Chapter 5139-68 Release and Discharge Procedures
The release authority board members are appointed pursuant to section 5139.50 of the Revised Code. For the purpose of implementing rule 5139-68-01 of the Administrative Code, the following terms have the following definitions:
(A) Board member is defined as one of the five members of the release authority appointed pursuant to section 5139.50 of the Revised Code.
(B) Chair of the release authority (chair) is defined as a board member of the release authority designated by the director of ODYS to be the chairperson and the bureau chief of the release authority pursuant to division (D) of section 5139.50 of the Revised Code.
(C) Continuance is defined as the process of extending a youth beyond his MSED or PED as the result of a panel review.
(D) Designated release authority contact is defined as a board member designated as the point of contact for release authority information on a youth.
(E) Disposition investigation report (DIR) is a social history completed by the committing juvenile court and submitted to the reception center upon admission of a youth in accordance with sections 2152.18 and 5139.04 of the Revised Code.
(F) Discharge is defined as the termination of the Ohio department of youth services' legal custody of a youth, division (C) of section 5139.51 of the Revised Code.
(G) Discharge date (DD) is defined as the month, day and year on which a youth is officially discharged from the department's custody.
(H) Discharge eligibility date (DED) is defined as the projected month, day and year for which a youth may qualify for discharge from the department's custody.
(I) Discharge review is defined as a process whereby the release authority considers whether the termination of ODYS legal custody of a youth is appropriate.
(J) Discipline adjusted parole eligibility date (DAPED) is defined as the month, day and year for which a youth may qualify for release from the institution and which reflects all approved intervention time.
(K) Earliest release date (ERD) is defined as the earliest month, day and year on which a youth with an automatically opted in victim may have a panel release review.
(L) Expedited release review is defined as a process in which a youth is approved for release on his/her MSED immediately following the completion of the reentry plan.
(M) Expedited release review summary is the form used to document the release approval of a youth through the expedited release review approval process and identifies institutional expectations and minimum parole plan requirements.
(N) Full board is defined as a quorum of three or five board members that are necessary to conduct official actions on behalf of the board.
(O) Hearing officer is defined as a designated employee within the release authority who carries out approved duties of the board and may assist in the release and discharge decision making process, development of reentry plans and completion of progress reviews.
(P) Historical-clinical-risk management 20 (HCR-20) is a violence risk assessment tool for youths eighteen and older that structures clinical decisions about the likelihood of violent behavior, and to inform risk reducing treatment and management strategies. It contains twenty risk factors in three subscales (historical, clinical and risk management).
(Q) Initial security classification instrument is defined as a tool administered at reception to assist in determining the risk a youth poses to the safety and security of the institution, staff and youth.
(R) Interdisciplinary team (IDT) is defined as the team of facility staff responsible for communicating, coordinating and revising a youth's ITP. Minimally, the team consists of a unit manager, behavioral health services staff, youth specialist(s), education, and recreation. Other participating staff may be included, such as medical services, religious services or administration. Family members are also members of the team and encouraged to participate when possible.
(S) Integrated treatment plan (ITP) is defined as a formal strategy developed to address the habilitation, education, rehabilitation, social, mental health and psychiatric needs of a specific youth. The plan is developed by an assigned clinician or provider in collaboration with the youth, family, and the interdisciplinary team (IDT), and is implemented by the youth, family, and all IDT members who work with the youth.
(T) Intervention time (IT) is defined as additional time that delays a youth's planned release, imposed following an Institutional Intervention Hearing which was recommended by the superintendent and approved by release authority.
(U) Juvenile justice case management system (JJCMS) is defined as an electronic case management record keeping system used by ODYS.
(V) Minimum sentence expiration date (MSED) is defined as the end of the judicially prescribed minimum sentence based on the Ohio Revised Code minus confinement credit.
(W) Office of victim services is defined as an office within the bureau of the release authority which provides assistance to victims, victims' representatives and members of a victim's family (section 5139.56 and applicable sections of Chapter 2930. of the Revised Code).
(X) ODYS is defined as the Ohio department of youth services.
(Y) Ohio youth assessment system (OYAS) is a multi-layered assessment process used to accurately measure risk/needs/responsivity at various states of youth involvement in Ohio's juvenile justice system.
(Z) OPTIX is defined as an electronic imaging system used by ODYS to store youth records.
(AA) Panel is defined as a release review team consisting of at least two release authority staff, one of which must be a board member.
(BB) Parent institution is defined as the institution to which a youth is assigned upon leaving reception.
(CC) Parole is defined as the period of community supervision provided by ODYS after a youth is judicially released to parole or granted a supervised release to parole.
(DD) Parole eligibility date (PED) is defined as the projected month, day and year for which a youth may qualify for release from the institution after his/her next panel release review.
