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Juvi court program receives Supreme Court certification

Published: June 29, 2017

AKRON––Summit County Juvenile Court’s Restore Court has received final certification as a specialized docket from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets.

The Restore Court docket addresses the challenges facing youth who become court-involved and have been identified as victims of human trafficking or at high risk of being trafficked.

By receiving final certification, Restore Court becomes one of over 200 specialized dockets in Ohio courts, and Restore Court is the first juvenile human trafficking specialized docket in Ohio.

In order to receive the certification, the court had to submit an application, undergo a site visit and provide specific program materials in response to certification standards that went in to effect in Jan. 2014. The designation will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2018, at which time the court will apply for re-certification.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated the juvenile court and Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio for receiving final certification.

“Specialized dockets divert offenders toward criminal justice initiatives that employ tools and tailored services to treat and rehabilitate the offender so they can become productive members of society,” said Chief Justice O’Connor. “Studies have shown this approach works by reducing recidivism while saving tax dollars.”

The court implemented Restore Court in Jan. 2015 and applied for specialized docket certification later that year. It received initial certification as a Specialized Docket on June 2, 2016.

That was critical to the Restore Court process because it allowed Judge Teodosio to take an active role on the Restore Court Treatment Team.

This panel is comprised of court staff and community professionals who review the cases of each youth referred to the Restore Court docket and tracks the progress the youth is making to break the behavioral cycle that brought them to the Restore Court docket.

Such collaboration is integral to providing services and establishing goal-setting for the youth in order to graduate from the program. Once that occurs, the charges against them could be dismissed and their record expunged.

To date, 61 youth have been served by the Restore Court docket.

“It is very gratifying that Restore Court has received its specialized docket designation,” said Judge Teodosio. “This will allow the court to continue to work with our community partners to offer youth a second chance at a normal, productive life and free them from the hold of those who victimized them.”