Rep. Reece Responds To Ohio Supreme Court Announcement Regarding Juvenile Shackling
Says legislature neglecting responsibility by not tackling criminal justice issue
December 08, 2015
[ Alicia Reece Home | Alicia Reece Press ]

State Rep. and President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) today responded to news that the Ohio Supreme Court has opened the public comment period for a rule to prohibit the automatic and indiscriminate shackling of children appearing in juvenile court. The Cincinnati lawmaker has for years called for an end to the practice of juvenile shackling, and has introduced legislation in multiple General Assemblies to ban the practice statewide.

“It is a shame that the General Assembly continues to fail to protect the rights of our youth in the criminal justice system,” said Reece. “Though I welcome the news from the Supreme Court, I believe it is the responsibility of the legislature to right the wrongs of injustice. In this case, the legislature has dropped the ball by not putting an end to the inappropriate act of shackling juveniles.”

The new proposal from the Ohio Supreme Court would require juvenile courts across the state to adopt local rules governing the physical restraint of children appearing before a judge or magistrate, with the presumption that shackling will not be used unless a judge determines restraints are needed if youth’s behavior is a threat or they are a risk of fleeing.

Reece introduced House Bill 363, legislation to prohibit the practice of juvenile shackling in Ohio, in October. The bill has only received one hearing in the House Judiciary Committee thus far. The Cincinnati lawmaker also introduced House Bill 156 in the 130th General Assembly; that bill only received a single committee hearing as well.  

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