Maricopa County Juvenile Detention Officer Wins Statewide Award

by Clara Colmenero

PHOENIX (November 13, 2023) – Fit4Success is a fitness program developed to inspire youth in detention by addressing their physical and mental wellbeing. It’s a highly popular program led by Maricopa County Juvenile Detention Officer Tavin Jones, who doesn’t think twice about finding time in his schedule to make this program the success it is today.


“I still have my duties that I need to do. But I don’t mind putting in the extra work,” said Jones, an officer with the Juvenile Probation Department, part of the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County. “That’s what I feel this job is for, to inspire these kids. They need to know what a good role model looks like and if they see that during their time here, then they will realize that there are people who want them to change. People who are in their corner for them to do better.”


The workout program allows for youth with good behavior to not only exercise, de-stress and build confidence but also learn about the importance of building relationships.


"You can do workouts a little in your room, but it's different being here, being motivated by the staff," said a youth in detention.


Jones not only received the Detention Officer of the Year Award from the Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Department but was also recognized by the Arizona Chief Probation Officers Association for his dedication.


“We are so thankful for our staff like Tavin who have a passion for their work, and that Tavin has been recognized for the profound positive impact that he is making with our justice-involved youth, but also with his peers and within our profession. He is a great role model for us all,” said Deputy Juvenile Probation Chief Michaella Aguilar-Heslin.


For the Juvenile Probation Department, Jones’ work is a clear example of one of the department’s core values: change. Jones is one of many juvenile detention officers in Maricopa County who are helping kids embrace change by providing positive programming activities. Jones was recently promoted to a supervisor position within the Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Department.


“I want them to be able to understand what is going on, I want them to take control of their lives,” he said. “To repair their relationships, no matter if it’s at home, school or group home, treatments. To repair what was broken, to do their best to have confidence to be able to go out and look for their job to believe in themselves.”

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