IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS by JE75Rv

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									                          IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
                                 JUVENILE DIVISION
                                 XXX COUNTY, OHIO


IN RE: CHILD,                                :             CASE NO.    01-1111
                                             :                         02-2222




                   MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF CHILD’S
                JUVENILE SEX OFFENDER RECLASSIFICATION
______________________________________________________________________

       CHILD, by and through counsel, requests that this Court consider the research and

information set forth in this memorandum and make a determination based upon CHILD’s

individualized needs and accomplishments and the interests of the community that CHILD be

reclassified as a Tier I Juvenile Sex Offender Registrant. R.C. 2152.84. The reasons for this

motion are stated in the attached memorandum in support.

                                           Respectfully submitted,

                                           The Office of the Ohio Public Defender


                                           by:___________________________________
                                           Assistant State Public Defender

                                           Office of the Ohio Public Defender
                                           250 East Broad Street – Suite 1400
                                           Columbus, Ohio 43215
                                           (614) 466-5394
                                           (614) 752-5167 (Fax)

                                           COUNSEL FOR CHILD
                              MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT

       In June 2000, then 11 year-old CHILD R. was adjudicated delinquent for gross sexual

imposition, in violation of R.C. 2907.05 and a felony of the third degree if committed by an

adult. In re A.R., Warren App. No. CA2006-09-112, 2007-Ohio-5191, ¶2 (Attached at Exhibit

A). In September 2003, then 14 year-old CHILD was adjudicated delinquent for rape, in

violation of R.C. 2907.02 and a felony of the first degree if committed by an adult. Id. at ¶3-4.

In June 2004, CHILD’s suspended commitment to ODYS was imposed and the court ordered

that a juvenile sex offender registration hearing be conducted upon CHILD’s release from

ODYS. Id. at ¶6.

       In July 2006, CHILD was released from ODYS and was placed on parole. Id. at ¶7. In

September 2006, this Court classified CHILD as a juvenile sex offender registrant and a habitual

offender.1 Id. CHILD appealed his juvenile sex offender classification. On May 17, 2007,

CHILD was discharged from the care and custody of ODYS; therefore, CHILD’s disposition had

been completed. (Exhibit B, p. 3). See R.C. 2152.84(A)(1).

       In its decision, the court of appeals found that CHILD’s classification order was void and

must be vacated. Id. at ¶38. The court of appeals also found that that because CHILD was

subject to ODYS Parole, under R.C. 2152.22(G), the trial court had continuing jurisdiction to

order a new disposition and find CHILD to be a juvenile offender registrant pursuant to R.C.

2152.82. Id. at ¶38-45.

       On January 28, 2008, this Court held a new disposition hearing in CHILD’s case and

found CHILD to be a Tier III juvenile offender registrant with a duty to register every 90 days

for life. (Exhibit B). Because CHILD’s disposition had been completed in May, 2007, CHILD

1
 Under pre-Senate Bill 10 law, a juvenile habitual offender was under a duty to register
for 20 years. See former 2950.07(B)(2).
requested this Court to conduct a hearing for reclassification under R.C. 2152.84. On March 28,

2008, this Court conducted a preliminary hearing on the matter of CHILD’s reclassification,

ordered CHILD to provide this Court with his treatment records from ODYS, and granted

CHILD’s request to file a brief or memorandum in support of his request. This memorandum

timely follows.

I.         CHILD has successfully completed his disposition and poses a low risk to
           reoffend; therefore, his classification as a Tier III Juvenile Sex Offender
           Registrant should be modified.

       On July 2, 2004, CHILD arrived at the XXX Juvenile Correctional Facility, which is the

reception center for the Ohio Department of Youth Services. (Exhibit C). On August 19, 2004,

CHILD was transferred to his home facility, XXX Juvenile Correctional Facility. (Exhibit C).

CHILD’s social worker, Mr. XXX reported in April 2006 that CHILD’s treatment began under

the “Components curriculum”, which was discontinued in October, 2004, and that CHILD

completed “zero components” of that curriculum. (Exhibit D, p. 2).

       Under the new curriculum, which was instituted in October 2004, CHILD was placed

into Phase 2 “due to the fact that he had basic knowledge of the program concepts and terms

from his participation in the [prior] CJCF program.” (Exhibit D, p. 2). CHILD completed Phase

2 in March 2005, and received the highest marks for each of the 35 topics addressed in that phase

of treatment. (Exhibit D, p. 2; Exhibit E, pp. 1-2).

       In June 2005, CHILD completed the Sex offender program at CJCF and received the

highest marks for each of the 32 skills or topics addressed in Phase 3 of the treatment program.

(Exhibit D, p. 3; Exhibit F, pp. 1-2). CHILD also completed the “Thinking for a Change”

program, the Survivor of Sexual Abuse (“SOS”) group, and the Victim Awareness class.

(Exhibit D, p. 3). Mr. XXX reported that through the SOS program, CHILD developed empathy
for his peers and for his victims. (Exhibit D, p. 3). CHILD was described by his peers and staff

as “helpful, kind, and insightful.” (Exhibit D, p. 3).

