December 2017 – DJJ's Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center recently hosted the Residential Services Unit Employee Recognition Ceremony, where 66 employees ranging from five years of service to 45 years received certificates of appreciation and gifts for their dedicated service. Bon Air's employees perform a range of vital services, including food service, health and therapeutic care, maintenance, security, guidance and advocacy. Deputy Director for Residential Services Joyce Holmon provided keynote remarks. We are proud of our Residential Services Unit employees, who directly or indirectly are helping to change the lives of the youth in our care.
December 20, 2017 – More than 300 family members and guests visited 100 residents of DJJ's Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center on Sunday as part of a Holiday Family Engagement event. Many families arrived via special transportation rovided by DJJ through a partnership with VanGo and James River Transportation. One hundred DJJ staff members were on hand to ensure the event's success.
"It was exciting to see how many families were able to visit during the Holiday Family Engagement event," said Joyce Holmon, DJJ's Deputy Director of Residential Services. "I visited every unit and visitation area and it seems that everyone was enjoying the engagement, including staff. Residents and their families laughed together, played games, talked and shared refreshments. Some units had activity stations, like holiday arts and crafts. I saw the joy on everyone’s faces. These kinds of events are a great reminder that family engagement is a quintessential component of developing successful youth. It is not easy to coordinate such a large scale event, but the Bon Air staff always make it look easy. I greatly appreciate the dedication and hard work of the Bon Air JCC staff and all volunteers."
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November 30, 2017 – As it is for most teenagers, meal time is one of the most highly anticipated events in their day. And now, for those who are residents at the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center, it also is one of the healthiest.
In a concentrated effort to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat milk and reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat, traditional heat-and-serve offerings have now been completely replaced with meals created from scratch by DJJ food technicians from fresh, nutrient-rich ingredients.
“We want to give our residents the best,” says Food Operations Manager Barbara Hall. “We are proud of the food we serve because we know the impact healthy eating has on them. By introducing our residents to healthy foods, our goal is to influence them to continue to make healthy choices in their adult lives.”
Judging from the reaction of hungry residents recently digging into salads that included beans, fresh tomatoes, rice, lettuce and cheese, the customer approval rating is high. Much of the success is due to the fact that they helped decide what the new menus should offer, says Teneka Wortham, DJJ’s assistant director of Food Operations.
“We surveyed the residents to find out the things they wanted most, and what they least wanted,” Wortham says. “They also helped decide what should be in a recipe. For meat loaf, some said they liked it, some said they didn’t. So we switched from oatmeal to whole grain bread.” Residents also were surprised to find out they liked such high-fiber offerings as roasted cauliflower and zucchini with parmesan cheese.
Wortham says a high priority is also placed on tapping into food preparers’ creativity. “We have a very skilled, talented group of chefs,” she says. “We encourage them to be creative with recipes, and we want their feedback. They have been very forthcoming about what works and what doesn’t.”
“Our efforts have shown that made-from-scratch meals provide better quality nutrition that is beneficial to our residents’ development,” Hall says. “The positive comments from the residents and our executive staff, who recently sampled some of our newest menu items, tell us that we can be proud to serve any of our meals to anyone who might visit our dining facility.”
November 30, 2017 – Court Service Unit 4–Norfolk Parole Supervisor Mark Wood and Diagnostic Senior Probation Officer Jeffrey Kess recently took four youth to Washington, D.C., to visit the White House and tour the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American History and Culture. Working with CSU 4 staff members Monique Selden, Tonya Shell and Deyonta Johnson, Wood and Kess created a skill-building opportunity consisting of an interview process and an essay contest, both of which were designed to help youth learn how to write clearly, polish interview skills, ask for assistance, and to present themselves in a positive way. Fifteen youth under CSU supervision participated, with four being chosen for the trip. To raise travel funds, CSU staff arranged a series of “dress down Fridays” in which fellow staff members made contributions for the privilege of “dressing down.” The fundraiser was so successful that remaining funds were used to provide a luncheon for the candidates not chosen for the trip to recognize their contributions.
November 30, 2017 – CSU 12–Chesterfield Senior Intake Officer Michele Banalett was recently reviewing police reports when she came across one report that seemed a little odd. Three young boys from the same family had all been charged with the same serious offense against a neighbor. After meeting with the family, Intake Officer Ron Burroughs discovered that the family had no food, which is what the boys were after. Burroughs worked with the victim to divert the charges, and each boy received an age-appropriate consequence. After getting the family hooked into social services for immediate assistance, they organized a food and household items drive. The CSU staff brought in dozens of items, with Chesterfield Sheriff’s deputies pitching in as well. Staff who delivered the items reported that “the appreciation was evident by the tears in the mother’s eyes.”
November 7, 2017 – “Farm To School” Project Gives Residents Multi-Level Learning Opportunities
September 29, 2017 – DJJ Staff From Across Commonwealth Work As Team On Common Goal
July 21, 2017 – Apartment Living Program Also Provides Intensive Life Skills Course
June 22, 2017 – Resident Earns First Ever Off-Campus Trip To Hone Social Skills
May 30, 2017 – Regional Service Coordinators Lining Up Providers Throughout Commonwealth
November 30, 2017 – Residents Give Thumbs Up To Healthier Menu, Which Also Allows More Culinary Creativity
August 18, 2017 – DJJ’s IT Unit Creates New App That Allows Access In The Field
May 8, 2017 – Every Unit To Receive More Staff; New Isolation Policy Coming Soon
December 5. 2016 – DJJ Training Academy Now Providing Leadership Development Program
June 28, 2016 – Special Recognition Edition
February 2018 – Responsivity Considers Each Individual
September 2017 – Principle 3A: Targeting Risk And Needs
April 2017 – Evidence-Based Principle 1: Assessing Actuarial Risk
February 1, 2018 – You Made It Merry For 300 Visitors
October 5, 2017 – Residential Unit: It’s Time To Circle Up!
September 6, 2017 – Stoking The Flame Of Learning
July 17, 2017 – Goal 5: Ensure Compliance In Educational Programs
June 1, 2017 – Goal 4: Implement Data Analysis Systems
April 20, 2017 – Goal 3: Communicating With Stakeholders
March 24, 2017 – Providing Quality Instructional Practices