The Wood County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) is located in Bowling Green, Ohio, near the geographic center of Wood County. It is designed to house 48 juveniles in individual rooms. The facility has indoor and outdoor recreational areas, a meal service program with dining facility, activity area, library, and two classrooms. Although the Detention Center is owned and operated by Wood County, contractual arrangements have been made with 12 surrounding counties in order to assist them with their juvenile detention requirements.
Necessary medical services are provided through contractual agreement with SecureCare Inc., while psychological services are obtained from the Wood County Children’s Resource Center. The Children’s Resource Center is granted access to detained youth on a twenty-four hour basis, as are other mental health professionals, to ensure that the complex and sensitive emotional problems that some youth exhibit are properly addressed. Educational programming is provided through contractual agreement with the Wood County Educational Service Center, which includes an Educational Coordinator and three teachers.
The Wood County Juvenile Detention Center provides both pre-trial and short term commitments for incarceration. Care is provided equally to all, regardless of Court status (i.e., accused, adjudicated, delinquent or unruly).
The primary goals of the facility are to ensure the safety, security, health and welfare of all detained residents and staff, as well as to represent authority in a manner worthy of respect and emulation. We recognize that the solutions to many of the long term problems faced by our residents are best addressed by the child care professionals within the many support services available to the Court (i.e., Probation Department, Counselors/Therapists, and Children’s Services).
Richard D. Schmidbauer has been the Director of the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center since March 1999. During this time, Director Schmidbauer has instituted numerous positive changes to the facility and has considerably increased the amount and variety of programming for residents.
The Director of Detention is responsible for planning, directing and coordinating all functions of the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center, with a staff of 20 full-time employees and 7 part-time employees. There are three shifts, each with a Shift Supervisor and four Detention Officers.
During the calendar year 2003, the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center staff completed 1231 hours of training, an average of about 40 hours of training per officer. Detention officers receive training in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Bloodborne Pathogen/Hepatitis B, Operational Policy and Procedures of Juvenile Detention, Juvenile Suicide Prevention, Crisis Prevention, Emergency Response, fire safety issues (proper use of fire extinguishers and use of breathing apparatus), and other basic correctional officer training. This training regimen exceeds the mandatory standards set forth by the Ohio Department of Youth Services (32 hours per year after the first year of employment), with much in-house training offered by JDC Shift Supervisors who are certified Crisis Prevention and Emergency Response instructors. Other training is often provided at either no cost, or for a minimal fee, by the Ohio Department of Youth Services, the Bowling Green Police and Fire Departments, and the American Red Cross. In addition to Detention personnel, staff from both the Juvenile Residential Center of Northwest Ohio and the Wood County Juvenile Probation Department are invited to attend training sessions.
Wood County detained 593 juveniles for a total of 7,876 days in 2003. Together with the 12 contracted counties in Northwest Ohio, a total of 1,008 (723 male and 285 female) juveniles were detained for 11,550 days. This activity generated $308,087 in revenue for Wood County. State and federal grants to JDC, totaling $20,421, combined with the out-of-county revenue, contributed $328,508 to the Wood County General Fund.
PROGRAMMING ELEMENTS OF DETENTION
A wide variety of programming activities are available to detention residents.
The Wood County Educational Service Center provides classroom opportunities to the detained youth. The educational program has been sanctioned by the State Department of Education.
The philosophy of the educational programming emphasizes an effective educational program that serves the needs of each student by using a variety of teaching methods. Each detention resident requires individual attention, thus demanding the best educational services possible. The education program provides detention residents the opportunity to:
A.Stay current with home school assignments. B.Acquire skills for meeting success with the Ohio Proficiency Test. C.Experience the challenge of expanding knowledge in academic areas including Language Arts, Math and the Social Sciences.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELING
In December of 2000, the detention center received budget approval to retain the services of a CCDC III (Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor). The CCDC is provided via contractual agreement with SecureCare, Inc., which, as stated above, also provides our around the clock medical services. This service is valuable in that an overwhelming majority of the youth who are detained report exposure to illegal substances. Substance abuse, along with the mental health issues mentioned above, are the two most significant and prevalent issues addressed with detained youth.
During 2003 the substance abuse specialist received 394 referrals for service (which equates to 39% of all youth detained in 2003). A grand total of 701 youths participated in group therapy and 483 youths were placed in substance abuse education groups (these numbers are as large as they are due to many of the youths having repeated exposure to each group).
FREE XTREME TOBACCO CESSATION PROGRAM
This past year a new program was introduced to the Detention Center. Free Xtreme is a tobacco awareness, education and cessation program specifically designed for teenage youth. The program is administered by the Wood County Hospital and is designed to enlighten young people to the inherent dangers and pitfalls of smoking. The Wood County Hospital provides the materials, along with the adult facilitator, via a grant, so that the Detention Center incurs no cost for this program.
In 2003 four sessions were held, one each in July, September, October and December. A grand total of 82 youths were involved in this program, with 70 males and 12 females.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
The Juvenile Detention Center works closely with the Children’s Resource Center to provide crisis and ongoing mental health services for detained youth. Twenty four hour access is given to all mental health professionals to assist youth. As needed, youth are allowed to be transported to mental health appointments outside of the facility.
Every Sunday afternoon the detention residents have the opportunity to attend a scheduled religious service conducted by the Wood County Chaplaincy Committee, which represents various faiths and churches in our community. On Monday evenings a representative of the Wood County Chaplaincy Committee conducts Bible study classes to aid residents in increasing personal spiritual growth and religious knowledge.
The detention facility is equipped with a small library with books and encyclopedias on hand for use by detention residents. All library materials are donated by local businesses, schools, parents and the general public.
The detention facility encourages juveniles to maintain ties with their parents and/or legal guardians through regular visits. Flexible hours are available to accommodate visitors’ working schedules. Each detention resident is afforded the opportunity for ninety minutes of visitation weekly, in thirty minute increments allotted at each of three scheduled visitation times.
The detention facility provides a recreational and leisure time program that includes organized large-muscle (cardiovascular) activity and structured leisure time. A large gymnasium and outside recreation yard are available.
OTHER DETENTION RELATED SERVICES
SUPERVISED SCHOOL SUSPENSION PROGRAM
The Supervised School Suspension Program (S.S.S.P.) is designed to assist the fourteen school districts within Wood County by providing a supervised, controlled environment for youth who have been suspended from their home school. The intent of the S.S.S.P. is to serve as a diversion from further behavior problems at school and ensure supervision in a structured setting for suspended youth.
During the 2002-2003 school year, the S.S.S.P. processed 242 youth for a total of 936 days. The average length of suspension per youth was 3.87 days. The program operates daily, 8:30am to 4:00pm, and is supervised directly by a detention officer specifically assigned to this duty.