Louis Tobin Attention Center
8363 County Home Road
Lisbon, Ohio 44432
Lori Paskevitch, Administrator
April 20, 1975, marked the dedication of the Louis Tobin Attention Center. The facility was named in honor of the late Honorable Louis J. Tobin, former Probate Judge of Columbiana County, who carried the dream of such a facility throughout his tenure. The dream became a reality on May 12th as staff began their training and preparing for an opening on May 19th. It was not until May 23rd that four boys were admitted. Imagine the anticipation and excitement of the twelve staff who were ready to start making a difference. Meals were served family style and the youth were permitted to smoke with parental consent. Leslie Arter, the secretary who has been at the facility since the beginning, stated it was very funny during those first few days when the question was, "What do we do next?" Her office included a dial phone, a typewriter and a calculator as the only office machines available back in the day.
The one-story, brick facility, located in the rolling hills of Columbiana County, consists of 20 rooms, 12 in the boys' wing and 8 in the girls' wing. Our academic program is provided by the United Local School District. Youth range in ages from 12 to 17. Guidelines are set by the Ohio Revised Code.
Anthony A. Leone was appointed the Administrator, serving in this capacity until his retirement in 1994. During his many years of service to a cause he truly believed in, he did whatever needed to be done from chasing cows off the property to sitting with a youth and talking. His first priority was the kids. He loved the Tobin Center. It was extremely important to him. At $5.73 an hour, obviously his love of children, not the prospect of getting rich, motivated his work at the Center. He was an advocate for the youth, reaching out to the community for volunteers, programs and donations. To this day, the community demonstrates tremendous support for the Center. Additionally, Mr. Leone was instrumental in developing the Chaplaincy Program, not only for this Center, but the entire MCJAS System. Mr. Leone, along with Tom Reese, who later became the Assistant Superintendent of MCJAS until retirement, developed the Responsible Behavior Program. Mr. Reese was very instrumental in developing many of the guidelines followed throughout the entire System. Mr. Leone was involved in soliciting outside agencies, groups, etc. to come to the Center to share with the youth. A young girl 14 and her sister 11 came to perform a baton twirling show for the youth. From that time on, she knew that this was the type of work she wanted to do. Little did she know that she would become the third Administrator of the facility that she loved to come and visit.
In 1994, David M. Vanderwall was named Administrator, bringing an added advantage of coming from a treatment facility. He worked to improve the skill-building program of the Tobin Center. Gone were the days of putting in a videotape and calling that programming. Staff became responsible for planning and teaching youth skills. He made some changes with the Responsible Behavior Program, which were implemented in all of the detention facilities. Computers were implemented into the Center and under his auspices, Leslie, the secretary, became competent in designing new standard forms and programs, some of which are still used to this date.
Upon the retirement of Tom Reese in 2001, Mr. Vanderwall was promoted to Director of Detention Services and Denna Bryan became the third Administrator of the Center. Her prior experience at the Alliance Girls Group Home provided her with insight to work with the youth one-on-one. Helping write policies and procedures for detention was a constant task she tackled head on. Taking on more projects was what she thrived on, even becoming an inspector for the Department of Youth Services for the State of Ohio. She was involved in community functions, doing speaking engagements and fundraising. The building and grounds were always kept in tip-top shape and you would find her every spring on her hands and knees planting flowers in the front and helping the youth plant a vegetable garden within the fenced-in area. Denna was torn with the decision at a promotion to become the Administrator for the Community Corrections Facility, but it was one she had to make.
In 2009, Lori Paskevitch, became the fourth Administrator. Her experience as a Supervisor at the Center gave her the ability to work with both the youth and staff. Her laid-back approach brings a sense of calm to the atmosphere for all. At the same time, she has the insight to anticipate and head off many problems that puts her at the top of her game. Her first priority is always the safety and security of the youth.
The MCJAS Detention Centers are dedicated to providing safe and secure environments through positive role modeling, education and programming. Youth are given opportunities to learn and utilize skills in order the make healthy changes in their lives for the betterment of our communities future.