All probation staff are trained and use evidenced based practices to assist youth with behavior change, specifically motivational interviewing techniques as well as Carey Guides and BITS (these Guides and BITS address case management issues and criminiogenic needs).
The Warren County Juvenile Court has different types of supervision: Compliance, Truancy, Reporting, Sex Offender, and Diversion. The type of supervision to which a youth may be assigned is dependent upon a number of factors. Those factors include: age, seriousness/ type of the offense, and record of previous offenses.
For Compliance cases the court issues orders that the youth and/or family must comply with an order for the case to be closed. A compliance hearing date is scheduled at the original hearing to give the family a time line on when the court orders should be completed. At the compliance hearing date the compliance officer meets with the family to verify that the court orders are fulfilled. If the orders are fulfilled the case can be closed. If the orders are not complete, further court action can be taken. There are no formal terms of probation filed with compliance cases.
Truancy Probation Supervision focuses on cases where school attendance is the paramount issue. This type of supervision includes routine school attendance checks as well as contact between the youth, custodian, and assigned truancy officer. These cases also include the youth and custodian completes a Truancy Education Group.
Reporting Probation requires that the youth have contact with a Probation Officer and/or Court Staff at least once a month. However, youth and parents/guardians must meet with the Probation Officer as deemed necessary. Meetings can be in the form of office visits, surveillance visits, home visits, school visits, and/or phone calls. Formal terms of Probation are filed. All youth that are placed on Reporting Probation are subject to drug testing, and are required to attend school and/or satisfy the educational requirements dictated by state law.
Sex Offender Probation requires that the youth and their parent/guardian must have contact with a Probation Officer and/or Court Staff at least once a month. Meetings can be in the form of office visits, surveillance visits, home visits, school visits, and/or phone calls. Usually the youth and family are ordered by the Court to attend sex offender specific counseling, as approved by the Probation Department. Most youth placed on Sex Offender Probation have a suspended commitment to the Ohio Department of Youth Services. Sex Offender Probation provides a high level of supervision while the offender lives in the community. Formal sex offender terms of probation are filed. All youth on sex offender probation are subject to drug testing, and are required to attend school and/or satisfy the educational requirements dictated by state law.
Pursuant to Rule 9, ORJP and WC Local Rule 10, if the best interest of a child and public require, the matter may be referred to unofficial status and the child subject to the complaint referred to Diversion, in lieu of formal court action.
Cases that satisfy the following criteria shall be eligible for Diversion:
- The child subject to the complaint is a first time offender; and
- The offense charged is an alleged delinquency which would be a minor misdemeanor or misdemeanor of the fourth, third or second degree if committed by an adult; except Drug Abuse, a violation of RC 2925.11 and Drug Paraphernalia, a violation of RC 2925.14; and
- City, Local and Park Ordinances equal to a delinquency stated above.
In addition to cases referred to Diversion pursuant to Rule 9 OJRP and WC Local Rule 10, any case may be referred to Diversion upon order of the Court. The Court orders shall delineate behavior issues of the child, assessments and evaluations required, and any other services for remediation of such behaviors as may be in the child's best interest. In the alternative, the court order may require as the only term of Diversion be that the child complies with monitored time, i.e. no violations of Local, State and Federal laws.
Successful performance of the Diversion orders or contract agreement shall be completed in ninety (90) days unless the Court, for good cause, extends the time for completion/compliance. Failure to successfully complete or comply with Diversion shall result in referral to the case to the Court's official docket. Successful completion of Diversion will result in dismissal of the complaint. Dismissal of the complaint allows the record to be expunged.
Risk Assessment/ Case Plans
All youth placed on probation are required to participate in completing the Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS) disposition tool. The OYAS is a risk assessment tool developed by the University of Cincinnati. After adjudication the youth will undergo the assessment to determine their risk level. This will aide in identifying the areas that the youth and family need to focus improvement efforts on to reduce the risk of recidivism. These areas that are identified will be developed into a case plan. The case plan is created by the family and probation officer. The goals outlined in the case plan are in addition to the terms of probation. Rewards and incentives are used to support positive behavior.
All youth that are under court supervision are subject to random, unannounced home visits by Probation Officers. The purpose of the visits are to collect drug screens, make curfew checks, remind youth that they continue to be under court supervision and to check living conditions of the home. These visits are conducted at the discretion of the probation staff and can be done during day and evening hours, weekdays and weekends.
*The mission of the Warren County Juvenile Court Probation Department is “To identify strengths of juveniles and their families to facilitate positive change and safety in the community.”