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Yesterday NPJS held our first session of the NPJS Virtual Leadership Series. Over 100 leaders from across the country attended Developing and Maintaining an Ethical Work Environment. It's not too late to register and join this series! If you register for the entire series, you will be sent a recording of Session #1 and links for the rest of the webinars. You may also choose to register for individual sessions.


Session #2: 

Creating a Healthy, Nurturing, Trauma Responsive Environment

Date of Session: August 19, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST

Date of Happy Hour: August 26, 3:00 pm EST
A secure environment can be a traumatizing experience for many youths triggered by locked doors, security cameras, handcuffs, leg irons, metal detectors, strip searches and the many other aspects of secure facilities. These triggers can lead to highly dysregulating (the inability to effectively manage and respond to an emotional experience) responses and heightened degrees of anxiety and stress which oftentimes cause youths to develop a fight or flight mentality. Emotional dysregulation plays a major role in a youth’s inability to follow basic instructions, redirects, developing pro-social skills and achieving academically.

The good news is leaders in juvenile justice can mitigate some of the traumatizing factors associated with a secure environment with the knowledge of strategies and techniques to reduce these environmental triggers in an effort to regulate youth (and staff) and the will to implement them.

Participants in this webinar will be introduced to some practical regulation techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, aroma therapy and essential oils, therapy dogs, yoga, stress balls, kinetic sand, weighted blankets, music, painting and other strategies that will compliment behavior management programs in secure facilities from an administrator who has “walked the talk.” 

Richard Gentry is the founder of Strategic Interventions L.L.C., established to provide support and assistance to agencies and organizations in the field of juvenile justice, child welfare and education. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University and a Master’s from Spring Arbor University in Family Studies with an emphasis on Cognitive Behavioral Intervention.  

Richard is the current director of the Ingham County Youth Center – a short term high secure detention center in Lansing Michigan. The Ingham County Youth Center has been highlighted in national juvenile justice expert Dr. David Roush’s book “Recalibrating Juvenile Detention” as an exemplary detention facility in the country. In addition, Social Work Today magazine has recognized the Ingham County Youth Center as a premier facility nationally that incorporates the social cognitive theory, relationship building and trauma interventions to regulate youths. He also serves as an associate professor at Lansing Community College where he teaches classes in juvenile justice.

Richard is the current president of the Michigan Juvenile Detention Association (MJDA) and has served on the Critical Issues Committee with the National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS). He serves on the board of directors for Redemption, a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that focus on serving at-risk individuals through a variety of targeted interventions. Richard has a heart for equipping front-line staff to maximize their potential as juvenile justice practitioners and future leaders.

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