with the Food Bank of Delaware to help families in need. The Kraft Mobile Pantry travels to the Stevenson House Detention Center when the facility has family engagement events to provide food for families that qualify for the service. Additionally, youths residing at Grace, Snowden, and Mowlds Cottages can participate in the Food Bank’s Backpack program, which provides a backpack of non-perishable food items for the youths to bring home to their families on the holidays and weekends.

Youths from the Cottages also have the opportunity to volunteer at St. Stephen’s food pantry on a weekly basis. The youths unload frozen and dry food products from trucks and store the items inside the food pantry. They also help prepare and bag multiple food orders for people in the community. This program helps develop the youths’ interpersonal skills, organizational skills and teaches the value of helping others.

STAR Academy in South Dakota brings community members to the youths by hosting a volunteer guest speaker at least once a month that has a positive, unique message to share with the youths and introduces the youths to a topic they may be unfamiliar with. Two volunteers that frequently visit STAR Academy are Peg Ryan and Pastor Matt Furse. Peg Ryan teaches yoga at STAR Academy, which provides tools to help with relaxation and managing stress and hopes the youths will use the yoga skills wherever they are. Pastor Furse says “being involved in STAR is not only rewarding for the difference we can make in the lives of the youth, but also in seeing the difference the youth make in the lives of our volunteers as well.”

When youths at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing achieve Level 4 they are eligible to go off grounds to participate in service learning activities, such as visiting an apartment complex for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Youths interact with residents of the apartments, serve meals and then cleanup the dining area, dishes and kitchen. The community members always greet the facility youth with smiles and a round of applause to show appreciation of the youths’ service. This opportunity allows youths to practice social skills in a real-life setting and teaches employment-related skills. Following the service learning activity, youths reflect on what they learned, what was challenging, how it made them feel and suggestions for future activities with the community.

Thanks to all PbS participants who shared how they get involved in the community!

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 12:42 PM

PbS Participants Celebrate Halloween with Youths and Staff

 

Youths love Halloween and several Performance-based Standards (PbS) participants found several ways to celebrate Halloween with games, events and contests.

Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility (LJCF) in Kansas held a "Total Black Out" event on Halloween eve. Those who wanted to participate were blindfolded and guided by staff to three stations that had four mystery boxes featuring an unknown substance that the youths could only touch, smell or taste. Participants reached inside a box with the goal of identifying its contents using only one of their senses. The youths were timed during the event and those from the housing unit with the best times were treated to a movie and treats on Halloween.

The Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex (KJCC) also celebrated Halloween by holding an employee-sponsored trunk or treat event that gives spouses and children an opportunity to visit the facility. The event has grown through the years to include clowns who twist balloons into colorful animals and funny hats, a picture booth, a petting zoo, face painting, carnival games, a cakewalk and food.

Lincoln Pines Youth Center in New Mexico held a Halloween coloring and story contest. One staff member wrote a lead sentence to start a story, which the youths then complete. The facility also held a coloring contest for those youths who prefer art to writing. Two awards were given out: one for the best story and one for the best pictures. The youths responded wonderfully to the event with many story and picture entries!

Thanks to the PbS participants who shared their stories!

This story was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Monday, November 24, 2014 at 1:28 PM