This is a development website for JJGPS. Visit the live site »

Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Ohio has a general purpose clause for juvenile court (2000) and one for ‘criminal provisions’ (2002). The overall clause aligns most with language from the Legislative Guide for Drafting Family and Juvenile Court Acts (1969).  The other has elements about holding the offender accountable, restoring the victim, and rehabilitating the offender, which aligns more closely with BARJ.

OH ST §2151.01; §2152.01

Intake and diversion, 2016

Initial intake and court diversion decision is at the discretion of the prosecutor or the juvenile court intake officer.

In Ohio, counties establish work groups to coordinate services that must include diverting unruly youth and may include provisions for diverting delinquent youth.  When a child is placed in detention or shelter care, a complaint is required within 24 hours and a hearing must be held within seventy-two hours.

Otherwise, sworn complaints alleging delinquency or a juvenile traffic offender can be submitted by any person for most offenses. County prosecuting attorneys (DA) who wish to seek youthful offender dispositional sentences may present the case to a grand jury for indictment. A child alleged to be or adjudicated an unruly child may be assigned to an alternative diversion program established by the court for a period not exceeding sixty days after a complaint is filed or until final disposition of the case, whichever comes first. Eligibility criteria and programs for diversion are established locally and can include teen court and Juvenile Diversion Commissions.

When a complaint alleging the child is delinquent related to solicitation, prostitution, or trafficking in persons is received; at any time before adjudication, the court may decide to hold the complaint “in abeyance” for up to ninety days (plus 2 additional 90-day periods) while the child engages in diversion actions or programs. The child must agree to the hearing and successfully complete diversion actions or the matter will proceed. Other diversions for alleged delinquent youth vary by county.

Statutory time limits for pre- & post-petition court diversions exist.

In Ohio, limits for unruly youth are "for a period not exceeding sixty days after a complaint is filed or until final disposition of the case, whichever comes first." Delinquency complaints related to solicitation, prostitution, or trafficking in persons can be 'held in abeyance' by the court for 90 days and extended twice (90 days each time) for a total of 9 months to participate in certain diversion programs.

Courtroom shackling, 2015

No statewide restriction

On 7/1/16, a Rule of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio (Sup.R. 5.01) became effective, requiring local rule development on Juvenile restraints.  Local rules must create a presumption that physical restraints are not to be utilized on children appearing in proceedings before the court or division unless found necessary by the judge or magistrate.  When used, restraints must be the least restrictive necessary and applied in a manner that does not unnecessarily restrict the movement of the child’s hands.

Competency, 2015

Ohio’s Juvenile Code has juvenile-specific provisions for competency determinations and related matters when youth are alleged delinquent. The basis for juvenile incompetency can be due to mental illness, intellectual disability, developmental disability, or otherwise lacking in mental capacity. Statutory procedures align with the Dusky standard and proscribe requirements in 9 different sections for court procedures, evaluations and dispositions.

  • No juvenile standard

  • Juvenile standard is the adult standard

  • Juvenile justice standard exists

  • JJ standard includes developmental immaturity

Sex offender registration, 2015


About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

Continue reading »


Tell us what you think of JJGPS. Questions, feedback, or other comments are welcomed.

Questions or feedback »

Follow on Twitter »