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Could preventing child abuse lead to fewer youths in the juvenile justice system?

Sad boy sits alone in this black and white photo.
kieferpix/Getty Images
Sad boy sits alone.

Many children who are survivors of abuse and neglect later become involved in the juvenile justice system. And young people who have been embroiled in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems experience recidivism at higher rates. That's according to the federal website

In an op-ed, Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Kari Bloom wrote that nearly every defendant in her courtroom has a history of childhood trauma.

"Whether physical abuse, neglect from parents, abandonment, exposure to addiction and violence, or the evergreen effects of poverty," she wrote. "It's so common that we expect past trauma to be characteristic of the kids we serve."

In Hamilton County alone, thousands of children are affected.

In 2022, Hamilton County Job & Family Services received more than 51,000 calls to the 241-KIDS hotline where people can report suspected abuse or neglect.

And Hamilton County Juvenile Court heard just over 1,300 cases of abuse, neglect or dependency.

On Cincinnati Edition, we'll discuss what all of us can do to prevent child abuse and how to recognize and report abuse or neglect when it's happening.


  • Kari Bloom, Hamilton County Juvenile Court judge
  • Margie Weaver, Hamilton County Job & Family Services Children’s Services director
  • Pamela Joy Miller, Deputy Director at the Center for Child Policy, a child maltreatment think tank

April is national Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.

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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