Unruly/Incorrigible Youth Services Overview

Parents who are having difficulty with their teenage son or daughter may come to Youth Education & Intervention Services to meet with an Intake worker, once other resources have been exhausted. The parent and child will meet with the staff member in an attempt to resolve home conflicts or unruly or incorrigible behaviors. An assessment tool will be used to determine if any mental health or behavioral issues exist and the child will be referred to either Franklin County Children Services or Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Additionally, the intake worker will assist the parent with a formal unruly/incorrigible complaint which will be filed in the Juvenile Court and scheduled for preliminary hearing. Should services be successfully implemented the formal filing will be dismissed at the preliminary hearing. If services are not successfully implemented the Juvenile Court may issue a temporary order of custody of the child to Franklin County Children Services.

When can you File Unruly?

Once other resources have been exhausted, i.e. attempts at counseling, assessments, etc.

What is the Age Group?

The Unruly program is for youth that are between the ages of 11-17. If the youth is under age 11 please contact St. Vincent (614.252.0731) or United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH 614.885.5020) for further assistance. If you need respite care, please contact Huckleberry House (614.294.5553 or 614.294.8097).

Who can File Unruly?

The parent, guardian, or legal custodians are the only people that can file unruly on a youth.

I Want to File Unruly, but my Child has a Pending Court Date?

No unruly filing is needed. At the upcoming court date concerns may be addressed and orders can be made by the Magistrate.

What if the Child is on Probation?

If the youth is on Probation, you must contact the youth’s probation officer and he/she can address the issues that you are experiencing.

What Outcomes are Available with this Filing?

An Unruly/Incorrigible filing will result in either a referral to FCCS for placement outside of the home or services to Youth and Family. Youth cannot be held in the Detention Facility, placed on probation, or placed on an Electronic Monitoring Device.

What About FCCS Involvement?

A referral to FCCS accompanies every informal or formal filing. Their involvement is strictly for service purposes only.

What Other Services Does the Court Offer?

Referrals are made to either BHJJ or FCCS and the youth will be linked through those agency’s contacts. Parents/guardians are expected to fully cooperate with interventions by Nationwide Children’s Hospital Behavioral Heath, Franklin County Children’s Services and the Franklin County Juvenile Court.

Does the Child Need to be Present at the Time of Filing?

We prefer the youth be present at the time of filing.

What is the Difference Between Informal vs. Formal Unruly Filing?

Informal: no formal filing which means no court date.

Formal: filing and court date is scheduled.

Where are Unruly Services Located?

Franklin County Juvenile Court
Youth Education & Intervention Services
399 South Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Hours of Operation:

Unruly filings may be filed Monday-Friday during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The department is closed for a 1 hour lunch break window between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Article: Just Kids: New Report Looks at How to Keep Kids Who Misbehave Out of the Justice System

New York, NY—Skipping school, running away, or violating curfew may seem like normal adolescent acting out. But for thousands of kids every year, these misbehaviors result in being taken to court or even locked up. A new special online report documents what we know about these behaviors—called “status offenses” because they are only illegal because of a kid’s status as a minor—and why criminalizing them doesn’t work.

For many teenagers, misbehaving can be part of normal development, but for others, it’s a symptom of—or response to—an underlying problem. For example, one in every five cases of runaway children is tied to abuse. When a teenager is sent to court for a status offense—often because a school administrator, family member, or police officer didn’t know what else to do—these underlying problems may remain unaddressed and can be made worse.
Whether a kid’s behavior is normal acting out or a cry for help, the experience of being criminalized can set them on a detrimental path of further justice-system involvement that is difficult to get out of. Furthermore, status offenses push those young people into the system who are already underserved and more likely to be subject to biases, specifically: girls, kids from poor communities, kids of color, and LGBT and gender non-conforming kids.
“It’s surprising to many people that running away or skipping school can land teenagers behind bars,” said Krista Larson, director of Vera’s Center on Youth Justice. “But while it may seem like an artifact from another era, the criminalization of misbehavior is still a reality for thousands of children a year. We hope that this report helps sheds much-needed light on this issue and helps jurisdictions to stop using courts for status offenses, put in place supports that families and communities need, and ultimately, make sure that kids reach their full potential.”
The report highlights facts about status offenses and the key factors that have contributed to the cycle of young people being pushed into the system for such behavior, including:
• There were 100,100 known cases nationally in 2014 in which kids were sent to court for status offenses. However, this number is a significant underestimate because not all courts that handle these cases report the data centrally.
• In 2013, 27 percent of kids in detention—the equivalent of youth jail—were locked up either because of a status offense, or for misbehaving while on probation for a previous offense.
• The legal definitions for what makes a misbehavior turn into a court matter varies widely—for example, in Wisconsin, students can be referred to court for as little as being late to class five times. In South Carolina, “school disturbance” is defined as any time a student interferes with or disturbs students or teachers “in any way” and it is punishable by up to 90 days’ imprisonment.
• Schools with more black students are more likely to suspend and expel kids for “acting out,” while schools with fewer black students are more likely to respond with behavioral treatment and special education programs.
The report also demonstrates what can be done to shift away from this punitive approach by profiling Connecticut’s substantial status offense reforms over the last 20 years, which have helped to drive down the number of youth in the juvenile justice system to a point where the state is now looking to close its last state-operated juvenile prison.
The report builds on Vera’s more than 15 years of experience to pilot community-based, non-criminal responses to status offenses. Vera is currently working with Colorado and Hawaii to develop such responses through its Status Offense Reform Center, which also provides tools and resources to jurisdictions nationwide.  
The full interactive report, including an accompanying short documentary film, is available on Vera’s website at www.vera.org/just-kids.