MIAMI — Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters and newly appointed Miami-Dade Police Department Director J.D. Patterson Jr. spoke on the state of juvenile violence, as the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust’s Teen Court Youth Action Committee in partnership with Miami-Dade County’s Juvenile Services Department hosted The Juvenile Justice Forum on May, 6th at the Main Library.
The free forum provided updates on current juvenile justice legislation and their impact on local communities. Teens were able to ask questions and have an open dialogue with Walters and Patterson.
“Each community is different and when it comes to addressing juvenile crime, we must approach each community individually and engage with the people who best understand the community’s needs,” said Walters.
“It was a pleasure to join Director Patterson at The Juvenile Justice Forum, and to update the audience on the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice initiatives. Most of all, I enjoyed listening to the feedback and want to thank those who took the time to share their thoughts. I appreciate their feedback and I look forward to continuing the dialogue.”
Both teens and adults expressed appreciation for the discussions. One of the outcomes from the forum is that professionals will be matched with youth to learn about their careers and in turn expose them to various career options.
“It was an honor,” said Patterson, “to speak with the youth and hear their concerns from the standpoint of improving juvenile justice and building mutually beneficial relations inside and outside of the organizations.”
For more information on MDEAT and Teen Court contact Anthony D. Williams at 305.375.5661 or AWILL1@miamidade.gov. For general agency information visit miamidade.gov/economicadvocacytrust