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CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY Speakers: Erin Davies Children’s Law Center Melinda Haggerty Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

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Presentation on theme: "CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY Speakers: Erin Davies Children’s Law Center Melinda Haggerty Ohio Attorney General’s Office."— Presentation transcript:

1 CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY Speakers: Erin Davies Children’s Law Center Melinda Haggerty Ohio Attorney General’s Office

2 Overview: Ohio’s Juvenile Justice System

3 Juvenile Court 101: Purpose of Juvenile Court Hold youth accountable and keep the public safe, while recognizing the fundamental developmental differences between youth and adults.

4 Juvenile Court 101: Goal of Juvenile Justice Reforms Moving toward a “right sized” system that ensures an individually tailored, evidence-based appropriate response for each youth.

5 Juvenile Court 101: Terminology Adult TermJuvenile TermDefinition Found guiltyAdjudicated delinquent Court determines you committed an offense SentenceDispositionPunishment for committing an offense JailDetentionPre-trial or shorter-term post-trial secure placement PrisonCorrectional institution Post-trial secure placement Probation Part of sentence/disposition for committing crime Parole Conditional early release from a locked facility

6 National Research- and Evidence- Based and Trends Moving Away From:Moving Towards: Placing youth in locked facilities Community-based programming alternatives One-size-fits-all approachAssessing youth’s individualized needs and appropriate responses “Gut feelings” about what works or what youth need Utilizing evidence- and research- based assessments and programs Focusing on the youth and his or her offense Examining the underlying root causes for court involvement

7 National Research- and Evidence- Based and Trends: Benefits  More cost-effective  Proven to work effectively to reduce recidivism, increase rehabilitation, and improve public safety  Community-based  More appropriate given youths’ unique developmental needs

8 National Research- or Evidence- Based Trends: Status Offenders Moving Away From:Moving Towards: Detaining status offending youth, including for their own protection Placing youth in community-based programming Solely addressing the youth and his or her offense Addressing the underlying root causes of the offense (family issues, education needs, etc.) Formally processing status offending youth in courts Diverting youth from the juvenile court system, including into other, more appropriate systems (i.e. child welfare or mental health) Youth being pushed from schools into jj (aka school-to- prison pipeline) Addressing youth behavior in the school setting (i.e. PBIS, restorative justice)

9 National Research- or Evidence- Based Trends: Delinquency Offenders Moving Away From:Moving Towards: Placement in juvenile correctional facilities Incentivizing courts to place youth in community-based alternatives Long sentences in juvenile correctional facilities Shorter-term sentences in correctional facilities, if at all Focusing on the youth and the offense Addressing root causes for behavior (i.e. trauma, substance abuse, mental health needs) Long-term collateral consequences (i.e. sex offense registration) Minimizing the long-term impacts of juvenile court involvement

10 National Research- or Evidence- Based Trends: Youth in Adult Court Moving Away From:Moving Towards: Prosecuting youth in adult courtRetaining youth in juvenile court, including through blended sentencing Placing youth in adult jails and prisons Placing youth in juvenile detention and correctional facilities Potential for mandatory transfer and extreme sentences, including death and life without parole Individualized transfer assessments, sentencing, and meaningful release review Same court rules and standards for youth and adults Accounting for developmental differences between youth and adults, including in courts and facilities

11 Ohio Juvenile Justice System: Trends Away From:Towards:Ohio Examples: Placing youth in locked facilities Community-based programming alternatives Detention – JDAI DYS - RECLAIM, Targeted RECLAIM, BHJJ, MST, early DYS release, decreased mandatory gun specs, detention credit Prosecuting youth in adult court Keeping youth in juvenile court Reverse waiver, jail removal One-size-fits-all approach Assessing youth’s individualized needs and tailored responses OYAS, early DYS release, gun specifications, mental health taskforce, MST “Gut feelings” about what works or what youth need Utilizing evidence- and research-based assessments and programs OYAS, JDAI, Targeted RECLAIM, BHJJ, 45% reallocation budget language, MST Long-term collateral consequences Minimizing collateral consequences Early sealing/expungement

12 Ohio Juvenile Justice System: Legislative Changes  HB 86 – Reduced mandatory gun specification time, allowed judges to release youth from DYS facilities early, created reverse waiver, and established mental health taskforce and competency guidelines  SB 337 – Allowed youth to receive detention credit and to more easily seal and expunge their juvenile court records, placed youth in juvenile detention instead of adult jails  Budget – Increased allocations to Targeted RECLAIM and BHJJ, 45% of savings from facility closures can be allocated to evidence-based programs

13 Ohio Juvenile Justice System: Programs Program name:Purpose:Results: OYASInstrument to assess youth’s needs/risks at each point of the juvenile justice system Provides objective, risk-based recommendations to juvenile courts JDAIEnsure only youth who are a threat to the community are detained pre-trial Detention reductions in 5 counties averaging 27% RECLAIM and Targeted RELCAIM Direct youth away from DYS and into community-based programs (Targeted RECLAIM requires the program to be evidence-based) Lower recidivism rates; over 50% reduction in DYS facility populations BHJJProvides evidence-based, community- based programs for youth with serious mental health or substance abuse needs Increased school attendance, reduced out of home placement, decreased substance use and recidivism

14 Ohio Juvenile Justice System: Program Acronyms Acronyms:  JDAI – Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative  RECLAIM - Reasonable and Equitable Community and Local Alternatives to the Incarceration of Minors  Targeted RECLAIM – evidence-based version of RECLAIM  OYAS – Ohio Youth Assessment System  BHJJ- Behavioral Health Juvenile Justice Initiative  MST – Multi-Systemic Therapy

