In a startling revelation last month, a special report series by the USA Today Network Ohio exposed the grim conditions prevailing within Ohio’s youth prisons and juvenile detention centers. The report shed light on the harm inflicted upon children who find themselves in these facilities, highlighting a need for reform and rehabilitation rather than punitive measures.
In response to the alarming findings, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine took swift action by establishing a juvenile justice working group. The primary goal was to address the concerns raised in the report and devise strategies to improve the juvenile justice system in Ohio. However, one critical perspective was initially missing from this crucial dialogue: the youth defender perspective.
Youth Defenders Raise Their Voices
Recognizing the importance of including youth defenders and youth advocacy perspectives in the reform efforts, the Hamilton County Public Defender’s office took an active stance. They submitted recommendations to the working group, making a compelling case for the inclusion of defenders and youth advocates on the committee.
A Positive Development
The efforts of the Hamilton County Public Defender’s office bore fruit, as it was recently announced that the juvenile justice working group will extend an invitation to youth defenders to present their insights at an upcoming meeting in 2024. This is a significant and positive development in the quest to reform Ohio’s juvenile justice system.
Why Youth Defender Perspective Matters
The inclusion of the youth defender perspective is crucial for several reasons:
- Comprehensive Understanding: Youth defenders work closely with young people involved in the juvenile legal system. Their insights can provide a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and needs of these young people.
- Advocacy for Rehabilitation: Youth defenders advocate for the expressed interests of their youth clients, and are best situated to understand what their clients’ individual needs are for rehabilitation. Youth defenders also have direct knowledge of the unique barriers to rehabilitation and success that youth in their community face.
- Legal Expertise: Youth defenders bring legal expertise to the table, ensuring that any reforms or recommendations consider constitutional and statutory rights.
- Balanced Decision-Making: Inclusion of multiple perspectives, including youth defenders, ensures a more balanced and informed decision-making process, increasing the likelihood of effective reforms.
The recent inclusion of youth defenders in Ohio’s juvenile justice reform working group marks a significant step forward in addressing the urgent issues facing the state’s youth detention centers and prisons. Their unique perspectives will play a crucial role in shaping a more just and compassionate juvenile justice system in Ohio. As we look ahead to 2024, the voices of youth defenders and advocates promise to be a driving force for positive change in the lives of youth in the Ohio juvenile legal system.
In a promising development for drivers in Ohio facing financial burdens and driver’s license suspensions, According to TheMarshallProject, the Ohio Senate is considering a bill that could potentially bring relief. The proposed legislation aims to address the issue of driver’s license suspensions due to unpaid fines and fees, offering a lifeline to those who find themselves caught in a cycle of debt and legal consequences.
The Issue at Hand
Currently, many individuals in Ohio have their driver’s licenses suspended for non-driving related reasons, primarily due to unpaid court fines, fees, or traffic violations. This practice not only places a heavy burden on affected drivers but also exacerbates financial difficulties, making it challenging for them to meet their obligations and responsibilities.
The Proposed Solution
The Ohio Senate Bill, still under consideration, seeks to alleviate this problem by taking a more compassionate approach. If passed, the bill would provide a path to have driver’s licenses reinstated for those who have had them suspended solely due to financial reasons. This would be a welcome change for many Ohio residents who are struggling to balance their finances and meet their legal obligations.
The Potential Impact
If the bill becomes law, it could have several positive outcomes:
- Financial Relief: Drivers who have had their licenses suspended due to unpaid fines and fees may finally find relief from the financial burden that has been weighing them down.
- Increased Employment Opportunities: The ability to drive legally can open up job opportunities, enabling affected individuals to better support themselves and their families.
- Reduction in Uninsured Drivers: Legalizing drivers who were previously suspended could lead to more insured drivers on the road, contributing to overall road safety.
- Streamlined Legal Process: The bill could also help reduce the strain on the legal system, as fewer cases related to suspended licenses would need to be processed.
The Ohio Senate Bill addressing driver’s license suspensions due to unpaid fines and fees represents a potential turning point in the state’s approach to this issue. By offering a path to reinstatement, it could bring much-needed relief to many Ohio residents who have faced the consequences of suspended licenses. While the bill is still under review, its potential to provide a second chance and a fresh start for affected individuals is a step in the right direction towards a more equitable and compassionate legal system.
Bringing Halloween Magic to Every Child in the community! This year, we’re thrilled to be apart of the annual Trick-or-Treat at Findlay Market, a heartwarming community event.
We believe in making Halloween safe, fun, and unforgettable for all kids in our community, and we couldn’t of done it without YOUR help! We hosted a costume and candy drive at the Public Defender Office, Where employees from the office donated gently used costumes or sealed, original packaging candy. 700 costumes were passed out in under 40 minutes!
