The Juvenile Division PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ben Sliwa   
Thursday, 10 December 2015 17:20
 

The Juvenile Court system deals with children under the age of 18. It generally handles two specific areas regarding children: (1) dependent, neglected, and abused children and (2) delinquent and unruly children. Additionally, the Juvenile Court also has jurisdiction over paternity cases, child support matters, private custody matters, and cases regarding adults who are alleged to have committed certain criminal offenses against children, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child endangering.

Juvenile court cases are tried before a Magistrate or Judge. Usually, there is no right to a jury trial in Juvenile Court. There are two exceptions; adult criminal cases, which always include the right to a jury trial and juvenile defendants who are to be labeled Serious Youth Offenders.

The Juvenile Division of the Prosecutor’s Office consists of two sections: Delinquency and Dependency/Neglect.

The Juvenile Division of the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office is located on the first floor of the Summit County Juvenile Courthouse.

Appointments to meet with a representative of the Juvenile Division or for general questions, please contact the courts. Any member of the public who schedules an appointment must bring a police report regarding the complaint with them.

 

Crossroads Program

Crossroads is the Summit County Juvenile Court’s Drug & Mental Health court.

Juvenile defendants are referred to the Crossroads Program by the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office or by the Summit County Juvenile Court Magistrate who hears the juvenile’s case. In order to qualify, the juvenile defendant must have either a substance abuse problem or a mental health disorder, or both.

If the juvenile is deemed appropriate for Crossroads, he/she will participate in a long-term treatment program, which could include probation, urine screens, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, and numerous court appearances. The juvenile’s parent or guardian must also participate in the program. If the juvenile successfully completes the Crossroads Program, the offense that led to the juvenile’s involvement in the program is dismissed.

For additional information regarding this program, please refer to Juvenile Court.

 

Truancy Task Force

The Truancy Task Force consists of members from the Summit County Juvenile Court, the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, the Summit County Juvenile Probation, local school districts, and local mental health agencies.

The Task Force was established to address county-wide policies and procedures for dealing with truant children as well as parents who do not send their children to school regularly.

In addition, the Task Force strives to establish programs throughout the county to help decrease the truancy problem, including Truancy Court and referrals to county services that can assist families of truant children with problems that may contribute to truancy.

For additional information regarding this program, please refer to Juvenile Court.

 

Restorative Justice Committee

The Restorative Justice Committee consists of representatives from the Summit County Juvenile Court, the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, the Summit County Victim Advocates, local law enforcement, Catholic Charities, and other volunteer groups.

The idea behind restorative justice is to provide a means for the community to become involved in dealing with crime. At this time, the Restorative Justice Committee focuses on juvenile crime.

With the assistance of all of its members, the committee formed a Victim Impact Panel, which certain juvenile offenders, especially those with substance abuse problems, are required to attend. At this panel, the offenders listen to presentations from different individuals, including local law enforcement and parents who have lost children to drunk drivers.

Additionally, the Restorative Justice Committee has established a mediation program for juvenile property crimes where the Victim, the community, and the offender can be involved in reaching the appropriate penalty in property crime cases.

For more information regarding the Restorative Justice Committee, click here.

 

Diversion Committee

The Summit County Diversion Committee consists of representatives from various Summit County police jurisdictions.

The Diversion Committee offers juvenile offenders of minor crimes the opportunity to avoid court involvement by working voluntarily with the appropriate police jurisdiction.

The juvenile offender must admit the crime and the assigned Diversion Officer will monitor the juvenile’s case to ensure compliance with restitution to the victim, performance of community service, and participation in any appropriate services. A juvenile's failure to comply with the Diversion Agreement results in a formal complaint being filed with the Summit County Juvenile Court.

The Diversion Committee meets on a monthly basis. A Summit County Assistant Prosecutor from the Delinquency/Unruly Division also sits on the committee.

 

Child Advocacy Center

The Summit County Child Advocacy Center is located in the CARE Center at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron. Membership includes the staff of the CARE Center, the Summit County Children Services Board, the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, local law enforcement, and local mental health facilities.

The purpose of the center is to provide a more concise and focused means of treating the sexually abused children of Summit County. A child who discloses sexual abuse will undergo a physical examination and an interview at the CARE Center, which provides the opportunity for the Prosecutor’s Office and local law enforcement to observe the interview. After the CARE Center appointment is completed, appropriate treatment can be recommended and decisions can better be made regarding prosecution.

For additional information, please click here.

 

Children Services

The Summit County Children Services Board (CSB) is the agency responsible for investigating allegations of alleged child abuse and neglect.

CSB, along with local law enforcement, is responsible for investigating the allegations and making the initial decision as to whether a child’s case needs to be filed in Juvenile Court. When this occurs, the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office represents CSB.

After a case is filed in Juvenile Court, CSB is responsible for the placement and protection of the child, as well as for providing services to the family to assist in reunification with the child. If the child cannot be returned to his or her biological family, CSB is responsible for locating other permanent placement for the child, including adoptive families.

For more information regarding the Summit County Children Services Board, please click here.

 

Teen Board

The Teen Board is a group of teen representatives from various high schools in Summit County. A prosecutor is assigned to sit as an advisor on this board, along with members of the Summit County Juvenile Court. The Teen Board’s purpose is to assist in the formation and running of the Teen Court, as well as to act as an advisory board to the Summit County Juvenile Court, regarding issues that the teens of Summit County have or would like to see addressed.

 

Teen Court

The Summit County Juvenile Court, in conjunction with the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, is in the process of forming a Teen, or Peer, Court for Summit County. This court will consist of teens from Summit County who volunteer to sit as jury members, and to act as the “prosecutor” & “defense attorney” in certain juvenile cases. These cases will be selected by the Juvenile Court based upon the admission of the delinquent juvenile to the crime, and the willingness of both the juvenile and the victim of the crime to cooperate. The Teen Court will help to decide what should happen to the juvenile delinquent as a part of his or her court sentence. The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office is participating not only in the formation of this Teen Court, but also as a trainer and supervisor of the teens selected to act as the “prosecutor” in Teen Court cases.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 March 2017 16:16