The Ohio Department of Youth Services continues to downsize, having closed three facilities and a regional parole office, and reduced its staff by 300 (13.5 percent) in the past two years, says the Columbus Dispatch. In September, another facility will close: the Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility in Scioto County.
The total number of youths held by the state is less than half what it was as recently as three years ago. A decade ago, the agency had 10 facilities and 1,949 youth inmates. Today, it has five (soon to be four) facilities housing 736 offenders, a 62 percent drop. The agency, through the RECLAIM Ohio program, is doing what the adult prison system wants to do: shrink by diverting offenders to less-restrictive and lower-cost community treatment facilities.