If your child is arrested on allegations of delinquency or criminal conduct in Ohio, there’s a strong possibility they’ll be awaiting for their day in court behind bars.
A recent report released by the Ohio office of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) found the youth detainment rate in Ohio to be higher than most states.
The majority of youth in Ohio’s juvenile detention centers are placed there for non-violent offenses or non-technical violations; with many of these detainees posing no risk to community safety, according to the CDF report.
Research shows youth placed in detention are more likely to drop out of high school, use drugs and alcohol and commit future crimes. These youth are also more likely to be unemployed and have trouble forming stable relationships.
The report also includes information from a 2003 assessment that found many of the Ohio juveniles placed in detention were done so without access to legal counsel. Those youth appointed legal counsel often times received inadequate representation, as attorneys weren’t assigned far enough in advance to properly prepare for pre-trial hearings.
While work on revamping portions of the juvenile criminal law in Ohio is underway, the state’s track record for detaining youth is still a major concern voiced by organizations such as the CDF and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The growing view that adolescents engaging in unlawful activity should be held more accountable for their actions makes the long-term consequences of a juvenile criminal conviction potentially more damaging.
If you are a parent of a minor that has been accused of a crime, hiring an attorney with a strong understanding of Ohio juvenile law is extremely important to ensure the rights of your child are protected.