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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77331 Find in a Library
Title: Judges and Commissioners - A Shotgun Marriage (From Major Issues in Juvenile Justice Information and Training - Readings in Public Policy, P 439-464, 1981, John C Hall et al, ed. - See NCJ-77318)
Author(s): J R Milligan
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Academy for Contemporary Problems
Sale Source: Academy for Contemporary Problems
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A system of intercounty regionalized services for the juvenile courts of six Ohio counties is described as an example of a useful way to strike a balance between the legitimate concerns and responsibilities of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of local government.
Abstract: The system has achieved the goals of providing services for children and for the public and establishing intergovernmental cooperation both economically and cooperatively. The historical problem confronting the delivery of services by the juvenile courts is the tension between the right of the juvenile court to mandate money for operation of services and the frustration of the county commissioners with such court power. In the 1980's, additional issues include cost effectiveness, quality control, compliance with Federal standards, and the demise of the specialized juvenile court judge. Constraints on change from the present undesirable situation normally include legal parameters, historical practices, funding restraints, and lack of awareness of other models. The Ohio counties' experience shows that an independent, publicly operated regional detention/rehabilitation system can provide high quality services. Facilities and programs to provide juvenile detention, shelter care, and treatment are operated by an independent board of trustees. The trustees are nominated by the juvenile court judges and appointed by the county commissioners. Funding is provided by a multicounty joint board of county commissioners. The district currently operates four detention facilities, a secure treatment center with three open treatment residences, and four community-based group homes. Administration and funding of the district facilities are handled on a shared contract basis. A detailed description of the system's development, operation, and problems is provided to guide others who are trying to improve their own systems. The system is recommended to all those interested in advancing the cause of programming for children and hopeful of resolving the traditional rivalries between judges and commissioners over these services' management and funding. Footnotes and an appendix presenting the draft operational agreement for the system are provided.
Index Term(s): Interagency cooperation; Intergovernmental relations; Juvenile court intake; Juvenile detention; Juvenile probation; Juvenile processing; Local government; Ohio; Regionalization; Rehabilitation
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