Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Division of Criminal Justice Annual Awards 2018

The Division of Criminal Justice celebrated their annual employee awards on June 7, honoring the following individuals and teams:

Employee of the Year - Peg Flick
Peg Flick went beyond her normal job duties to help develop an Access database for the Office of Adult and Juvenile Justice Assistance (OAJJA). Prior to receiving Peg's help, OAJJA staff had to manually collect, enter and analyze quarterly juvenile holding data from approximately 220 law enforcement agencies across the state -- some 5,500 entries annually. Collecting the data, trying to read hand-written entries, and then organizing, reviewing, calculating and reporting on the data was extremely time-consuming. Peg developed an electronic form that automatically calculates certain data points to flag entries when a potential violation had occurred. Peg also worked to implement a solution to ensure the form worked for the city of Denver, which submits the greatest number of entries.

Innovation - Laurence Lucero

Laurence has helped make complex data sets easier to access and understand for the public through her innovative use of technology. Using the Office of Research and Statistics (ORS) web site and software called Tableau, Laurence has built informative web pages and created interactive, online data visualizations and tables. Two major dashboards that she created last year cover law enforcement contacts with students on school grounds and an analysis of race/ethnicity at major decision points (arrest, filing, disposition, sentence, etc.) by crime type.

Laurence frequently has ideas for new information to display on the ORS web site. In 2017 she began to expand the ORS dashboard on community corrections, drafted a dashboard of marijuana data (not yet posted), and continues to update the existing dashboard material that she originally developed. In addition, Laurence also developed a Tableau visualization for the OAJJA website on disproportionate minority contact, reflecting her collaborative, cross-unit work orientation.

Innovation - Michelle Geng

Michelle Geng is the Adult Standards and Community Notification Coordinator for the Sex
Offender Management Board (SOMB). One of the projects that Michelle tackled was updating the SOMB's Sexual History Packet, which is used as part of the treatment process and during polygraph tests to evaluate the offender's sexual history. The old packet could be difficult to understand and came across as judgmental and confrontational.

Michelle laid  the foundation for a more comprehensive, easy to understand, and non-confrontational questionnaire. The new packet focuses not only on problematic sexual behaviors but also on healthy sexual behaviors, which can be equally as important when addressing treatment needs of offenders. Michelle managed to write personal and probing questions in a matter-of-fact but non-accusatory manner. The packet is  intended to be filled out with the treatment provider, allowing the offender and therapist to begin  building a therapeutic relationship early on. Michelle's revisions allow for more comprehensive information collection, addressing more topics in greater details. The questions will also make it easier for polygraph examiners to generate more applicable questions and allow offenders to avoid bad results by discussing this information up-front. The new packet has been received well by professionals as well as offender advocates, both groups acknowledging the vast improvements.

Team Productivity - Human Trafficking Team (Maria Trujillo, Cate Bowman, and Brendan Davidson)
The Human Trafficking team within the Office for Victims Programs is a small but highly productive machine. They complete an enormous amount of work as the administrative staff to the Human Trafficking Council, as well as spearheading other initiatives outside of Council mandates.

With the help of the Council, the team created a Human Trafficking 101 training, a training for law enforcement and a training for service providers that assist human trafficking victims. They also launched Train the Trainer programs and successfully earned a grant to hire a part time Human Trafficking Trainer. Because of these efforts, the team trained more than 975 people and 49 facilitators. Brendan and former staffer Caree also translated the Human Trafficking 101 training into an online course on SABA.

In addition to their training efforts, the team also staffed the data and resource taskforce, a standards for housing taskforce, and a public awareness working group for the Council.  Finally, recognizing that there were other state agencies across the nation working in similar capacities, Maria and her team took the initiative to start a national compendium of state agencies working on Anti-Human Trafficking issues. The compendium has regular phone calls to discuss trends, issues, etc. in the field as well as an on-line library of resources that Brendan has helped to create and update.

Community Service Award - DCJ LSI Cohort 2 (Raechel Alderete, Lindsey Johnson, Shelley Siman, Diane Pasini-Hill, Anna Lopez)

Each and every day, employees at DCJ give dedicated service to the state of Colorado.  But there are some employees who take their service to the community outside of their work and some who bring community service to work.

On March 15, more than 100 individuals from across CDPS participated in a volunteer event for Project Angel Heart. The DCJ LSI team organized and advertised the event, coordinated supplies, and helped achieve the result in 300 bags being created! The event was done in manner that was fun, engaging, and supported cross-office and cross-division collaboration.

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