Juvenile Department implements new COVID-19 work-safety protocols

The Dallas County Juvenile Department implemented a variety of protocols to keep staff and students safe while operating during the coronavirus pandemic. The department requires employees to complete health-screening questionnaires and temperature checks daily and installed informative signage on all relevant office sites. Additionally, the department lowered the occupancy capacities of its offices and staggered employees’ work schedules.

“The health and safety of every employee and the public were considered as we discussed the implementation of safety protocols across our department in order to continue our essential operations,” said Executive Director of Juvenile Services Darryl A. Beatty. 

All campuses implemented safety protocols, including the Dallas County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program (DCJJAEP), to create a safe environment for students and teachers so that school programs could continue. Teachers began staggering their instruction times in late March and now wear masks while teaching. Professional development programs for teachers shifted online. Additionally, in spite of pandemic-related challenges, over 200 students from the Day Reporting Center (DRC) have seven days’ worth of food delivered to them every Thursday morning. 

“We are extremely proud of how our employees have joined together during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide the best customer service to the public while maintaining a safe work environment,” said Beatty.  

“We are extremely proud of how our employees have joined together during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide the best customer service to the public while maintaining a safe work environment.”

Darryl A. Beatty, Executive Director of Juvenile Services

Many Juvenile Department trainings are now hosted online. The remaining in-person trainings for new employees involve social distancing practices. The majority of the Probation Services Division staff now telecommutes. Officers maintain virtual contact with youth to monitor them and provide community supervision. The department’s institutions are exercising safety procedures and protocol recommended by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department to ensure the wellbeing of its staff and youth, including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).