(EE) Parole on or after date (POA) is defined as the earliest month, day and year, on which a youth approved for release, by a panel or full board, may be released from the institution.
(FF) Parole revocation is defined as an action taken by the juvenile court that removes the release status of a youth for serious violations of the terms and conditions of the rules of parole and returns the youth to the department of youth services for institutionalization (section 5139.52 of the Revised Code).
(GG) Period of parole supervision (PPS) is defined as the projected number of days that a youth will be on parole based upon the youth's OYAS risk classification.
(HH) Placement juvenile court is defined as the juvenile court in the county in which a juvenile will be placed.
(II) Progress review summary is defined as the form that summarizes the progress review, identifies the next progress review date and is electronically available and provided to all required parties.
(JJ) Reentry plan is defined as a document provided to youth that identifies the committing court expectations and the release authority expectations for the period of institutionalization in preparation for community transition and a period of parole supervision.
(KK) Reentry plan worksheet is defined as a work tool used to record and document information reviewed and being considered in the development of a reentry plan.
(LL) Registered victim is defined as a person or their designee who has elected to register with the office of victim services or automatically opted in to receive release and discharge review notifications and/or to be able to provide review input (sections 5139.56 and 2930.16 of the Revised Code).
(MM) Release authority is defined as a bureau within the department that includes the board, the office of victim services and other designated staff that carry out the duties specified in section 5139.50 of the Revised Code.
(NN) Release authority designee is defined as a staff member of the release authority assigned to perform a specific function.
(OO) Release authority review schedule (RARS) is defined as a listing of a youth's approaching MSED or PED review month; progress review months, if applicable; the period of parole supervision; and, the statutory input submission deadlines.
(PP) Release decision worksheet is defined as the document on which panel members record the decision and rationale for a panel release review.
(QQ) Revocation reentry plan is defined as a document provided to youth that identifies the committing court expectations and the release authority expectations for the brief period of institutionalization, identifies parole expectations and set the POA and a period of parole supervision.
(RR) Serious incident is defined as an act that involves physical harm to another, conduct that creates substantial risk to the safety and security of the institution, or significant property damage and there has been a formal finding following a hearing that followed due process and notification requirements and there is an accounting for any institutional factors regarding conditions beyond a youth's control.
(SS) Serious youthful offender (SYO) is defined as a youth committed to the department under section 2152.13 of the Revised Code with the adult portion of the dispositional sentence stayed pending successful completion of the traditional juvenile disposition imposed.
(TT) Strength based unified case plan (UCP) is defined as the primary ODYS document that is developed by the youth and the facility social worker which focuses on the youth's strengths to address: high risk/need domains, identify and address release authority and court expectations, document special concerns and summarize youth progress and completion of programs in these areas.
(UU) Structured assessment of violence risk in youth (SAVRY) is a research-based risk assessment tool for youth ages tweleve to eighteen composed of twenty-four items in three risk domains (historical risk factors, social/contextual risk factors and individual/clinical factors). Each risk factor has a three level rating structure with specific rating guidelines (low, moderate or high). There are also six protective factor items that are rated as present or absent.
(VV) Statutory input is defined as comments or objections submitted or communicated by the court or prosecutor or victim as required in division (A) of section 5139.51 and section 5139.56 of the Revised Code.
(WW) Supervised release is defined as the release of a youth by the release authority after the youth's MSED and supervision is provided by the department (section 5139.51 of the Revised Code).
(XX) Supervised release plan is defined as the combination of the parole plan, and the rules of parole developed by the parole office and which includes any additional release authority requirements.
(YY) Youth advocate is defined as a neutral and specially trained staff person available to assist a youth as provided for in the department's operating policies and procedures related to youth intervention proceedings.
The Ohio department of youth services and the court shall adhere to the following:
(A) The Ohio department of youth services shall develop and furnish to all juvenile courts a standard disposition investigation report which the court will complete and submit to the Ohio department of youth services at the time the court transfers physical custody of the youth to the Ohio department of youth services. The report shall not be modified in anyway and each section must be completed with the most current information.
(1) The report may include but is not limited to sections pertaining to instant offense information, victim information, victim impact statement, prior court referrals, family member information, current level of family functioning, offense history of family member(s), youth's religion, youth's school history, youth's employment, youth's mental retardation, developmental disability and/or mental health issues, youth's medical information, youth's alcohol & drug history, personal/social data, youth's social security number, youth's self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses, youth's assessment of family strengths and weaknesses, summary or impressions, and recommendations for disposition;
(2) Periodically, the Ohio department of youth services may evaluate and modify the standard disposition investigation report if deemed appropriate. The courts will be notified of any changes thirty days in advance of implementation and are required to utilize the modified report as outlined in this rule.
