Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Recognizes USAO Outreach Specialists
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) held its “3rd Annual Restoring Hope and Training Summit” on October 26 - 27, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. This year’s theme was “Promoting Mental Health and Behavioral Health Awareness.” Approximately 400 law enforcement representatives, juvenile justice professionals, faith leaders, and community partners from around the state of Florida attended the summit. Training workshops and breakout sessions included vital information about laws, trends, technology, and resources to support crime prevention and violence reduction initiatives. Topics included trauma-informed culture and mental and physical wellness for families and communities. Participants were encouraged to develop strategies and coordinate efforts that enhance local public safety initiatives, strengthen families, improve partnerships, and advance juvenile justice reform.
This year’s summit highlighted the work of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Outreach Specialists Khalilah Escalera and Joseph Smith. Khalilah and Joe were recognized for their ongoing efforts in supporting the DJJ G.A.A.P. (Gaining Appreciation by Adjusting Perspective) Program. During the past two years, Khalilah and Joe have worked with local, state, and federal entities to organize, convene, and facilitate numerous forums with MDFL youth and public safety partners to discuss difficult topics involving criminal justice, crime and violence, and leadership development. For their efforts in successfully executing conversations between youth and law enforcement, Khalilah received the Champions for Children Award. Joe was recognized as a 2021 Florida DJJ Community Champion Ambassador.
Updated November 3, 2021