10/21/13

Ohio is a Leader in Smart Reforms for Juvenile Justice

Attorneys & Professionals

Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, of counsel in the Vorys Columbus office, authored an op-ed for the Columbus Dispatch about the successful juvenile-justice reform efforts in Ohio.  In her op-ed, Stratton outlines the steps Ohio lawmakers have taken to amend the system. 

The op-ed states:

“In light of this research, Ohio has taken two steps toward retaining youth the juvenile justice system.       

First, Ohio lawmakers created a “reverse waiver” mechanism that allows some youths who are mandatorily transferred to adult court to come back to juvenile court if they aren't convicted of the crime that got them transferred. The juvenile court judge then makes an individualized decision about whether that youth should be sent to adult court or can be rehabilitated in juvenile court on any other charges still pending.

Second, Ohio legislators created a presumption that all youth should be held in juvenile detention centers instead of adult jails unless and until they are convicted in adult court or a judge determines that a certain youth should be placed in the adult jail. Many adult jails are not prepared to deal with children and have no continued schooling arrangements and no youth-specific treatment available for mental-health needs. Or they may put youths in solitary confinement solely because the law doesn't allow them to be mixed with adults.”

To read the entire op-ed, visit the Columbus Dispatch website.