SIDNEY — In 2016 the Shelby County Juvenile Court was a very busy court, handling more than 1,300 cases involving our youth in Shelby County.
Judge William R. Zimmerman has submitted the following report:
Juvenile Court handles a variety of child related cases, including delinquencies, traffic violations, unruly children, paternity cases, truancy charges and Children Services matters (abuse and neglect cases). Juvenile Court also handles custody cases involving children of unwed parents. Magistrate Jeff Beigel continues to handle the bulk of these custody cases as well as the grandparent visitation and child support enforcement matters.
McKenzie Lotz remains in charge of the Juvenile Court Probation Department and is assisted by Aja Dugan, Lorie Hurey and Kory Yohey, our newest probation officer. The staff remains active with youth through partnerships with the Family Resource Center (counseling), the Shelby County Animal Shelter (community service), the Alpha Center (victory garden) and the Salvation Army (Bridging the Gap).
With funding from the Shelby County United Way, the Juvenile Court will start its sixth year with its IMPACT (Imagine Making Positive Accountable Changes Together) program. This prevention program excels in assisting at risk youth and reduces their future involvement in the juvenile justice system. Amy Simindinger, the Juvenile Court liaison officer, remains the director of this excellent program.
Our 2016 successes include:
• Juvenile Court records went on-line;
• The IMPACT program implemented a social skills class in three Shelby County elementary schools called “Good Neighbor” designed to enhance social skills of children;
• Implemented CARTEENS program for traffic offenders to give greater driver safety awareness for new drivers;
• Expanded our tutoring program for at risk kids to include youth in detention or jail and to youth placed at Clear Creek Farms.
I left office on Feb. 8 to start my new job as judge on the Third District Court of Appeals. I was fortunate to have an outstanding team and believe I will leave the court in very good shape.