Basic services, 2022

  • Overall

    Locally operated

  • Detention

    Locally operated

  • Probation

    Locally operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

Delinquency services in Ohio are administered at both the state and local level. The Department of Youth Services (ODYS) and local juvenile courts administer detention services.


State commitment is administered by ODYS. Juvenile courts and counties may administer probation or they may contract out for probation services.

The Bureau of Parole within the ODYS's Division of Parole, Release, and Integrated Reentry Services supervises paroled youth released from custody.

Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The Ohio Department of Youth Services (ODYS) administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities. The Bureau of Parole within the ODYS Division of Parole, Release, and Integrated Reentry Services supervises paroled youth released from custody.

Intake and diversion, 2016

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

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

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is not allowed in Ohio juvenile correctional facilities. Juvenile correctional facilities have eliminated punitive confinement but still allow confinement as a cooling off period, which requires reauthorization every 8 hours after the first 24 hours.  (Adapted from 51 Jurisdiction Survey of Juvenile Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems, 2016. Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest at Lowenstein Sandler LLP)

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

Release decisions for youth committed to the Ohio Department of Youth Services (ODYS) are made by the Department or the committing court. The Release Authority, a bureau within ODYS is an authorized body that can grant release from institutional care, after a youth who has completed his/her judicially mandated minimum term of commitment. The Release Authority is also authorized to grant discharge from supervision to youth who have been placed on parole after their release from commitment. Youth may also petition the court for a judicial release. Release and discharge decisions made by the Release Authority are predicated on input of the DYS supervising entity (Facility Inter-disciplinary Team or Parole Services), and a review of available information including risk assessments.

Risk assessment, 2020

Organization 2013 2017 2020
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

In Ohio, juvenile probation is administered across local juvenile courts. There is no statewide legislation or policy that requires the use of a risk/needs assessment in juvenile probation. However, the Ohio Department of Youth Services encourages the use of the Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS) and provides training on the OYAS for probation officers. As of 2013, the tool has been adopted in 80 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Each county has the autonomy to choose all or select components of the OYAS to implement.

Counties vary on how OYAS results are applied at the case level. Statewide aggregate data is used for ongoing policy research and to support local reliability and validity testing of the instrument. Each judicial court can use the aggregate data to assist in probation administration and organizational planning.

Sex offender registration, 2015


Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS)

Mental health screening, 2014

Does not require a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

Mental health screening tool used
Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument –Version 2 (MAYSI-2)
Ohio encourages the use of a research based mental health screening instrument for corrections and secure detention. The Department of Youth Services (DYS) administers state corrections and requires the use of Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument (MAYSI-2) in department policy. The DYS funds the MAYSI-2 and also provides training on the instrument. Local juvenile courts and counties administer probation and secure detention services; therefore there is not a required mental health screening instrument for probation and secure detention across the state. However, many counties and local juvenile court use mental health screening instruments; the DYS encourages the use of the MAYSI-2 in secure detention and offers the local juvenile courts and counties training for the MAYSI-2.

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

    Or collaboration dedicated to coordinating activities around implementing, evaluating, and sustaining EBPs

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

The Department of Youth Services (DYS), in Ohio supports the proliferation of evidence-based programs and practices (EBPs) in juvenile justice through the Center for Innovative Practices at Case Western Reserve, a state-funded resource center dedicated to implementing, evaluation, and sustaining EBPs for youth in juvenile justice. The Center is funded through multiple streams that require local mental health and Addiction Services Boards to select EBPs from a national registry. The requirements are based on the specific needs of the counties.

The Center for Innovative Practices and the University of Cincinnati provide evaluation and quality assurance support, and the state engages in many evaluation activities. The DYS provides training and technical assistance for the use of evidence-based program and practices that are funded by the State.

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Study populations

The group(s) of youth being studied in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Re-offense events

Events that are used to measure recidivism in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Follow-up periods

Details regarding the length of time and frequency that youth are tracked in states that publicly report recidivism data.

36 months with interval and adult systems reporting


Additional levels of analysis provided in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • County

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Race/ethn.

  • Risk level

  • Initial offense

  • Re-offense

  • Prior history

The Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) publishes two recidivism reports, one for youth exiting state correctional facilities and one for youth exiting Community Correction Facilities (CCF). Recidivism is the same for each report, defined as the number of youth who are returned to the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) or incarcerated in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) with in 12,24,and 36 months of release from the facility.

Data sources

2016 Recidivism Report
Ohio Department of Youth Services
Community Corrections Facility Recidivism Fact Sheet
Ohio Department of Youth Services

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.

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