A vision that several fellow juvenile detention directors and I shared in the early 1990’s was one of uniting all Ohio Detention Administrators to formulate a group that could actively share ideas, issues, training, and support.
At an initial planning meeting in Ashtabula in 1993 that included Dan Sheldon (Ashtabula); John Rath (Lake); Tom Trittschuh (Richland); Rose Ann Davis (Franklin); Dan Kieffer (Muskingum); Greg Simmons (Miami); and Pete Holzemer (Lucas) we began our first steps to create an organization. Through the efforts of these individuals, we held our first organizational meeting by gathering as many of Ohio Juvenile Detention Administrators at the newly constructed Franklin County Detention Facility in 1993.
Our organization has been very instrumental in the foundation and advocacy of high standards of detention services in Ohio for the past 10 years.
Over 10 years have passed since we first elected officers, established goals and directions, and began our early stages of growth as an organization.
As the Ohio Juvenile Detention Director’s Association (O.J.D.D.A.), we have held many conferences, meetings, and training opportunities and most importantly as a group shared so many ideas with fellow colleagues, Ohio Department of Youth Services staff, court personnel, legislators, and have positively impacted the improvement of detention services throughout Ohio.
We have as an organization provided a forum for all detention administrators to meet each other, share ideas, knowledge, training, and just plain friendship.
Through the energies of fellow O.J.D.D.A. Presidents: Steve Norris, Tom Trittschuh, Bob Dugan, Garland Brown, and Beth Oprisch, we have accomplished a great deal and continue to provide a unified body to address detention issues with other state, local, and federal agencies (i.e. O.D.Y.S., O.J.D.D.P., N.J.D.A.O., O.J.D.S.A., etc.).
A snapshot of O.J.D.D.A. accomplishments include:
- Organizational meetings held in nearly every detention center in Ohio over the past 10 years of existence.
- We began as 28 detention centers in 1993, and have grown to 37+ facilities in 2004.
- Offered hundreds of hours of specialized trainings via conferences and networking.
- Assisted in obtaining funding grants to purchase computer systems, digital cameras, and detention software capabilities for all Ohio Detention Centers.
- Provided leadership, membership, and participation in many juvenile-related committees (D.Y.S., local counties, and various state committees).
- Given support to the state and local counties that have constructed new detention facilities.
I challenge each detention administrator to attend and actively participate in this worthwhile association. In keeping with our initial purpose to share similar ideas; we can each learn or improve our own centers by what we gain from other centers through having ideas of physical structure, programming or philosophy.
The Ohio Juvenile Detention Director’s Association’s goal is to create an active group of detention administrators that will strive to provide the best possible detention services for the youth and communities we serve.
~Past President and one of the original founders of OJDDA