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Hamilton Co. Juvenile Court Looks To Change How Juvenile Justice System Operates

Nick Swartsell
Hamilton County Juvenile Court.

Each year, more than 3,000 young people are referred to the Hamilton County Juvenile Court. A new initiative looks to see how those youth could be better served.

For a number of years, the court has engaged in efforts to divert as many young people as possible away from detention facilities and eventual intake into the adult justice system. But challenges remain. A disproportionate number of those taken into the local juvenile justice system are people of color. A concerning number of young people are facing serious charges related to guns or violence. And many are facing trauma and mental health struggles. 

Now, Hamilton County Juvenile Court is embarking on an effort with the Council of State Governments to review its practices, policies and programs to find new ways to address racial disparities, provide better outcomes and reduce serious crime among young people. 

Joining Cincinnati Edition to talk about that effort are Hamilton County Juvenile Court Administrative Judge Melissa Powers, Court Administrator Carla Guenthner and Council of State Governments Corrections and Reentry Program Director Nina Salomon.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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