Morris Copeland has dedicated his entire professional life to serving the at-risk youth of Miami-Dade County. Since 2011, Mr. Copeland has been the Director of the Miami-Dade County Juvenile Services Department (JSD), formerly known as the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) which opened in 1997. Mr. Copeland is an experienced and proven leader who heads a department recognized nationally and internationally for the humane and innovative services provided to at-risk and arrested youth and their families, with the ultimate goal of keeping these youth from entering or going further into the criminal justice system. The JSD has been repeatedly recognized for its “front end” approach to juvenile justice.
Mr. Copeland brings over twenty-nine years of experience to his position, including serving as the Deputy Director of JSD since 2007. During his tenure as Deputy Director, the JSD model was highlighted in May 2008 at a summit hosted by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
Mr. Copeland is an outspoken advocate of youth, and is well known throughout the country as an expert in the area of juvenile justice. His work with juvenile justice partners throughout the continuum has afforded him the privilege of participating on numerous boards and committees throughout Miami-Dade County, and on a state and national/international level. He serves as an Instructor for the Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, and is an active Advisor to The National Advisory Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Mr. Copeland currently serves as a Board Member of the State of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice 11th Judicial Circuit Advisory Board, the Dade-Miami Criminal Justice Council, the Miami Children’s Initiative, the Urban League of Greater Miami, and the Miami-Dade County Youth Crime Task Force.
In 2003, Mr. Copeland received the Designation of Certified Public Manager from Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. In 2007, Mr. Copeland successfully completed the Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Driving Government Performance Certification Program.
Mr. Copeland is a native of Miami-Dade County, where he graduated from Miami Edison Senior High School. His alma mater is University of Colorado, and is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.