15 Attorney General’s Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Illness

16 Taskforce: What Is It?  Designed to address the “revolving door” of individuals with mental health issues who come to the attention of the juvenile or adult criminal justice system  Co-Chaired by Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Stratton and Attorney General DeWine  Evolved from the Advisory Committee on Mental Illness and the Courts (ACMIC)

17 Advisory Committee on Mental Illness and the Courts  Originally founded in 2001  Run by the Supreme Court of Ohio  Accomplishments:  37 mental health courts  Promoted training for over 4,500 CIT officers  Advocated for new Juvenile Competency statute  Challenge: Confined to issues impacting the Courts

18 Taskforce: Subcommittees  Aging  Diversion and reentry  Housing  Juvenile justice  Law enforcement  Mental health and the courts  Policy and legislation  Psychiatry and Treatment  Research/Best Practices  Veterans Courts and Military Affairs

19 Taskforce: Who is Involved?  State agency representatives  Law enforcement  Judges  Mental health practitioners  Advocates  Individuals with direct system experience

20 Taskforce: Juvenile Justice Subcommittee Participants  Co-Chaired by a representative from the Attorney General’s Office and Franklin County Juvenile Court Judge Beth Gill  Members include advocates, practitioners, representatives from the Ohio Supreme Court and the Department of Youth Services, and individuals directly impacted by the system

21 Taskforce: Juvenile Justice Subcommittee Overview  Monthly meetings to discuss current issues in juvenile justice in Ohio  Speakers from throughout the state to keep members up to speed on the latest trends in counties  Three sub-groups: prevention/diversion, data collection, and youth involved in the juvenile or adult criminal justice systems

22 Taskforce: Juvenile Justice Prevention/Diversion  Focused on early identification of children with trauma or mental health issues and getting them into services before they hit the juvenile justice system  Examples:  Red Flags Program  School Responder Program

23 Taskforce: Prevention/Diversion Accomplishments  Issue: As recent events have shown, mental health programs can be critical to maintaining school safety.  Initiatives: The Subcommittee has weighed in with the various Ohio initiatives on school safety by promoting the School Responder System, which is in place in several counties in Ohio and helps to identify mental health issues in school early before the youth becomes involved with the juvenile system.

24 Taskforce: Prevention/Diversion Accomplishments  School Responder Program  MacArthur Foundation “Model for Change”  Trains teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, janitors, and other school professionals on how to recognize mental health issues  Places “responder” in school to link child to mental health services  Currently operating in Summit County and Jackson County

25 Taskforce: Prevention/Diversion Accomplishments  80 youth served (2011)  76% had improved attendance, behavior, and had mental health issue addressed  First year: over 200 youth served, only 8 entered the JJ system  School referrals decreased by 1/3 Summit CountyJackson County

26 Taskforce: Prevention/Diversion Accomplishments  After Sandy Hook shootings, Senator Lehner and Senator LaRose held series of school safety hearings  JJ Subcommittee advocated for School Responder Model to promote early identification of mental health issues prior to a violent incident

27 Taskforce: Juvenile Justice Data Collection  Focus on getting better data collection system on youth in the juvenile justice system  Currently, all 88 juvenile courts use several different court software systems  Ohio law requires annual reports  Need data to drive evidence-based policies  How can we know if a program is working if we don’t have data?

28 Taskforce: Data Collection Accomplishments  Issue: Ohio is one of the few states that does not have a comprehensive, uniform data collection system for youth involved in juvenile courts, including youths’ mental health needs.  Initiative: The Subcommittee compiled a list of juvenile justice system data points for the Ohio Supreme Court to consider, provided research on other states’ data collection systems  Served as a catalyst

29 Taskforce: Juvenile Justice System-Involved Youth  Focus on youth who are involved in either the juvenile justice or adult criminal justice systems  Ensure that they are given access to mandated, age-appropriate mental health resources and education  Particular concerned with youth in adult jails  Bindover, SYO

30 Taskforce: Youth in Juvenile Detention Accomplishments  Issue: Youth who enter juvenile detention centers in Ohio do not receive uniform screening for mental health issues, which can affect the youth’s stay.  Initiative: The Taskforce awarded DYS $82,500 to implement a statewide standardized screening process for Ohio's juvenile detention centers and public child service agencies. DYS is currently moving forward with implementing the MAYSI-2, a juvenile mental health screening tool, in detention centers across Ohio.

31 Taskforce: Juvenile Justice System-Involved Youth  36 times more likely to commit suicide  Often experience periods of isolation  American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: creates depression, anxiety, and psychosis  Jails unequipped to provide youth with proper education or youth-trained mental health services  8 times more likely to commit suicide  5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted  Almost twice as likely to be attacked with a weapon by inmates or beaten by staff Youth in Adult JailsYouth in Adult Prisons

32 Taskforce: Youth in Adult Court Accomplishments  Issue: Youth in Ohio can be held in adult jails, which can create or exacerbate mental health issues for youth, especially when held in isolation.  Initiatives: The Subcommittee 1) sent out a survey to jails to examine under what circumstances youth are held in jails and 2) worked to change Ohio’s jail standards to include youth-specific information.

33 Taskforce: Youth in Adult Court Accomplishments  Issue: Youth sentenced to life sentences can face difficult gaining parole, despite the fact that they are developmentally different from adults.  Initiatives: The Subcommittee has proposed youth- specific guidelines for the parole board to consider when determining whether to release a youth.

34 Taskforce: Accomplishments Beyond Juvenile Justice Awarded additional grants, including to:  Provide crisis counseling in two counties’ jails and crisis prevention in two Ohio veteran’s homes  Provide trainings to first responders on elder abuse  Provide a curriculum for peer mentors in veterans’ courts  Increase rental subsidy program for individuals in mental health courts


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