But that’s not all, over 10,000 pieces of candy were given out on 10/31 from 4-6 pm.
Halloween is a magical time for kids, and your generosity made it even more enchanting. 🎃✨
Once upon a time in Cincinnati, there lived a young man named Dahmere Epperson. From an early age, his destiny seemed clear: he was meant to dominate the basketball court. His journey began at Roger Bacon High School, where he quickly rose to become a standout athlete, capturing the hearts of fans and the attention of scouts.
Chapter 1: A Rising Star
Dahmere’s senior year at Woodward High School was supposed to be his grand finale, a season destined for glory. His talent on the court was undeniable, and he dreamt of leading his team to a championship. But fate had other plans.
Chapter 2: A Heartbreaking Diagnosis
Just as the season was about to tip off, Dahmere received a devastating diagnosis: dilated cardiomyopathy. His heart, once his most significant asset, was now his greatest liability. The doctors delivered the crushing news that he couldn’t play basketball during his senior year, and his dreams seemed shattered.
Chapter 3: A New Path Unfolds
Despite the setback, Dahmere refused to let adversity define him. He channeled his energy into academics and found solace in broadcasting at The University of Akron. He joined WZIP 88.1 FM, the university’s radio station, and discovered a new passion for the airwaves there.
Chapter 4: The College Radio Maverick
Dahmere’s talent for radio didn’t go unnoticed. He became an influential voice on campus and was elected President of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). His dedication and charisma set him on a path toward a career in broadcasting.
Chapter 5: A Star Rises in Cleveland
After graduating in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Dahmere ventured to Cleveland to begin his career in radio. He found a home at WENZ (Z107.9), where his dynamic presence resonated with listeners and catapulted him to stardom in the city’s competitive radio scene.
Chapter 6: Returning Home with a Purpose
Despite his success in Cleveland, Cincinnati called him back. The home was where his heart truly belonged. Dahmere joined WIZF 101.1 The Wiz, becoming a beloved voice in his hometown.
Chapter 7: A New Calling
But Dahmere’s journey had one more twist in store. He discovered a passion for social justice and advocacy. He combined his love for communication with his desire to make a difference. In a surprising turn, he joined the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office as a Communication and Policy Specialist, using his voice to advocate for justice.
Dahmere Epperson’s remarkable journey from a basketball star to a radio maverick to a passionate advocate is a testament to his resilience, adaptability, and unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on the world. From the court to the airwaves to the halls of justice, his story continues to inspire those who hear it.
Findlay Market in Cincinnati is hosting its annual Trick-or-Treat event, and they’re calling on local schools, non-profits, and community groups to join in. The event is not just about trick-or-treating but also a heartfelt costume and candy drive to make Halloween special for children in the community. They are collecting new or gently used costumes and sealed, original-packaging candy donations. The event will take place on October 31st from 4-6 pm. Additionally, cash donations are accepted to purchase costumes and candy. It’s an opportunity for the community to come together and ensure that every child can enjoy the magic of Halloween.
Halloween, a time of spookiness, creativity, and, most importantly, endless treats, is just around the corner. In the heart of Cincinnati, Findlay Market is once again gearing up to host its favorite community event of the year – Trick-or-Treat at Findlay Market. However, this celebration isn’t complete without the support of Cincinnati schools, non-profits, and community groups like yours. This year, Findlay Market is calling on all of us to come together to make this event truly special.
One of the standout features of this event is the annual costume and candy drive aimed at making Halloween memorable for kids in our community. Imagine the joy a child experiences when they get to dress up as their favorite superhero, princess, or spooky creature. Now, picture a world where every child has that opportunity.
Findlay Market is on a mission to make that world a reality. They’re asking for your help – either by organizing a drive at your school or organization or by donating individually. It’s a small effort that can have a huge impact. The rules are simple: costumes can be new or gently used, and candy must be completely sealed in its original packaging.
Your contributions, whether costumes or candy, help ensure that every child has a chance to experience the enchantment of Halloween. In a time where the world can seem a little daunting, these small acts of kindness can brighten a child’s day, create beautiful memories, and spread the spirit of community.
Moreover, if you’re keen to get even more involved, you can volunteer at the event or bring your little ones for what promises to be the best trick-or-treating in town. The event takes place on October 31st from 4 to 6 PM, and it’s an opportunity for everyone to come together, have fun, and celebrate this wonderful holiday.
For those who have costumes or candy to spare, donation bins are available at convenient locations around Cincinnati. You can find them on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the 230 East 9th St Building, as well as on the 9th floor at 125 E Court Street. The deadline for donations is October 25th. If you prefer to make a monetary contribution, Vivian Zieverink (email@example.com) has graciously volunteered to accept cash donations, which will be used to purchase costumes and candy for those in need.
