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2020 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award Winner Spotlight: Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is very pleased to announce Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center (FPJDC) in Covington, LA, as the winner of the 2020 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the detention category. FPJDC was selected as a winner for their impressive plan to reduce the use of restraints.

Inspired by the PbS process and community, FPJDC has been committed to learning new approaches to detention and continually improving their policies and procedures. Striving to keep practices aligned with the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) model, the team reflected on their use of restraints and asked themselves: “If this was your child at home and things were getting out of hand, would you handcuff them?”

In revisiting practices, several changes to protocols were made including only authorizing supervisors to use certain types of restraint tactics. Most other staff were authorized to use less invasive tactics such as Handle with Care (HWC) in situations that would have otherwise led to a restraint. Use of verbal de-escalation techniques were emphasized and encouraged. With less invasive techniques, direct care staff could establish a good rapport with youths, and youths felt more open to trusting staff. Keys to the process were training on CBT, as it emphasizes changing negative thinking, and increasing supervisor support of staff.

Through these efforts, not only does FPJDC consistently remain below the field average for restraint use, but they have stronger and more positive staff-youth relationships.

Congratulations to the team at Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center. Read our blog for more about the 2020 winners and finalists.

The PbS 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 people 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 as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Read more about:  Awards, Barbara Allen-Hagen

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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.