The Juvenile Justice Center of Cuyahoga County is working to improve every aspect of the facility, and it's getting a little help through a federal grant. The U.S. Department of Justice awarded the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court $400,000.
More specifically, it will go towards the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court. According to Juvenile Judge Denise Rini, drug use is the biggest offense Cuyahoga County sees.
Drug court is where many of the offenders go after they're arrested. It's essentially a six-to-nine-month rehabilitation program. The offenders take drug tests every week, go through extensive schooling and get family therapy.
The $400,000 will be spread out over the next four years and will go towards the family therapy aspect of the rehabilitation.
The grant will fund contracts with mental health agencies to provide evidence-based, family-centered substance abuse.
Rini said if they can get the users on the right path, it will benefit all of Cuyahoga County in the future.
"We have a lot of youth that cross over from Children and Family Services to the delinquency side to adult prison. So, if we can catch them early, then we've really done an amazing job and we have a lot of success stories in juvenile court," she said.
Rini also said the court is taking on higher-risk cases, crimes like robberies that are drug-motivated, to get those kids on the right path sooner.