XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor Mike DeWine was in Xenia Friday to tour the Greene County Juvenile Court’s new Juvenile Court Assessment and Intervention Center.
According to a release, the assessment and intervention center promotes public safety by providing mental health, behavioral health, and life-skills services to at-risk youth while reducing reliance on secure confinement.
The center is part of Greene County Juvenile Court’s commitment to the Ohio Department of Youth Services’ Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.
DeWine said at the event that he is convinced that it is better to deal with issues at the local level than the state level.
“If we can deal with our problems at the local level, if the state doesn’t get in the way, if the state helps, if the state does what it needs to do but lets local judges in this case make the decision – and her staff making the decisions – we are a lot better off then housing these kids throughout the state in state institutions,” said DeWine.
The governor also said the program is beneficial because it allows judges to intervene early in a juvenile’s life.
“It’s so very important for us to intervene early in a young person’s life if they’re going down the wrong path,” said DeWine. “Many times with some good programming like you’re seeing here today, they can turn that child around and that child can become a very productive member of society.”
Judge Amy Lewis with the Greene County Juvenile Court and Ryan Gies, Director of Ohio Department of Youth Services also attended the event.