Gov. Mike DeWine announced the establishment of the Ohio Juvenile Justice Working Group in November. The task force will examine and propose solutions to the problems challenging the state’s juvenile justice and corrections system. Their focus will address concerns about physical safety, education, reentry programs, and health services, including mental health, within the juvenile justice system.
Judge Anthony Capizzi, a retired Montgomery County juvenile court judge;
Melissa Day, juvenile division chief for the Stark County Prosecutor’s Office;
Judge Amy Lewis, the Greene County juvenile court judge;
Judge David Stucki, a retired Stark County juvenile court judge;
State Rep. Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison);
State Rep. Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester);
State Sen. Paula Hicks Hudson (D-Toledo); and
State Sen. Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville).
Gov. DeWine underscored the urgency of addressing staffing issues within the juvenile justice system, acknowledging the difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff as a significant challenge. The formation of this task force aligns with recent investigations that shed light on challenges, such as understaffing and relapse into crime within Ohio’s juvenile justice system. Gabriella Celeste joins this group of distinguished professionals, bringing her extensive policy advocacy and child welfare expertise from her tenure as policy director at the Schubert Center for Child Studies.
The Ohio Juvenile Justice Working Group, spearheaded by Tom Stickrath, former director of the Department of Youth Services and Department of Public Safety, is poised to commence its essential work, with the schedule for its inaugural meeting yet to be announced.