Halloween is a special time for children, a day when imagination runs wild, and the thrill of collecting sweets fills the air. Your donations, whether it’s a witch’s hat, a superhero cape, or a bag of candy, go a long way in ensuring that every child in our community has an opportunity to experience the fullness of Halloween.
So, Cincinnati, let’s join hands and hearts to make this Halloween season a bit brighter and a lot sweeter for our community’s kids. Findlay Market’s Costume and Candy Drive is a chance for us to show that in our community, the spirit of Halloween is one of kindness, sharing, and togetherness. Thank you for your generosity, and let’s make this Halloween a truly enchanting experience for all.
In the realm of law and justice, few achievements are as illustrious as taking a case to the United States Supreme Court. At the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office, we recently celebrated two remarkable journeys to the highest court in the land, reflecting our commitment to upholding constitutional rights and securing justice for those we represent.
Jessica Moss and the Triumph for D.R. (Case No. 22-864)
Jessica Moss, a dedicated advocate from our Youth Defense Division, stood resolute as she represented a minor, D.R., in opposition to the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari filed by the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office in United States Supreme Court, Case No. 22-864.
D.R.’s story began with an adjudication that classified him as a Tier I sex offender, carrying the lowest level of classification and the least restrictive reporting requirements. However, as his sentence concluded, the Hamilton County Juvenile Court determined it lacked the discretion to remove him from mandatory sex registration obligations.
The journey of legal battles unfolded as the First District reversed the Juvenile Court’s decision, and an affirmation by the Ohio Supreme Court followed, citing constitutional clauses. Jessica Moss opposed the state’s cert petition.
The pivotal question presented was whether the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause entitled juvenile sex offenders to hearings where courts had discretion to lift statutorily mandated sex offender registration obligations. Jessica and Professor Banner reframed the question to challenge the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision.
On June 12, 2023, the Supreme Court denied the State’s petition, refusing to review the case. Jessica and Professor Banner prevailed on
behalf of D.R., who was freed from any sex offender registration requirements.
Sarah Nelson’s Battle for Fourth Amendment Rights (Case No. 22-978)
Sarah Nelson, an exceptional attorney from our Appellate Division, alongside Professor Banner, represented Jackie Jackson in filing a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to review the judgment of the Supreme Court of Ohio in the United States Supreme Court, Case No. 22-978.
The heart of the matter revolved around a critical question: “Where one police officer opens the door of a car, and another officer looks through the open door for contraband, have the police conducted a ‘search’ of the car within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment?”
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution safeguards against unreasonable searches and seizures, a cornerstone of individual rights. In this case, a seemingly routine traffic stop unfolded into a complex legal battle. As eight officers converged on Mr. Jackson’s car, suspicions of dark window tint arose, yet none of them possessed a window tint meter.
One officer opened the car door, while another looked inside and discovered a weapon, leading to charges against Mr. Jackson. His motion to suppress the evidence was denied, and the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed this decision by a vote of 5-2.
While hope lingered for the acceptance of this case by the United States Supreme Court, it was dashed when news arrived that the petition was denied.
Celebrating Dedication and Resilience
Regardless of the outcomes, these two cases underscore the unwavering commitment of our legal professionals to protect the rights and liberties of our clients. We take pride in the tireless work of our attorneys and staff, who champion justice every day.
Please join us in congratulating Jessica and Sarah. Their dedication and resilience exemplify the values we hold dear at the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office as we continue to strive for justice for all.
In the realm of justice and compassion, there are individuals whose unwavering dedication brings about transformative change. Angela Chang, a remarkable advocate and visionary leader, is one such individual. Angela’s recent achievement in partnering with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office to secure a significant juvenile grant from the U.S. Department of Justice marks a turning point in the lives of countless young individuals across the state.
A Beacon of Hope for Ohio’s Youth
In a world where the future of our youth often faces daunting challenges, Angela Chang’s relentless commitment to change is nothing short of inspiring. This recent accomplishment is a testament to her vision and passion for empowering young people who have encountered the juvenile justice system.
The grant obtained, in partnership with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office, is set to provide essential funding for services tailored to the needs of youth transitioning out of the Department of Youth Services (DYS) system. This initiative promises to profoundly impact the lives of youth statewide, offering them a chance at a brighter, more promising future as they return to their homes and communities.
Acknowledging Angela’s Outstanding Leadership
Angela Chang’s dedication to this cause cannot be overstated, and her leadership has been instrumental in driving this initiative forward. Her tireless efforts, strategic thinking, and unwavering determination led to her successfully acquiring this crucial grant. Angela’s commitment to justice and compassion shines brightly through this achievement, and it will undoubtedly leave a lasting legacy for years to come.
