380 West Second St.
Dayton, OH 45422
Juvenile Treatment Court, presided over by Judge Helen Wallace, is a separate and specialized docket within the Montgomery County Juvenile Court assisting in the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders who have been adversely affected by drugs and alcohol. Juvenile Treatment Court provides intensive services to approximately 100 youth and their families at any given time. The program is individually paced. Depending on the youth’s performance and progress, successful completion typically takes nine months, but can take up to two years.
The Montgomery County Juvenile Treatment Court (MCJTC) began serving its target population of adjudicated, non-violent, drug-involved offenders in 1998. The current program serves high risk offenders who have been adversely affected by drugs and/or alcohol with the ability to serve 120 annually. In collaboration with the Juvenile Court, The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board for Montgomery County (ADAMHS), The Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OHMHAS) agency, Natural Helpers and several treatment providers, the program reduces substance abuse and recidivism by providing judicially supervised treatment, strength based case management, drug testing, community supervision and use of incentives/sanctions. Participants improve in major life areas as they are expected to follow the rules of the home, attend school, attend probation meetings, counseling sessions, obtain employment (if age appropriate) and become drug free.
The structure of Juvenile Treatment Court affords an environment in which youth can develop healthy attitudes and values necessary for reducing substance abuse and recidivism. Specifically, the program provides judicially supervised treatment and case management, mandatory random drug testing, community supervision, and the use of appropriate incentives and sanctions. Youth are expected to follow rules of the home, attend school daily, attend all probation meetings, counseling sessions, court hearings, obtain employment (if age appropriate), and become drug free.
The population targeted for this program is youth aged 14-17 who are assessed as having substance abuse or dependency. MCJC Treatment Court has the ability to serve approximately 120 youth annually. These youth will be on probation and deemed High Risk-High Needs as determined by a validated criminogenic risk assessment. Many of these youth will also be at high risk for possible placement outside the home due to negative behaviors and criminal thinking errors. These youth will be adjudicated delinquent for misdemeanors and felonies of varying degrees and will likely also have issues related to family functioning, mental health, and exposure to trauma and violence.
Currently the populations served through the MCJTC are represented as the following: Sixty-two percent are Caucasian, thirty-seven percent are African American, and one percent of youth are other ethnicity. Sixty-one percent are male and thirty-nine percent are female. The average age is 16.2. One hundred percent of the youth speak English as a primary language although many speak secondary languages. Youth are not excluded based on their family’s level of socioeconomic factors. This primary population is youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system and: a) meet DSM-5 criteria for Substance Abuse or Dependency b) are at risk of failing in less intensive or traditional models of supervision and c) considered Moderate or High Risk based on the Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS).
Juvenile Treatment Court was chosen to be a Learning Collaborative Partner in May of 2016. Montgomery County is now one of 12 sites across the United States that will work with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. They will help to assess need, initiate strategic planning, implement program improvements, and continue to evaluate program performance and help with sustainability. Montgomery County was chosen due to the programs ability to serve as a ‘model for system change’. As progress continues with the Learning Collaborative, the program will help to evaluate progress and share challenges and successes with other courts across the nation. Juvenile Treatment Court was also awarded a grant from OJJDP in 2019. This grant will be used to assist families in the area of school, as well as adding additional support for youth who struggle with substance abuse.
Montgomery County Juvenile Court
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