(B) When the court commits a youth to the Ohio department of youth services the court shall, at the time of transfer of physical custody of the youth, provide the following documents:
(1) The youth's medical records;
(2) A copy of the report of any mental examination of the youth ordered by the court;
(3) The section or sections of the Ohio Revised Code violated by the youth and the degree of each violation;
(4) The warrant to convey the youth to the department;
(5) A copy of the court's journal entry ordering the commitment of the youth to the legal custody of the Ohio department of youth services; and
(6) A current copy of the standard disposition investigation report.
(C) The Ohio department of youth services may refuse to accept physical custody of a delinquent youth who is committed to the legal custody of the Ohio department of youth services until the court provides to the Ohio department of youth services the documents specified in paragraph (B) of this rule. No officer or employee of the Ohio department of youth services who refuses to accept physical custody of a delinquent youth committed to the legal custody of the Ohio department of youth services shall be subject to prosecution or contempt of court for refusal to accept a youth if the court fails to provide the documents specified in paragraph (B) of this rule.
The purpose of this rule is to provide guidelines on the development and communication of reentry plans for youth committed to the department of youth services.
(A) All youth committed to the department shall have a reentry plan developed after their admission to ODYS.
(B) The reentry plan shall include commitment expectations from the committing juvenile court and the release authority expectations for the periods of institutionalization and parole. Included with the plan shall be a schedule that identifies the youth's MSED, release review month, semi-annual progress review months if the youth's commitment is greater than twelve months, and the planned period of parole supervision.
(C) The reentry plan, release authority review schedule (RARS), release authority review processes, and when applicable the victim role, SYO, or court-ordered requirements shall be explained to the youth in person or through the use of technology upon the completion of the youth's assessment process. A copy of the plan and schedule shall be provided to the parent institution and the regional office for use in development of treatment and service plans.
(D) The youth's parent(s) or legal guardian shall receive a copy of the reentry plan and RARS.
(E) The committing juvenile court and the prosecutor shall receive a schedule of the established progress reviews, if applicable, and release reviews should they elect to submit comments prior to any of the scheduled reviews.
(F) The office of victim services and registered victim, if applicable, shall receive a schedule of the established progress reviews, if applicable, and release reviews should they elect to submit comments prior to any of the scheduled reviews.
The purpose of this rule is to provide consistent guidelines and criteria on the release authority regular release review process.
(A) All youth shall receive a release review at least thirty days prior to their MSED, unless a youth has a significant amount of confinement credit, a commitment change or a revocation which prohibits conducting the review within that time frame (section 5139.56 of the Revised Code). When a youth's review cannot be held in the thirty day time requirement, it shall be held upon completion of the assessment process and/or victim notification process.
(B) The release review shall be conducted by a panel of at least two members of the release authority with at least one of the members being a board member. The panel shall be conducted in person or through the use of technology.
(C) The youth shall be present for the panel and shall have the opportunity to present information on his/her release readiness except in cases of absentia. The youth may have an institutional staff representative at the panel to provide support and assistance with the process.
(D) In cases where the release review panel was done in absentia, the institution shall schedule a special release review panel upon the youth's return to the institution. The special release review panel shall occur at the next regularly schedule panel site visit.
(E) The release review panels shall be restricted to persons necessary for the orderly and fair conduct of the panels and shall be conducted in a manner to respect the youth's privacy.
(F) The youth's custodial parent or guardian may participate in the release review panel at the institution, via videoconference, webcam, videophone or telephone, as well as provide written input prior to the panel.
(G) The panel shall consider all input provided by the victim, the office of victim services, the court, the prosecutor, the youth, the youth's family, the youth's attorney, institutional staff, including the superintendent and the IDT and regional staff that was received prior to the completion of the panel review.
(H) A youth shall be approved for release unless one of the following occurs:
(1) There is a serious incident barrier to release. The release authority designee shall have carefully reviewed the submitted documentation to ensure that the superintendent has approved intervention time as a sanction, the youth received notification and has indicated whether or not he will appeal.
(2) There is a public safety barrier to release as the youth has been determined to pose a significant public safety risk for recidivism for violent and/or hurtful behavior. This shall be determined by:
(a) A SAVRY or HCR-20 which documents the youth's risk for violence as determined by the research based risk assessment tool with independent clinical judgment from qualified staff members; or,
(b) If the youth's risk for certain hurtful conduct cannot be measured by the SAVRY or HCR-20, the likelihood of the youth's recidivism is documented by other research-based assessment tool(s) in conjunction with independent clinical judgment from qualified staff members.
(c) The OYAS may be used to inform the independent clinical judgment. However, the OYAS alone shall not be sufficient to demonstrate a risk of recidivism for violent and/or harmful conduct.
