MCJAS was formed under Ohio Revised Code 2151.34. A Joint Board of Commissioners and Board of Trustees is charged with the responsibility of designing, funding, and implementing coordinated and accountable services for delinquent, unruly, dependent, neglected, and abused children referred by juvenile or family court judges.
MCJAS strives to be a leader and innovator in the field of juvenile justice. The system constantly looks to develop more effective ways to address the problems of juvenile crime and violence, and works diligently to protect members of the community.
MCJAS supports and participates in the development of comprehensive, community based systems of care for children and families. The system is committed to providing high quality services which focuses on individual children and families, and addressing the problem of juvenile delinquency. Safe streets and non-violent neighborhoods are essential in order to make a positive difference in the lives of our children and their families.
The Attention Center’s primary goal is to carry out the mandates as set forth by the Ohio Revised Code, which is to provide safe, secure, and humane temporary custody of youth held by the Juvenile Courts. Youth are held for a short time pending a hearing, and possibly longer if serving a sentence by a court or while arrangements are being made for placement elsewhere. The four attention centers are operated the same to maintain consistency throughout the system and so that youth understand the expectations of staff in each center. At times, youth are sent from one center to another for safety and security reasons and this consistency makes this transition easier for youth. The focus of the attention centers is learning responsibility for individual behavior. We at MCJAS use the term “attention” center because we don’t just detain youth while they are with us. Instead, we give them positive attention they possibly lack in their lives in an effort to help them make better choices in the future.
The group homes provide residential care and treatment for youth able to function in an open or unlocked setting. Programming puts emphasis on the skills needed to return to either the family or independent adult living. Youth attend public schools and are encouraged to get jobs outside the home. Life skills are emphasized as well as problem-solving and independent skills.
The Residential Treatment Center offers live-in care for youth lacking sufficient internal controls for an open setting or who are unable to function within the public schools. In addition to group and family counseling, this setting provides a specialized school focusing on youth with learning or behavioral problems and specialized programming.
The Community Corrections Facility (CCF) receives funding through the Ohio Department of Youth Services and works in conjunction with RECLAIM dollars to offset overcrowding in ODYS and keep youth in their own communities. The CCF takes non-violent offenders and focuses its services on youth who are moderate- to high-risk on delinquency scales. The program uses a Behavioral Management System that rewards youth for positive behavior.
While each facility is slightly different, each is designed to help kids understand the consequences of their decisions and make better choices in the future. Family involvement is also encouraged.
The array of services offered through these facilities and programs provide appropriate placement approaches. MCJAS continues to be a leader in the juvenile justice field. We are continually evaluating our program and seeking better ways to address the needs of the youth we serve.