       While in ODYS, CHILD received mental health treatment and was on medication for

some of his mental health needs. (See, generally, the various psychological and medical reports

provided by DYS). In September 2005, XXX and Dr. XXX completed a summary of CHILD’s

psychological services at ODYS. (Exhibit G). The summary provides that in September 2005,

CHILD was removed from the mental health caseload.             (Exhibit G).   The summary also

provides, “CHILD does not presently present with any significant psychopathology and his

previously reported mental health symptoms are stable.” (Exhibit G). Further, the summary

notes that CHILD had been “off all psychotropic medications for approximately four months and

continues to do well in all areas of programming.” (Exhibit G).

       On July 31, 2006, CHILD was released from XXX to parole. (Exhibit C). While on

parole, CHILD’s parole officer, Mr. XXX, reported that “CHILD has maintained a crime-free

existence[,] has received excellent reports from his counselor at Catholic Social Services[, * * *]

has displayed extreme responsibility while on parole and has not shown any re-offending

behavior.” (Exhibit H).

       In March 2007, XXX, CHILD’s counselor at Catholic Social Services filed a report of

CHILD’s progress in counseling. (Exhibit I). In this report, Ms. XXX stated that CHILD

“seems to be at a very low risk for reoffending. (Exhibit I). Ms. XXX filed a final report after

CHILD was discharged from her treatment on April 9, 2007. (Exhibit J). In this report, Ms.

XXX commended CHILD and his accomplishments and recommended that he be released from

the required treatment sessions. (Exhibit J). Ms. XXX also recognized that CHILD “has

established positive support systems….” (Exhibit J). And, at the end of CHILD’s twelve
treatment sessions, Ms. XXX reiterated her previous opinion that CHILD presented “a low risk

of re-offending.” (Exhibit J). On May 17, 2007, CHILD was discharged from parole. (Exhibit

B).


II.        Juvenile sex offenders do not pose as great a risk to the community as
           their adult counterparts.

        Ms. XXX’ assessment of CHILD’s low risk of recidivism is supported by current

research on this issue. The assumption that the majority of juveniles who commit a sexual

offense will become adult sex offenders is a common myth and is inconsistent with empirical

research. “Current research suggests that with treatment, supervision, and support, the likelihood

of a youth committing subsequent sex offenses is about 4-10%.” Behavioral Health: Developing

a Better Understanding, Vol. III, Issue 1, available at http://www.oacbha.org. (Exhibit K, p.1.)

“[The recidivism rate for juveniles who commit a sex offense is] about 10 percent [which is]

lower than most other juvenile offenses, including property and drug crimes[; and it is] a

significantly lower recidivism rate than that of adult sex offenders, which ranges from about 25

percent to, for the most serious offenders, 50 percent or higher.” The Case of the Juvenile Sex

Offender, N.Y. TIMES MAGAZINE, July 22, 2007, available at www.nytimes.com. (Exhibit L, pp.

7-8.)

        These conclusions are also supported by the National Center on Sexual Behavior of

Youth, which has published a “Fact Sheet” titled, “What Research Shows about Adolescent Sex

Offenders.” (Exhibit M, p.1.) This publication outlines some of the differences between juvenile

and adult sex offenders, specifically, “Adolescent sex offenders are considered to be more

responsive to treatment than adult sex offenders and do not appear to continue re-offending into
adulthood, especially when [they are] provided with appropriate treatment.” (Exhibit M, p.1.)

(Internal citations omitted.)

       In this case, CHILD’s treatment records reflect that he was provided appropriate

treatment and has been successfully rehabilitated. Accordingly, reclassification is appropriate.

                                      CONCLUSION

        There is a delicate balance between managing risk and allowing for the growth
        that can reduce future risk. [* * *] As a society, we are recognizing the
        seriousness of sexual offenses and effective treatment, supervision, and
        incarceration options. At the same time, we are also faced with the need to help
        juvenile offenders move into a positive, non-offending adult lifestyle. We need
        to take into account the needs of all of our society’s children, both victims and
        offenders. In doing so, we will truly be helping make our communities safer. It
        is a goal we all share.

Patricia Coffey, The Public Registration of Juvenile Sex Offenders. (Exhibit N, p.8.)

       CHILD’s treatment records as outlined above support the conclusion the disposition in

his case has been effective and that he poses a low risk to reoffend; therefore, CHILD

respectfully requests that this Court reclassify him as a Tier I Juvenile Sex Offender Registrant.



                                              Respectfully submitted,

                                              The Office of the Ohio Public Defender


                                              by:___________________________________
                                              Assistant State Public Defender

                                              Office of the Ohio Public Defender
                                              250 East Broad Street – Suite 1400
                                              Columbus, Ohio 43215
                                              (614) 466-5394
                                              (614) 752-5167 (Fax)

                                              COUNSEL FOR CHILD
                              CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

       This is to certify that a copy of the foregoing Memorandum In Support Of CHILD’s

Juvenile Sex Offender Reclassification was forwarded by hand delivery this 22nd day of May,

2008, to the office of…


                                         ___________________________
                                         Assistant State Public Defender

                                         COUNSEL FOR CHILD

								
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