Login | December 15, 2019

Court program helps put juveniles on the right track

Supreme Court
Public Information Office

Published: July 12, 2019

When kids break the law, they can face police, a judge, even a juvenile detention center.

But the Ohio Supreme Court’s Juvenile Justice Subcommittee on Children and Families has taken great strides to recognize courts that are engaging in evidence-based, research-based, and promising practices.

In Franklin County Juvenile Court, staffers created a Truancy Intervention and Prevention Program. It helps juveniles and families reduce school truancy filings to divert teens who would otherwise face a judge.

Participating schools refer teens when they have reached what’s called a “habitual truancy threshold.” Staffers work to identify and address barriers to school attendance.

“Our Truancy Intervention and Prevention Program (TIPP) partners with local school districts to enforce state attendance laws and to help youth succeed in school,” said Franklin County Juvenile Judge Beth Gill.

“Our Community Restorative Circles and Teen Court are community-based, court-operated diversion programs designed to provide alternative response for first-time misdemeanor offenders,” Judge Gill said.

The Supreme Court recently recognized programs that meet the criteria that the Juvenile Justice Subcommittee developed. The programs include:

• Trumbull County Family Court, Girls Circle

• Stark County Family Court, Third Millennium Classroom

• Stark County Family Court, Stark County Teen Court Program

• Franklin County Domestic Relations/Juvenile Court, Community Restorative Justice Circles

• Franklin County Juvenile Court, Teen Court

• Franklin County Juvenile Court, Truancy Intervention and Prevention Program

• Delaware County Juvenile Court, Diversion Program

• Mahoning County Juvenile Court, Cyber and Relational Diversion Program (C.A.R.D.)

• Mahoning County Juvenile Court, Early Warning System.

“Mahoning County Juvenile Court remains committed to diverting youth from the official docket,” said Mahoning County Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick.

“Research indicates that diversion is more effective than official charges in assisting youth to become pro-social,” she said. “Our philosophy is to build youth and not prisons and it is working.”

Last year’s programs that were recognized included:

• Coshocton County: Juvenile Court Diversion Program

• Greene County: Strengthening Families Program

• Medina County: Teen Intervention – 180

• Fairfield County: Community Request for Services and Diversion Accountability Program

• Clermont County: Truancy Intervention Program

• Madison County: I.M.P.A.C.T. Diversion

• Trumbull County: Multi-Systemic Therapy Program, Youth Intervention Program, and Alternative Sentencing Program.