Youth Advocates Visit the Ohio Statehouse to Discuss Ohio School Discipline Issues

On June 18th, nearly 20 youth from across Ohio engaged in a youth advocacy day with JJC, the Ohio Students Association’s Youth Rise Up program, and the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus’s Justice Week program.  The students visited 10 legislators in House and Senate leadership and leadership of the House and Senate Education Committees to talk about how Ohio school discipline policies impact youth.

JUNE 10th:  JJC’s Erin Davies Discusses Juvenile Justice Issues on All Sides Radio Show

On June 10th, JJC’s Executive Director Erin Davies will appear on the All Sides Radio Show with Ann Fisher on WOSU.  Erin will be interviewed from 10:20am-11am and be discussing current issues in juvenile justice.  Watch the show live here and follow along on Twitter!

UPDATED:  Columbus Dispatch Covers Lack of Juvenile Justice Data Collection in Ohio

On May 17th, 2015, the Columbus Dispatch published an article on the lack of data collection on youth involved in juvenile court in Ohio.    The article highlighted the OJJA fact sheet series released earlier this year that showed no system of comprehensive data collection across broad categories of youth throughout the state.  The article also features a quote from JJC’s Executive Director Erin Davies.

On May 31st, 2015, the Dispatch followed up on the original story and published an editorial calling for Ohio to improve it’s juvenile justice system data collection.  The editorial states “Ohio’s juvenile-justice system desperately needs a comprehensive, statewide database that employs modern technology, as advocated recently by the Ohio Juvenile Justice Alliance” and that a “truly effective system needs to be statewide and use consistent measures. Courts should be able share data and the public should have easy access to analyze it for research and accountability purposes.”

JJC and Summit County Juvenile Court’s PJ&E Initiative Relaease Peace Circles Fact Sheet

The Summit County Juvenile Court’s Peace, Justice, and Equality Initiative and the Juvenile Justice Coalition recently collaborated to develop a fact sheet on the Court’s peace circles.  The fact sheet highlights the peace circle process, which is a restorative justice practiced used in several  contexts in Summit County.   The full fact sheet is available here.

Ohio Juvenile Justice Alliance (OJJA) and Legislative Leaders Release Ground-Breaking Fact Sheet Series on Ohio Juvenile Justice Issues

** Update – On March 27th, the Columbus Dispatch wrote an article on the fact sheets.  On March 26th, WOSU’s radio program All Sides with Ann Fisher covered the fact sheet release.  Listen to the archived program here!**

On March 24, 2015, the OJJA held a press conference releasing 18 fact sheets on juvenile justice issues in Ohio.  OJJA was joined by Senator John Eklund (R-18th) and Cecil Thomas (D-9th), the Chair and Vice Chair of the Ohio Senate Criminal Justice Committee as well as Representatives Jeff Rezabek (R-43rd) and Greta Johnson (D-35th) from the House Judiciary Committee.

The fact sheets provide a thorough look at juvenile justice issues in Ohio and include national research and best practices, along with Ohio data.  JJC hopes that the fact sheets can raise awareness of Ohio youth in the juvenile justice system and how to improve outcomes for these youth.   Click the following links to access the press release, fact sheets, and infographics from the event.

Ohio Organizations Call for Reinvestment of DYS’s FY16-17 Budget Cuts

In January, the Ohio Department of Youth Services – the state agency that deals with juvenile justice issues – released its budget for fiscal years 2016-2017 (FY16-17).   The budget calls for an over $32 million reduction to DYS’s funding, which is described more detail in this fact sheet.  Although this funding decrease stems from population decline in juvenile correctional facilities, JJC and other organizations believe this money should be reinvested into programs to continue to keep youth out of the juvenile justice system or from getting more deeply involved.

Over 25 individuals and organizations, including the Ohio Parent Teacher’s Association, the National Alliance for Mental Illness Ohio office, and the League of Women Voters Ohio, signed a letter supporting the reinvestment of the proposed cuts.  In addition, on March 19th, 2015, JJC – along with colleagues from Case Western Reserve University – testified in favor of reinvestment before the House Subcommittee on Transportation, which has jurisdiction over DYS’s budget.