Recognizing the Collaborative Spirit
Angela Chang’s humility and inclusivity are evident as she shares credit and recognition with her dedicated team. Mitigation Specialists Kyesha Dotson and Allison Todd played pivotal roles in shaping the grant proposal, from ideation to execution. Their extensive research, community engagement, and collaborative efforts were essential in making this vision a reality.
Furthermore, Angela extends her gratitude to attorneys Caitlin Ward and Elizabeth Zilberberg for their invaluable contributions to the development of the grant idea. Their legal expertise and commitment to social justice were integral to the successful application process.
A Bright Future for Ohio’s Youth
As we celebrate Angela Chang’s outstanding achievements and the collaborative efforts of her team, we also look forward to the positive changes this grant will bring to the lives of young individuals who deserve a second chance. Angela’s work is a shining example of how, through compassion and determination, we can create a brighter future for our youth and, in turn, our communities.
In Angela Chang’s pursuit of justice and compassion, Ohio’s youth have found a true champion, and her unwavering commitment continues to illuminate the path toward a more equitable and compassionate society.
Hamilton County Public Defenders Newsletter: October 2023 Edition
In this Issue:
1. Fresh Start Clinic: Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the Month
2. Youth Justice Awareness Month
3. November 10th: Veterans Day CLE
4. December 21st: Kindness for Kids
5. Milestones of Dedication
1. Fresh Start Clinic: Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the Month
Looking for a fresh start? Join us at our Fresh Start Clinic, held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Our dedicated team of legal experts is here to provide guidance and support on a variety of legal issues. Whether you need help with expungement, record sealing, or legal advice, we’re here for you. The last set of 5 appointments is at 3:00
When: Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the Month
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Where: Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office, 125 East Court Street, 9th Floor
2. Youth Justice Awareness Month
October is Youth Justice Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the unique challenges young people face in the justice system. Stay tuned for special events, workshops, and educational opportunities throughout the month as we work together to advocate for a fair and just juvenile justice system. Here’s a guide to Juvenile Court scan the QR Code Below:
3. November 10th: Veterans Day CLE
In honor of Veterans Day, join us for a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) event on November 10th. This special program will focus on legal issues affecting veterans and active-duty military personnel. Earn CLE credits while gaining valuable insights into the legal needs of our veterans.
Date: Friday, November 10th
Time: 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: Sharonville Convention Center 11355 Chester Road Cincinnati, OH 45246
4. December 21st: Kindness for Kids
Spread some holiday cheer with our “Kindness for Kids” event on December 21st. Join us in making a difference in the lives of children in need during this festive season. Stay tuned for more details on how you can participate and bring smiles to children’s faces.
Celebrating Milestones of Dedication!
It’s with immense pride and admiration that we extend our warmest congratulations to three exceptional individuals who have dedicated their hearts and souls to the cause of justice at Hamilton County’s Public Defender Office:
🌟 Robin Eisele – 30 Years of Service
🌟 Sandra Oglesby – 20 Years of Service
🌟 Niki Carroll – 15 Years of Service
Each of these remarkable individuals has exemplified unwavering commitment, compassion, and expertise in their roles, making a profound impact on our clients and our community.
Robin Eisele, with three decades of service, has been a beacon of wisdom and guidance. Her dedication to justice and her unparalleled knowledge have been invaluable assets to our team.
Sandra Oglesby, celebrating two decades of service, has shown extraordinary tenacity and resilience. Her tireless advocacy for those in need has left an indelible mark on our organization.
Niki Carroll, with 15 years of service, embodies passion and dedication. Her unwavering commitment to our mission has inspired us all to strive for excellence.
We are profoundly grateful for your years of service, commitment, and the positive change you’ve brought to countless lives.
Please join us in celebrating these incredible milestones and expressing our deepest gratitude to Robin, Sandra, and Niki for their unwavering dedication to justice and their enduring contributions to our community.
Here’s to many more years of impactful service and making a difference in the lives of those who need it most!
Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and opportunities to engage with your community. Follow us on social media and visit our website for the latest updates.
– Website: https://www.hamiltoncountypd.org/
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hamiltoncountypd
– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hamcopubdef/
For inquiries or more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (513)-946-3732.
Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office
230 East Ninth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Copyright © 2023 Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office. All rights reserved.
Angela Chang, an esteemed advocate for youth empowerment, has led the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office to launch the groundbreaking “Knowing Your Rights” campaign. This initiative aims to educate young people and parents on the importance of understanding their legal rights, the potential negative impacts of background checks, and the support available through 504 Plans and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
In a world where information is power, Angela Chang and the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office recognize the pressing need to equip young individuals, parents, and guardians with the knowledge and resources necessary to protect themselves in various situations. The campaign seeks to empower youth to make informed decisions and navigate life’s challenges more effectively by educating youth about their rights.