This is the Final Technical Report on a case study of juvenile justice reform initiatives in Ohio, so as to provide an understanding of the impact of these recent reforms across multiple areas viewed as relevant to juvenile justice reform.
This case study covers several years of implementation, focuses on the degree to which placement shifts followed expectations; incorporates a larger number and additional types of covariates in comparisons of recidivism among different placement groups; considers count-level trends and variation in juvenile justice inputs/outputs during the time frame under study; assesses the degree to which the initiatives undertaken in Ohio’s juvenile justice systems may have had an unintended impact on crime rates; and assesses some financial implications of large-scale juvenile justice reform. The study found that the effect of youth risk level on placement varied over time toward placing youth in better alignment with their risk. There was a sustained trend in diverting youth from incarceration, which resulted in the shift of youth profiles in the placements. The composition of low-risk youth in Department of Youth Services (DYS) facilities decreased gradually over time to the point of being rare. The treatment and intervention types experienced by the community-based groups suggest that their positive results are likely due to several types of approaches and modalities. Using Ohio’s juvenile justice systems as a focal case, this study assists in identifying some of the past impacts of reform efforts and potential future implications, and it also identifies leverage points where effects at the case, agency, and state level might be maximized. 26 tables, 23 figures, and 137 references
Date Published: March 1, 2019