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The Federal Court Ends its Oversight of Ohio's Juvenile Prisons

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The Ohio Department of Youth Services

A federal judge has ended a decade of court-ordered oversight of Ohio's juvenile prison system. 

Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.

In 2004, two child-advocacy lawyers sued the Department of Youth Services, claiming excessive use of force against children, inadequate education, denial of proper medical and mental health care and failure to adequately train and supervise staff.

At that point, a federal judge ordered oversight of the youth lockups, and the U.S. Department of Justice also got involved. That began a series of changes at Ohio’s seven juvenile detention centers.

Two years ago, most of the monitoring required in that initial ruling was ended and now, a federal judge has terminated the rest of it. 

The department has closed all but three facilities and today houses fewer than 500 children, down from 1,800 a decade ago.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.