Attorney Brian Joslyn Discusses Debate Around Juvenile Programs For Mentally Ill Youth

According to a new report on the status of Ohio’s youth prison system by the Department of Youth Services, the state needs to amend its juvenile correction program, immediately.  Specifically, the Department of Youth Services is urging the state to find a way to pay for and transport juvenile offenders in Ohio who are considered mentally ill into psychiatric facilities, as soon as possible.

Safety for the minor as well as those working at juvenile correctional facilities and psychiatric hospitals is a main priority and often slows down the process, however.  Currently, Ohio has procedures to move mentally ill offenders from correctional facilities to psychiatric hospitals, but the procedure of transitioning mentally ill youth into psychiatric facilities is often lengthy due to the nature of violence commonly shown by mentally ill youth offenders.  However, both Youth Services and a state interagency committee on mental health and juvenile justice recognize keeping minors who have mental illness in correctional facilities longer will detrimentally impair the effective growth of mental health for these youth.   Now, the organizations are teaming up to look for more progressive long-term fixes.

The heated debate in Ohio’s youth corrections program surrounds whether mentally ill minors who have been found guilty of crimes should be sent to correctional facilities at all or sent directly to psychiatric hospitals in order to increase their chances of obtaining mental health.  Presently, Ohio provides two mental-health units for boys and one for girls comprised of comprehensive behavioral-health services to youths and staffed with full-time psychologists and social workers.

A criminal record, even as a minor, can have lasting effects on a child’s education and future opportunities.  Juvenile offenses can have severe punishments for a minor found guilty of committing a crime; including being placed in a secure detention facility, being put on probation, and even being charged as an adult for certain offenses.  It’s important to contact an Ohio juvenile defense attorney who is dedicated to creating a defense and protecting the rights of your child immediately after a juvenile has been convicted.

Common juvenile crimes in Ohio are Juvenile Traffic Offenders, Underage Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (UOVI), Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP), Juvenile Drug Crimes, Juvenile Marijuana Possession, Juvenile Fighting / Violent Crimes, Juvenile Stealing / Theft Crimes, Juvenile Vandalism / Property Offenses and Juvenile Sex Offenders.  Penalties vary upon the circumstances of the case, past criminal history of the accused offender and mental health of the minor.

Columbus criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn of Joslyn Law Firm can help create a strong defense for your child or someone you love who has been charged as a minor with violating a law in Ohio.  You may be concerned your child will go to jail, have a permanent criminal record or not receive treatment benefiting the positive growth for the youth. For the majority of juvenile crimes, it is wise to hire an attorney who can help your child avoid serious sentencing and/or to help position the youth into a program or situation that will best help his/her mental health and growth.

Call 614-444-1900 to set up a free consultation with Brian Joslyn to discuss your child’s case in detail with an attorney.  Joslyn Law Firm represents men, women and youth accused of misdemeanor and/or felony crimes in Columbus and surrounding areas including areas within Franklin County, Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County.  Call today to being protecting you or your child’s future.