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New drug court for juveniles certified for Mahoning County

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning County now has a specialized system for holding juveniles accountable in court, while also pointing them in the direction to become productive members of society.

The Mahoning County Common Pleas Juvenile Division Drug Court has earned final certification from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets.

“The certification is both an acknowledgement by the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets of the challenges in our community and represents its confidence in our court to tackle these problems and provide solutions that result in positive changes,” said juvenile court Judge Theresa Dellick.

Dellick in 1999 became a county court judge, where she implemented the first misdemeanant county drug court.

For the specialized docket, the juvenile court had to submit an application, undergo a site visit, and provide specific program materials in response to standards that went in to effect in January 2014.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated the Mahoning County court and Dellick for receiving final certification.

“Specialized dockets divert offenders toward criminal justice initiatives that employ tools and tailored services to treat and rehabilitate the offender so they can become productive members of society,” O’Connor said. “Studies have shown this approach works by reducing recidivism while saving tax dollars.”

Specialized dockets are courts that are dedicated to specific types of offenses and use a combination of techniques for holding juveniles accountable while also addressing the underlying causes of their behavior. There are more than 210 specialized dockets in Ohio courts that deal with various issues.

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