Elizabeth “Liz” Florez has been appointed director of the Washoe County Department of Juvenile Services after serving as interim director since January.
Juvenile Services provides community probation supervision, case management, detention, and community services to youth ages 10 to 18 referred for delinquent and status offenses. The director oversees administration, budget, and management of its four divisions: detention, court services, traffic and community services. Its staff of 130 employees and budget of $16.9 million work to balance justice with positive youth and family development, community safety, and offender accountability.
Florez has served Washoe County’s Department of Juvenile Services for 27 years, starting as a residential youth adviser in Wittenberg Hall in 1994 and moving up through the ranks to division director of Detention and Probation Services. She served as division director for over a decade before stepping in as interim director of the department.
Her work at every level of the department provided her experience in everything from drug court to probation assessment to legislative affairs. During her time as a probation manager, she was instrumental in the creation of the Evening Reporting Program in collaboration with the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows.
“Liz has dedicated her career to Washoe County and Juvenile Services,” Judge Bridget Robb of the Second Judicial Court said. “There is no one more qualified to lead the department. She knows every position, every program, and virtually every person in our department and has a clear vision for how to best serve our community. She has demonstrated her leadership and commitment to the Juvenile Services Department, and we will benefit from her expertise as we continue to grow with our community.”
Florez was appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval to the Nevada State Juvenile Justice Commission in 2012 and served until 2017. She has served as board or committee member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada’s Think Tank, Safe & Healthy Homes, Nevada Hispanic Services, and the Nevada Association of Juvenile Justice Administrators.
Florez grew up in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, with a BA in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies. She is also certified in Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST). She credits her faith, family and friends for her accomplishments and is honored to serve Washoe County.