Groundbreaking occurred in August and construction began for the new Juvenile Justice Center (JJC). The original plan was to include primarily the Court's Detention Facility, Corrections and Intervention Center. To meet the growing space needs of other county agencies; Montgomery County Commissioners approved the expansion of the JJC to house all of the Juvenile Court's functions except Probation Services. Construction is expected to be complete on the JJC by the end of 2006.
The Court received reaccredidation by the American Correctional Association (ACA) for three of its departments: the Nicholas Residential Treatment Center, Detention Services and the Probation Services Departments. ACA auditors review programs every three years based upon the standards they set to ensure a high level of care and services in the criminal/juvenile justice system. These departments continue to receive almost perfect compliance, reaffirming the Court's commitment to excellence.
The Reclaiming Futures Project is a national initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Montgomery County is one of only 10 sites in the nation to be chosen for a 5-year $1.25 million grant to help teens overcome drugs, alcohol and crime. Montgomery County Juvenile Court was proud to become the lead agency for this initiative in June 2004. The mission of this project's coalition is to improve justice and treatment outcomes for substance-abusing youth and to ensure that no child or family slips through the cracks. This coalition is working toward a coordinated, seamless system of care, which includes Natural Helpers (volunteers who provide support and encouragement to youth and families and connect them with opportunities and services to bring about positive life changes), a comprehensive system of substance abuse treatment and intervention for youth engaged in Drug Court. 20 new Natural Helpers were trained, bringing the total to 31. During 2004, 21 Drug Court youth were linked with Natural Helpers.
The Court received a supplemental grant award from the Ohio Department of Youth Services (ODYS) to set up and operate the girls' unit at the Center for Adolescent Services (CAS). Previously, low-level felony female offenders had to be committed to ODYS institutions because no community correction option existed as it does today.
Under administrative direction, the Probation Services Department has developed a planning focus for the upcoming years. Several initiatives have been instituted including the establishment of a strengths-based approach in working with youth and their families, a strong commitment to staff training and development, and the creation of additional quality control measures to assist in day-to-day operations.
The Juvenile Court will be featured as one of the 10 Juvenile Sanction Center (JSC) sites selected for technical assistance grants by JSC in a National Satellite Broadcast. The JSC has been selected by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) as a program to be featured nationally for a satellite teleconference downlink broadcast. To be selected for this type of national exposure is a strong indication that the work of the JSC is vitally important to the overall programming goals of OJJDP.
The Clerk Office of the Juvenile Court sent over 65,000 pieces of mail and issued more than 2,100 warrants and capiases. The office lowered mailing costs in day-to-day regular and certified mailings as well as through established procedures of bulk mailing, providing a savings of over $8,500 to the Court.