The Missouri Safety Building Blocks were developed by the Missouri DYS Senior Leadership Team in 2009 to articulate best practices that create physical and emotional safety in youth correctional programs in a way that is not coercive or re-traumatizing. The approach was included in testimony by Missouri DYS officials to the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Panel in June 2010 based on the low rates of sexual victimization in Missouri programs.
At the request of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Missouri DYS Director Tim Decker and former Director Mark Steward provided an overview of the Missouri system for a Residential Realignment Kick-Off Meeting held in New York City on March 28, 2011.
On January 29, 2011, Missouri DYS Director Tim Decker participated in a panel presentation on Trauma Informed Care at the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) Winter Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Director Decker currently serves as CJCA President.
On December 3, 2010, Missouri DYS Director Tim Decker served as a presenter at a symposium entitled, “An Innovative Approach to Evidence Based Practice in Juvenile Justice” hosted by the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Participants in the symposium included researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.
The State of Texas and the Cayman Islands visited Missouri DYS programs in Kansas City on December 1 – 2, 2010 including the STAR Day Treatment Program and the Northwest Regional Youth Center secure care residential program. Texas is exploring applications of the Missouri approach in their state, and the Cayman Islands are building a juvenile justice system from the ground-up based in part on lessons learned in Missouri.