Ohio Awards $1.6 Million to Juvenile Courts for Detention Alternatives and Security Enhancements
In an effort to reserve detention placement for certain youth, address challenges of troubled youth early, and improve detention services and conditions of confinement, the Ohio Department of Youth Services recently announced $1,628,804 in funding to assist 23 counties through the agency’s new Detention Alternatives and Enhancements Initiative.
The funds will benefit more than 5,000 youth in Allen, Ashtabula, Champaign, Clermont, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Guernsey, Jefferson, Knox, Lorain, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Montgomery, Muskingum, Summit, Trumbull, Union, Warren, and Wayne counties.
Implementation grants will help fund physical plant enhancements as well as expand alternatives to secure detention, services, and supports provided within the facilities. Alternatives will divert an estimated 800 youth from secure detention through June 2017, with the development of evening assessment and reporting centers, crisis shelters, respite services, and increased use of electronic monitoring. Just under $400,000 of the $1.6 million has been earmarked to provide much-needed physical plant improvements to boost safety and security at the facilities.
Fairfield County Juvenile Court Judge Terre L. Vandervoort is excited to use funding to develop a day/evening reporting center as a detention alternative.
“This will strike the right balance in protecting the community, holding youth accountable, and providing skills and competencies young people need to succeed in the future,” Judge Vandervoort said. “Youth served by alternatives will be able to maintain educational progress, continue employment, receive monitoring during high risk afternoon and evening hours, and benefit from programs and services to address their needs.”
The court estimates the new reporting center will serve 250 youth and result in a savings of more than $300,000 annually.