Shackling kids in court may be limited


Most of Ohio's juvenile courts always or frequently shackle kids during court proceedings but that practice may become more limited.

“Putting children in handcuffs, belly chains, and/or leg irons while in court causes psychological harm and ignores the mission of the juvenile justice system to rehabilitate young people,” said Shakyra Diaz, policy manager with the ACLU of Ohio, in a written statement. “Though it is unconstitutional to shackle adults in court without a specific reason, Ohio’s children are routinely shackled without justification or an individualized determination that restraints are necessary.”

The Ohio Supreme Court is proposing a change that would require local courts to adopt rules that creates a presumption against automatic shackling, Diaz said. “Unless a judge issues a finding that a specific child poses a risk of fleeing or harm to those in the courtroom, children should be allowed to appear in court in a dignified manner, free of restraints.”

The Supreme Court on Monday opened a comment period for people to weigh in on the proposal.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia already have prohibited automatic shackling in juvenile court, according to the ACLU.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Ohio Politics

Gravesite for ‘Buckskin Girl’ gets new headstone with her name
Gravesite for ‘Buckskin Girl’ gets new headstone with her name

It took nearly 37 years before a positive ID was made of Jane Doe whose body was found along a Miami County road, but only a short time for donations and creation of a new stone marking her grave in Troy. Marcia Sossomon King of Arkansas, who was 21 when she died in 1981, was remembered Friday with the placement of the stone and a memorial service...
Have you seen missing Preble County woman?
Have you seen missing Preble County woman?

The Preble County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help to find a West Alexandria woman reported missing. Laura Patterson, 52, left her home on foot sometime between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday. It appears she took nothing with her, according to the sheriff’s office. Patterson works in the Monroe area, but her employer...
Severe weather downs trees, ignites fire in Miami Valley
Severe weather downs trees, ignites fire in Miami Valley

The strong winds also damaged trees around the area. In Miami Twp., a giant tree was uprooted in front of a business located at the corner of Centerville Road and Graceland Street.  Racheal Cullins, who works at the business said she was on the phone when all of the sudden she heard a really loud boom. She looked outside and the tree fell had...
UPDATE: Balloon glow, flights canceled Friday night at Ohio Challenge in Middletown
UPDATE: Balloon glow, flights canceled Friday night at Ohio Challenge in Middletown

Friday night’s balloon glow and balloon flights have been canceled due to weather conditions, according to Ohio Challenge balloon pilot Sean Askren. Saturday’s events are expected to take place as scheduled. Balloon pilot Sean Askren said “everything is a go” for tonight’s Ohio Challenge, but he warned that could change...
Man accused of killing 8-month-old child in Colerain Twp.
Man accused of killing 8-month-old child in Colerain Twp.

A 32-year-old man is behind bars, accused of killing an 8-month-old child. Crews were called around 11:30 a.m. Thursday to a report of a child not breathing in the 3300 block of Struble Road in Colerain Twp. in northwestern Hamilton County. Colerain Twp. police arrived first, and attempted life-saving measures until medics arrived but the child was...
More Stories