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Hartford Juvenile Detention Center Named Finalist for PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is very pleased to announce Hartford Juvenile Detention Center (HJDC) in Hartford, CT as one of the finalists for the 2023 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the detention category.

HJDC has an average daily population of 25 young people ages 10-17 years old who stay an average of 14 days awaiting court processing. When the agency was additionally charged with the responsibility to care for post-adjudicated young people who were older and stayed longer, they saw a noticeable increase in conflicts among residents, an increase in the use of restraints and increasing staff concerns and fear for safety. Staff survey data also showed low morale and high burnout rates. The HJDC PbS team focused their Facility Improvement Plan (FIP) on reducing the percent of staff who feared for their safety.

To do so, the HJDC PbS team responded by offering training on de-escalation and Restorative Circles and formed a Safety Committee for suggestions and discussions with staff. The Safety Committee used data from the PbS Staff Climate Survey to inform their decision-making. Recognizing the need for input from young people in order to truly realize their FIP goals, a Youth Council was also formed. The council focuses on making improvements guided by the data from the Youth Climate Survey. With these and other improvements, by October 2022, the percentage of staff who feared for their safety dropped to 15%, from the high of 50% in 2018 and 25% in 2020.

Congratulations to the team at Hartford Juvenile Detention Center: Superintendent Paul Gordon, Deputy Superintendent Giovanni Gagliardi, Facility Administrator David Colon, Site Coordinator Mia Scafe, PbS Agency Coordinator Jennifer Esposito and Executive Director Gary Roberge. Keep up the great work!

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 has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given annually to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating every young person as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans aimed at creating positive outcomes for young people, staff and families.

Read more about:  Awards, Barbara Allen-Hagen

About the author

Kim Godfrey Lovett

Kim Godfrey Lovett

Kim is the executive director of the PbS Learning Institute. Kim was hired when CJCA incorporated in 1994 and has worked since it's inception to create the PbS system of continuous improvement to help facilities and agencies raise the quality of life and better conditions of confinement in youth facilities nationwide. She earned two master’s degrees: in journalism (Northwestern University) and criminal justice (Northeastern University.) She worked as a newspaper reporter for seven years prior to joining CJCA.

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