Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice System Failing Ohio’s Children


Ohio’s juvenile justice system is plagued by unfairness and inefficiency, including youth waiver of counsel, routine shackling of children, disproportionate minority contact, and mandates that children accused of certain crimes be charged as adults. The ACLU of Ohio and its partners have released an updated version of “Report Card: Evaluating Juvenile Justice in Ohio” focusing on these issues.

The Report Card is an outgrowth of a partnership between the ACLU of Ohio, the National ACLU, the Children’s Law Center and the Ohio Public Defender to investigate the extraordinarily high rates at which Ohio youth waived their right to counsel in delinquency proceedings. Ultimately, the Ohio Supreme Court issued new guidelines through in Re: Spears to help ensure youth are adequately advised of their rights before waiving their right to counsel.

The ACLU of Ohio continues to monitor the effect of these new guidelines, and recently filed a legal brief in support of one youth whose right to counsel was violated in the case, In Re. M.W. For more information, visit our legal docket.

Check out our press release for more information.