Montgomery County juvenile judge becomes president of national group

Opioid crisis, loss of respect making jobs more complicated for judges, Capizzi says.


An opioid crisis tearing apart families across the country and a diminishing respect shown judges – from those even at the highest level of government – have made working in the judiciary vastly more complicated.

They are two challenges that Judge Anthony Capizzi said will be at the forefront of his efforts as the new president of the nation’s oldest organization devoted to juvenile and family courts issues.

» RELATED: Judge helps kids, families reclaim futures

The Montgomery County Juvenile Court judge since 2004 will be sworn in today as the president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Association (NCJFCJ).

“Our jobs are getting tougher,” he said. “The reality is, the cases we have now are much more complex.”

Capizzi said the judiciary has been under stress this year as the integrity and credentials of judges are called into question for political purposes by some, including the current administration in Washington.

“I think that kind of language filters down to the general population. They begin to question the quality and ethics of the judges,” he said. “My tenure this year is critical in re-establishing the faith that people at the local level have in the quality, the ethics and educational background of the judicial officers they expect to serve them properly.”

» RELATED: Montgomery County picked for juvenile court drug project

Capizzi said as president of the 2,000-member association, he will not overlook the organization’s primary goal, which is to help teach judges and other judicial officers around the country best practices for serving children and families.

The NCJFCJ reaches an estimated 30,000 professionals in the juvenile and family justice system including judges, referees, commissioners, court masters and administrators, social and mental health workers, police, and probation officers, according to the organization.

Those professionals here in Ohio and across the country working in youth courts have been dragged into a problem that once touched only adults directly, he said.

“I can tell you three years ago I never had a child in my court have a test positive for opioids,” he said. “It’s sad to say, it is no longer a shock to have a child testing positive for heroin, fentanyl. Probably 20 percent of the youth in my treatment program right now are abusing those kinds of drugs.”

Capizzi’s specialty drug court now sees 20 to 120 juveniles a week.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor will swear in Capizzi today in Washington, D.C. at the association’s annual conference. He will become the 73rd president of the organization based in Reno, Nev.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Gunshot victim, suspect argue before shooting in Xenia, police say
Gunshot victim, suspect argue before shooting in Xenia, police say

A male was shot tonight at the intersection of Pocahontas and South Detroit streets after a report of an altercation between the suspect and victim, police said. A Xenia detective at the crime scene did not say whether the victim was an adult or juvenile, and said his condition was not available. Police also did not release information about the suspect...
Hostage report leads to Fairfield Twp. SWAT call
Hostage report leads to Fairfield Twp. SWAT call

SWAT officers busted into a house Sunday night amid concerns a hostage could be inside. The breach around 7:15 p.m., which involved a type of concussion grenade, ended the hourslong law enforcement activity in the 1800 block of Pater Avenue with no one found inside the home. Fairfield Twp. police were called around 2 p.m. to a report of a “domestic...
How some local students are spreading kindness through their school
How some local students are spreading kindness through their school

Mason Intermediate students recently found a unique way to spread kindness through their school The “Snowball Challenge” consisted of students sharing thoughtful words throughout the school - specifically on crafted snowballs taped to lockers, and teacher and staff doors. The students were handed a very simple template, and were then instructed...
Trotwood police investigate assault that shuts down road
Trotwood police investigate assault that shuts down road

Trotwood police are investigating an assault Sunday near Meadowdale Elementary School. Crews were dispatched at 2:40 p.m. to Goldenrod Court in Trotwood on a report of a suspicious circumstance involving a vehicle.  The investigation shut down Goldenrod Court at Thompson Drive. Police on scene said it was an assault, but did not discuss the nature...
Boy with 10-pound tumor on face dies after surgery in Florida
Boy with 10-pound tumor on face dies after surgery in Florida

A 14-year-old boy who recently underwent surgery to remove a 10-pound tumor from his face has died, according to news reports. Emanuel Zayas developed the benign tumor while suffering from polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a genetic disorder in which fibrous tissue begins to replace bone in the body. “Our condolences and prayers for Emanuel's family...
More Stories