The two judges said the official of juvenile court will be greatly missed.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- After spending 27 years of being involved in the day-to-day operations of the Trumbull County Juvenile Court, James D. Maderitz is retiring.
Maderitz, 68, of Girard, says his last day on the job as Juvenile Court administrator will be Aug. 31.
He said he felt that the "time was good to retire" because the court is running well.
"I am very satisfied at the way things are going and I feel good leaving at this time," Maderitz noted.
Judge's comments: The county's two Juvenile judges, Richard James and Pamela Rintala, said Maderitz will be missed. Because Judge James is the court's administrative judge this year, it's up to him to appoint Maderitz's replacement, but he hasn't selected anyone yet.
"I started working at the juvenile center with Jim in 1974," Judge Rintala said. "He was my boss for a while and now I'm his boss. I have a very wonderful relationship with him and I will really miss him greatly."
Judge James agreed, saying that Maderitz is "widely respected" for the work he has done at the court.
"When Jim started, the Juvenile Court was in the basement of the old Warren library building and he worked to get us in our own building," Judge James said.
The Trumbull County Family Court is now in its own building on Main Street Southwest.
Looking back: Maderitz said when he started working at the Juvenile Court in the early 1970s, the county did not have a detention center.
"At that time the Juvenile Court could only admonish offenders and return them to the streets to wreak more havoc, since at best the court was regarded as a paper tiger," Maderitz said.
"In 1975, the detention center opened and it changed this situation immediately. We had 837 youths detained that first year."
Since 1975, the county detention center has housed 18,000 youths, Maderitz said.
"Despite these numbers, I'm pleased that no youth or staff member has even been seriously hurt," Maderitz said.
He added that he believes his biggest accomplishment was getting millions of dollars of grant money for the court.
Maderitz noted that the county's family court building was competed in 1986, but the commissioners said they had no money to purchase equipment or furnishing for the state-funded $4.9 million dollar building.
"I worked with state and local officials, and submitted a grant request for an additional $250,000 so that we could open in 1988," Maderitz said.
Secured grants: He said that since 1984, the court has paid the salaries of 10 employees through grant funding.
"We have also been able to get grants so that we can expand our services to help special-needs youth, insuring that every possible option for rehabilitation is available to them locally," Maderitz said.
He said the grants were needed to help the court handle the burgeoning caseload.
"In 1975, we had 4,500 hearings and now we have around 10,000 a year," Maderitz said. "Also, we have many more serious delinquency offenses than we did 27 years ago. Alarming also are the young ages that juveniles are coming to the attention of the court system."
He said it's difficult to remember any particular cases but said he feels privileged to have worked with the citizens of Trumbull County.
Looking ahead: "I have no major plans for the future other than golfing and spending time with my children and grandchildren," Maderitz said. He added, however, that he may also do some more work with music.
Maderitz produced the 1961 hit "Rama Lama Ding Dong" by The Edsels.
The Edsels consisted of local musicians who played around the area but got national and international attention with the song.
"I really enjoyed working with the group and I would like to devote some time to doing more of that type of work again," Maderitz said.