The Crossroads Program serves children with substance abuse/dependence problems and mental illness, most commonly referred to as “co-occurring disorders.” Juveniles with a substance dependence diagnosis can also be accepted into the program, as well as youth who may be diagnosed solely with an affective mental health disorder. The Crossroads program is intensive probation and lasts a minimum of one year. Each child has a case plan and community agencies provide services to the children and their families, including treatment for substance abuse and mental health, family and individual counseling, educational, vocational and employment services. Drug screening is conducted regularly while the child is in the program. Participants are required to attend regular court hearings to review progress and sanctions are issued for program violations. Frequency of court reviews also decrease as the children progress through the program with positive rewards offered for children who achieve program goals. The program also works with parents and children to strengthen and improve the family unit through counseling.
O.P.E.N. Court is a new video series to help youth with developmental disabilities as they enter the juvenile court system. The videos center around Henry, a 14-year-old with autism, who is stopped by an authority while leaving an electronics store with an iPad. The first video educates youth's rights and responsibilities in the juvenile justice system. The second video talks about courtroom procedures from the summons or arrest to disposition. The third video seeks to instill confidence and calm in the youth by providing positive behavior to model while in the courtroom. A companion piece for adults is also included in this free educational material. This material was created by the Ohio Bar Foundation's 2011 Fellows Class.
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