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Breaking News – Crisis In City Jails

Breaking News – Crisis In City Jails

Bloom will also be responsible for navigating through an increase in kids facing gun and murder charges, a staffing shortage and a review of the entire juvenile justice system. After two years of double digit amounts of kids in custody for murder, there is one youth charged with that crime so far in 2023 — there were 16 in 2021 and 11 last year. Judge Bloom said in 2021 she’s “never seen” so many kids charged with murder.

Judge Kari Bloom
By: Evan MillwardPosted at 5:18 AM, Apr 05, 2023 and last updated 12:21 PM, Apr 07, 2023
CINCINNATI — Juvenile Judge Kari Bloom has added new responsibilities to her role. She took over as administrative judge for Hamilton County Juvenile Court earlier this year, when Melissa Powers was appointed county prosecutor.

In her office, on a high floor in the old Times-Star building at 800 Broadway, she’s been juggling a caseload and adjudicating cases dating to 2020, while also trying to make changes to the juvenile justice system in the county. Some days, her young daughter occupies a pack ‘n play in the corner.

As administrative judge, she is now responsible for things outside that building, too.

Bloom will also be responsible for navigating through an increase in kids facing gun and murder charges, a staffing shortage and a review of the entire juvenile justice system. After two years of double digit amounts of kids in custody for murder, there is one youth charged with that crime so far in 2023 — there were 16 in 2021 and 11 last year. Judge Bloom said in 2021 she’s “never seen” so many kids charged with murder.

Judge Kari Bloom
By: Evan MillwardPosted at 5:18 AM, Apr 05, 2023 and last updated 12:21 PM, Apr 07, 2023
CINCINNATI — Juvenile Judge Kari Bloom has added new responsibilities to her role. She took over as administrative judge for Hamilton County Juvenile Court earlier this year, when Melissa Powers was appointed county prosecutor.

In her office, on a high floor in the old Times-Star building at 800 Broadway, she’s been juggling a caseload and adjudicating cases dating to 2020, while also trying to make changes to the juvenile justice system in the county. Some days, her young daughter occupies a pack ‘n play in the corner.

As administrative judge, she is now responsible for things outside that building, too.Bloom said the court had 66 juvenile corrections officers over three shifts, when full staff is 88. Bloom said 100 officers is the goal. And those aren’t the only jobs open.

“We need JCOs, we need probation officers, we need more clerks,” Bloom said. “We need those people who have backgrounds that are different or unique. We need the people who care about kids and we need the people who want to be here.”

In 2021, the court joined an initiative with the Council of State Governments Justice Center to review the juvenile justice system and come up with ways to improve outcomes for kids while improving public safety.

The center wrote an assessment, noting a 19% decrease in admissions to the detention center and an increase in diversion rate over the prior five years. But it raised concerns over public safety and recidivism rates.A chart shows 47% of white youths and 50% of non-white youths re-offend in 12 months. The 24 month numbers are more staggering: 57% of white youths re-offend while 82% of non-white youths re-offend.

“Why? Why is that OK? Why has that continued through our court in the past? Why, when that report came out, did we not immediately stop what we were doing and fix it?” Bloom said. “I don’t know the answer to that, but that’s what we did here.”Bloom brought the center for a two-day site visit in February and has created an “overarching” committee as well as committees focused on diversion, detention, probation, violence prevention, operations and communications. A community-based commission will come eventually.

“We had them tell us the factors that lead to higher recidivism, that we didn’t know before,” she said. “We had probation, we had detention, we had our community partners get the information and then we’re going to push it out even further, as to ‘here’s what kids need, here’s how we keep kids out of the system, here’s some diversion tools to keep them out in the first place, and here’s how we support families to make sure they keep kids safe at home.'”

An area of concern for the court — and noted in the assessment — is the number of kids charged with gun offenses.

“Read More Here https://www.wcpo.com/news/government/local-politics/judge-kari-bloom-is-trying-to-reform-juvenile-justice-in-hamilton-county-she-has-her-work-cut-out-for-her

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