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2020 PbS Awards Celebrated Virtually

Performance-based Standards (PbS) hosted a virtual presentation on Friday, August 7 to celebrate the 2020 PbS award winners and finalists. The presentation connected nearly 100 people from all over the country and was led by PbS Executive Director Kim Godfrey Lovett.

The presentation started with a montage of the Kids Got Talent Contest finalists. The talents came from far and wide and they showcased the musical abilities of twelve of PbS’ most talented youth.

The next part of the presentation shined a spotlight on the finalists from the Barbara Allen-Hagen Award that participated in the annual PbS Agency Coordinators Training earlier that day. Kim shared a few words about each finalist: Juvenile Corrections Center- St. Anthony in Idaho, Robert F. Kennedy School in Massachusetts, Maricopa County Juvenile Detention Center- Durango in Arizona and Mat-Su Youth Detention Facility in Alaska.

After the finalists’ spotlight, Kim announced the correction category winner of the 2020 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award as McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage, Alaska. To accept the award in a socially distanced way, Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice Director Tracy Dompeling and McLaughlin Youth Center Superintendent Kira Bishop joined from separate webcams in Alaska to speak about their team and their tireless efforts to improve the safety at the facility.

The PbS Education and Employment Foundation Awards were all featured following the first half of the awards ceremony. The Reentry Award supports youths returning to their communities with a $500 gift card and the need was felt this year more than ever. This year PbS was able to award 10 youths for a total of $5,000, instead of the usual four youths totaling $2,000, to help meet more needs.

The foundation also awards a Scholarship to two staff and two youths to assist with continuing their education. A youth from the Connecticut Junior Republic- REGIONS Staff Secure Program and a youth from Ferris School for Boys in Delaware were selected to receive scholarships for their upcoming year of school. A probation correctional officer from the Stanislaus County Probation Department in California completing an Associates degree in Criminal Justice and a rehabilitation technician from Juvenile Corrections Center- St. Anthony in Idaho completing a Master’s in Social Work were selected for the staff scholarship.

The Employment Matching Award recipients were also announced. Fourteen youths from seven sites in five states were selected to receive a match of up to $1,000 for earnings from July 1- September 1, 2020. The selected youths work a variety of jobs including: fire work crew, teacher’s assistant, barber shop apprentice, sandwich artist and crew at Subway and Wendy’s and various facility laundry and grounds crews.

Following the foundation awards, the detention category winner of the Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was announced. Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center in Covington, LA was selected for their comprehensive work to reduce the use of restraints throughout their facility. A team of staff led by Executive Director of Florida Parishes Juvenile Justice District Joseph Dominick joined the call via webcam from a conference room at the facility to accept the award.

Following the Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winners and a thank you to all award judges and the PbS Board of Directors and staff, Kim introduced Director John Stevenson of the Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families to introduce the Kids Got Talent Contest group winner video from a trio of talented youths at Ferris School for Boys. The clever public service announcement about PREA was played for the entire audience. Director Stevenson was pleased to note that one of the youths was a recipient of the 2020 PbS Scholarship.

To close out the awards celebration, a conference room at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility joined the webcast. The room included the solo winner of the talent contest, a proud staff member and the ukulele band backing his solo performance. The winner spoke a few words, sang a new song then the winning video entry was played. Before ending the ceremony, the group from Rogue Valley spoke again to thank the audience and wish everyone well.

The annual PbS awards ceremony always invokes a lot of tears amongst the members of the audience and the impact was not lost via webcast. PbS is fortunate to work with so many great leaders and youths who make each year so special.

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PbS measures and monitors facility practices by collecting and reporting data from administrative records and survey responses from youths, staff and families to provide a holistic picture of the conditions and quality of life in residential facilities, highlights the practices that are effective in promoting youths’ healthy maturation and identifies those that are not. PbS data is reported every April and October.  PbS trains staff to use the information to change practices and support reforms implementing the adolescent development approach.

PbS has been a partner in assisting this facility to become a dynamic work environment that is not satisfied with maintaining the status quo.