Mahoning juvenile court wants 3.32 percent more money
By Peter H. Milliken
The Mahoning County Juvenile Court is seeking $209,735 more from the county’s general fund in 2016 than its appropriation from that fund for this year.
The court is requesting $6,520,631 from the general fund for 2016, which is a 3.32 percent increase over the $6,310,896 it has been appropriated from that fund for this year.
Anthony D’Apolito, juvenile court magistrate and court administrator, said the increase is needed to cover increased workers’ compensation costs and the cost of expanding a nurse’s position from parttime to fulltime in the juvenile detention center.
The juvenile court uses its general fund allocation to pay for the operation of its juvenile detention center, utilities, equipment maintenance agreements, and some court personnel, D’Apolito said.
“Almost $3 million goes to the detention center alone,” including detention staff costs, out of the court’s general fund allocation, he said.
Besides juvenile detention, the court operates its own clerk of courts office and probation department, Judge Theresa Dellick of juvenile court told the commissioners in a Tuesday budget hearing. “We’re the operator of the building, too,” she added.
“It’s an entire courthouse. It’s a whole justice system,” observed Anthony Traficanti, chairman of the county commissioners.
“It’s not just a juvenile court. It’s the juvenile system,” D’Apolito told the commissioners.
Besides juvenile-delinquency matters, the juvenile court determines paternity, custody, visitation and child support as well as handling child-abuse and neglect cases and operating Mahoning County High School for troubled youths, the judge said.
Besides the county’s general fund, the juvenile court gets state and federal grants. Its total annual budget is between $8 million and $8.5 million, D’Apolito said. The court has 120 employees.
“We have 200 people come to our seminars to hear from our staff. Our staff [members] present at national seminars,” the judge said of her court’s role as a model for other courts.
The general fund is the county’s main operating fund.