The Juvenile Justice Coalition (Ohio) (JJC) was formed in 1993 to advocate for youth involved in the juvenile justice system in Ohio.
For 20 years, JJC operated as an entirely volunteer community organization and played an active role in juvenile justice advocacy, including being part of many of Ohio’s signature juvenile justice changes such as:
- Advocating for RECLAIM Ohio (Reasoned and Equitable Community and Local Alternatives to the Incarceration of Minors Ohio). RECLAIM Ohio is a funding initiative that encourages juvenile courts to develop a range of community-based options to meet the needs of each juvenile offender or youth at risk of offending instead of placing youth in juvenile correctional facilities.
- Convening various groups of advocates to coordinate positions on juvenile justice issues, such as juvenile sentencing legislation, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) reauthorization, and juvenile sex offender registry reform efforts (SB3 and SB10).
- Coordinating an Ohio assessment of legal representation for indigent youth in Ohio published in March 2003 in partnership with the Children’s Law Center.
- Organizing a community education project to make youth and families more aware of their rights in the juvenile justice system as an outgrowth of the above assessment.
- Organizing several conferences in the 1990s to promote juvenile justice system reform, including expanding community-based alternatives to incarceration and reducing disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system.
- Representing Ohio in the National Juvenile Justice Network along with Voices for Ohio’s Children.
In 2014, JJC received a grant from the Gund Foundation that allowed the organization to take on its first full-time employee.