JJC Submits Comment to Help End Indiscriminate Shackling of Children in Juvenile
On December 7, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court opened a rule for public comment that would end Ohio’s policy of indiscriminate shackling. Instead, children could only be shackled when they pose a significant risk of harm or escape.
In Ohio, certain youth who come before juvenile courts are routinely and indiscriminately shackled – including handcuffs, belly chains, and ankle cuffs. Shackling is harmful. It can impair the ability of youth to communicate and participate in his or her defense, be traumatic, and cause psychological harm. Over 20 jurisdictions have stopped indiscriminate shackling with no increase in safety and security threats after changing their policies.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a comment! To view JJC’s comment – which included input from Ohio youth – click here.
Representatives Rezabek and Hayes Introduce School Discipline and Truancy Bill
On December 9, 2015, Representatives Rezabek and Hayes introduced HB 410, which would change Ohio’s laws on truancy and school discipline to keep more students in school. Decreased school attendance is associated with many negative short- and long-term consequences. HB 410 would change Ohio law to embrace best practices and keep students in school. For more information, see this fact sheet on Ohio’s school discipline and truancy laws and this summary of HB 410.
JJC Issues Report on Ohio’s Deincarceration Programs
On October 26. 2015, the Juvenile Justice Coalition released a report on Ohio’s deincarceration programs. Since 1992, Ohio’s youth prison population topped 2,500 and was projected to rise to 4,000. In 1994, Ohio began implementing programs to incentivize local courts to keep youth closer to home. Today admissions to Ohio juvenile correctional facilities are lower than 500 youth and Ohio makes significant investments in redirecting youth to community-based alternatives that are less expensive and more effective than locked facilities.
The report is designed to give other jurisdictions insights into lessons learned in Ohio as they create new or reevaluate existing deincarceration programs as well as to continue to encourage innovate within Ohio. Use the following links to read the report, an executive summary, and an accompanying infographic.
**Update: JJC’s Bring Youth Home report has been covered extensively in the media, including a front page story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and by NPR, the Huffington Post, the Toledo Blade, Columbus TV Channel NBC4, Dayton TV Channel WDTN, and the Associated Press. In addition, JJC was interviewed for a BlogTalkRadio show.**