Free of court oversight, Ohio youth prisons look to future


CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Ohio is settling into a new era of youth detention after a federal judge lifted court oversight of the juvenile incarceration system in place since 2008.

Officials say the daily population of about 475 youths has plateaued and is not expected to change much in the near future.

The Department of Youth Services is down to three facilities statewide and a handful of centers it contracts with to house juveniles.

As part of numerous changes to the system guards no longer wear uniforms and are now referred to as youth specialists.

Classrooms at Circleville Juvenile Correctional Facility look similar to those in schools around Ohio.

Agency Deputy Director Linda Janes says the system once treated juveniles as mini adults but now looks at them as children with still-developing brains.