One of the core values of JusticeWorks is to be life-long learners (someone once said there is a huge difference between having 10 years of experience and having one year of experience repeated 10 times!). We have a tuition reimbursement plan, sponsor internal and external trainings and conference participation and encourage staff to keep up with changes in our field.
I’d like to celebrate two respected members of our team who took it upon themselves to work assiduously, and for many years, to achieve a terminal degree in their field and obtain a doctoral degree!
Dr. Kieshia Martin, Program Director Philadelphia & Delaware Counties, recently walked at a graduation ceremony awarding her a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University. Kieshia’s dissertation was An Evaluation of Juveniles Serving Life in Pennsylvania Pre and Post Act 33 of 1995. Interestingly, we are now talking with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections about helping provide re-entry services to ‘juvenile lifers’ when they are released.
Dr. Jeffrey Ralph, had a trifecta this week: celebrating his eighth anniversary with JusticeWorks, celebrating his birthday and on his birthday, with his wonderful wife Mary & precious daughter McKenna looking on, successfully defending his thesis to his doctoral committee. Jeff will receive a Doctorate of Education (EdD) in Organizational Leadership from Wilmington University in Delaware. His dissertation was Essential Components of an Undergraduate Restorative Justice Course: Qualitative Perspectives from Industry and Academia.
Both Kieshia and Jeff have jobs with expansive responsibilities and extensive travel. Both had the time-consuming joy of recently having a baby in addition to their work obligations! And, both had the discipline and diligence to continue their studies and research in order to fulfill the requirements of receiving a doctorate.
Please join me in congratulating both of these consummate professionals… their increased skills and professional stature will only serve to benefit JusticeWorks.
JusticeWorks staff participated in this year’s Schuylkill County Make A Difference Day, by hosting a Pop-Up Soup Kitchen in downtown Pottsville! Two of our own, Vince Troutman and Renee Warner made soups, and many of our staff donated drinks, crackers, rolls, and/or their time to help serve. We served 36 quarts of soup to almost 100 people in need in only 3 hours!
On September 13th, 2019, our JusticeWorks team met with representatives from Lebanon County Children and Youth to discuss the implementation of our signature services, STOPP® and JustCare®. We welcome Lebanon County as our 44th Pennsylvania County!
Lebanon, formerly known as Steitztown, was historically home to a major steel mill operated by Bethlehem Steel. Lebanon bologna originates from the area and was first made in the city. Lebanon’s native son, Kerry Collins, born Dec. 30, 1972, played football for the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, and Oakland Raiders – among many other teams.
We look forward to an enduring partnership with Lebanon County. We will do ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure the highest level of success for the children and families of Lebanon County.
We are honored to have recently received an award by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette which recognizes JusticeWorks as one of the Pittsburgh region’s Top Workplaces!
On Thursday, August 22nd, senior managers Dipesh Chauhan, Rebekah Smith, Errone Cody, Matt Davin, Jeff Ralph, Annette Trunzo, and Justice Work’s President Daniel Heit were pleased to accept the company’s award. What makes this honor truly special is that it is awarded based upon survey responses from the JusticeWorks’ staff. We are honored to have a team of such talented and dedicated individuals who do whatever it takes to achieve positive outcomes for the children and families we serve.
In a letter to all JusticeWorks’ staff, President Daniel Heit said, “I am proud that our commitment to be an employee-centered and positive place to work is working. In human services, it’s the humans who make a difference, and each of you do!”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette specifically sought to recognize businesses with values, connection, effectiveness, engagement, and leadership. Congratulations to everyone for upholding these standards each and every day. Justice Works Youth Care will strive to continue to improve our services for those we serve and the nearly 100 counties in which we provide care.
As a team builder, Schuylkill County Children and Youth have maintained a softball team for many years. This year, JusticeWorks staff have been offered the opportunity to participate on their team. This past week, they played against Broad Mountain Nursing Home. Our Director of Colorado Services was in Pennsylvania for training. He was recruited to play on the team! After a tough battle, JusticeWorks staff assisted CYS in Victory over Broad Mountain 10-6!
“It is wonderful to see such collaboration, teamwork, and comradery on and off the field. That is the recipe for success!” stated JusticeWorks Director, Sam Gerdeman.
Schuylkill County Children and Youth and JusticeWorks once again demonstrate that it is hard to defeat a great team!
Front row (left to right): FRS Iesha Santos, Supervisor Tom Bilinski, President & CEO Dan Heit, Director Rebecca Bieber, Supervisor Trish Beltz
Back row (left to right): Director Dipesh Chauhan, CCAP Deputy Director Brinda Penyak, FRS Shannon Rhodes, JDCAP Executive Director Wayne Bear, Regional Director Jeff Ralph, Juvenile Probation Officer Justin Clay
The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) is the voice of Pennsylvania counties. CCAP provides county leaders with information and guidance related to legislation, education, media, insurance, technology, and many other issues that help create and maintain vital services for residents throughout the state.
CCAP supports county leadership that is responsive to the needs and circumstances of citizens. Every year, CCAP honors outstanding criminal and juvenile justice efforts through award recognition for being innovative pioneers in meeting the challenges facing all county jails and juvenile justice providers. JusticeWorks is pleased to announce that CCAP recently bestowed the 2019 Juvenile Alternatives Program Award to Berks County for our JusticeWorks YouthCare Reintegration Program.
The Reintegration program was developed to provide the “missing link” in intensive long-term treatment and residential programs. The program begins while the youth are detained, continues throughout the placement, and their transition into the community. Reintegration requires collaboration between the out-of-home placement facility, stakeholders, families, and the community to ensure delivery of services and supervision. It also involves partnerships with other child-serving agencies and community supports to expand the capacity of youth services.
Our innovative programming has generated numerous success stories. JusticeWorks YouthCare takes seriously its responsibility to be an accountable and high-quality provider of services. We are committed to evaluating the outcomes of our work, which then guides the evolution of our programs. While we are proud of the outstanding results we’ve achieved, we never stop trying to improve our programs.
We are honored to be recognized for our Reintegration program and delighted to receive this award. Many thanks to our Berks County Team for their outstanding commitment to JusticeWorks’ mission and values.