Login | September 24, 2020

Court project earns fellows certificate from Georgetown

Published: March 15, 2019

AKRON––The Summit County Juvenile Court was recently informed by Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) it has won approval for a capstone proposal it presented to the CJJR and have earned membership into its Fellows Network.

A contingent that included Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio, Lisa DiSabato-Moore and Lisa Karas from the court, Superintendent David James, Daniel Rambler and Andrew Ziccardi from Akron Public Schools (APS), and Doug Sandor from the Akron Police Department outlined the details of “The School-Justice Partnerships and Diversion Pathways” program that seeks to reduce referrals to the juvenile court from in-school referrals and arrests by School Resource Officers stationed in the Akron Public Schools system.

The project seeks to develop an alternative response whereby a tiered approach will be utilized to divert youth from juvenile justice formal processing by offering support and intervention to youth and families through established Court programming, primarily the Family Resource Center. When working with families, validated screening and assessment tools will be used and they will be referred to applicable services as their needs are identified.

In an overview of the project, the CJJR noted that the proposal was “comprehensive and thoughtful. We are excited about your project and its potential to help improve outcomes for students in Akron, Ohio. By ensuring that appropriate supports and interventions are provided, this effort will improve both overall school outcomes and public safety.”

“The idea is to encourage outside-the-box thinking while maintaining respect for traditional methods,” said DiSabato-Moore. “By using evidence-based practices, we feel we can evolve the process.”

The Summit County community has gained a reputation for thoughtful innovation, specifically, its ability to build effective responses while maintaining the integrity of traditional practices in its approach to juvenile justice.

It is also another example of Judge Teodosio’s reputation for collaboration to further a court objective that has multifaceted benefits beyond the juvenile court.

“This undertaking wouldn’t have gotten traction without the support of Akron Public Schools and the Akron Police Department,” she said. “Their commitment to this project demonstrates once again what can be accomplished when you have community partnerships working toward a common purpose.”