(3) There is a treatment barrier to release. This shall be documented by:
(a) A written IDT report that states:
(i) The youth is in need of continued treatment or rehabilitation as determined by a research-based assessment tool or other instrument accepted as best practice, administered and interpreted by trained institutional staff; and
(ii) Provides a detailed description of the additional treatment or rehabilitative services the IDT proposes, including measureable goals for the youth; and,
(iii) Provides an estimated length of time the IDT believes is reasonably necessary for the youth to complete the additional treatment or rehabilitative services.
(b) A conclusion that ODYS has acted expeditiously to make the treatment or service available; and
(c) A conclusion that the treatment available in ODYS is effective; and
(d) A conclusion that the treatment or service cannot be provided safely in the community.
(e) If the committing court has ordered that a youth complete a sex offender treatment program while in an ODYS facility, the panel may rely on the court order as sufficient documentation for the treatment barrier.
(f) If the committing court does not order completion of a sex offender treatment program prior to release and there is no community registration requirement and effective treatment can be safely provided in the community; then the treatment barrier cannot be used.
(4) The panel may deny release when none of the prescribed barriers are present. An administrative override will be used as the barrier to release. An administrative override requires a full board and a written justification to the deputy director of the division for release, parole & integrated reentry services or designee. A notification of the use of the administrative override shall be provided to the director. An administrative override cannot exceed a continuance of ninety days per review.
(5) The presence of a detainer shall not automatically prevent a youth from being approved for release.
(I) If the panel does not agree on the release decision, then the chair or designee shall make a tie-breaking decision or convene a meeting of the full board to make a decision.
(J) Youth approved for release shall receive notification of the approval and be advised of any modifications to the community/parole plan and have a parole on or after date (POA) and a period of parole supervision established.
(K) Youth approved for release on a revised POA, not to exceed sixty days shall be advised of the decision and the rationale for the extension and any expectations associated with it and have a period of parole supervision established.
(L) Youth denied release shall be advised of the decision, the length of the continuance, not to exceed one hundred eighty days, the specific rationale for the decision and the expectations that will be considered at the next panel review and have a parole eligibility date (PED) established. The expectations and release conditions shall be incorporated into the youth's individualized treatment plan.
(M) The youth, institutional staff, regional staff, the office of victim services, the registered victim, the youth's family, the prosecutor, the court and law enforcement, as required by the Ohio Revised Code, shall be advised of the decision in writing within ten days of the panel review.
The purpose of this rule is to provide consistent guidelines and criteria on the release authority expedited release review process.
(A) Youth committed to the department for a felony 2, 3, 4 or 5 or a revocation and determined to be more appropriate for receiving services in the community may be approved for release on their MSED shortly after completion of the reentry plan review without a subsequent panel review.
(B) The expectations for the period of time the youth shall be in the institution, as well as for the designated period of parole shall be provided.
(C) The youth, institutional staff, regional staff, the office of victim services, the youth's family, the prosecutor, the court and law enforcement, as required by the Ohio Revised Code, shall be advised of the decision in writing.
(D) An expedited review may be rescinded due to the registration of a victim or as a result of a special release review request.
The purpose of this rule is to provide consistent guidelines and criteria on the release authority special release review process.
(A) The board shall have a special release review process to allow youth that have met their MSED and their expectations prior to their scheduled panel review to be reviewed earlier.
(B) The board shall have a special review process to re-examine release approval decisions when circumstances change and youth are no longer meeting the expectations for release.
(C) Special reviews may be requested by:
(1) The institutional superintendent (2) The regional administrator;
(3) The committing juvenile court;
(4) The release authority, or
(5) The youth through his attorney or the youth advocate.
(D) All special reviews shall be completed by a panel and follow the regular release review requirements.
(E) All special review denials shall be conducted in person or through the use of technology.
The purpose of this rule is to provide consistent guidelines and criteria on appeals to the release authority regular release review process.
(A) Any youth that has his/her release date extended by more than thirty days of continuance time may appeal, in writing, the panel decision within seven days of receipt of the decision if one of the following conditions exists:
(1) Relevant additional or missing information was not considered; or,
(2) Required treatment or rehabilitative services is disputed; or,
(3) Administrative procedures were not followed; or,
(4) Any other factor which would render the result manifestly unjust.
(B) The youth may choose to have the assigned institutional youth advocate assist him/her in the process.
(C) A youth may not appeal any intervention time as the intervention hearing process contains an appeal process.
(D) The division of legal services shall review the appeal and make a decision within ten business days.
(E) If the division of legal services grants the appeal, the youth shall be entitled to a special review by another panel.
(F) The decision of the special review panel is final and binding.
The purpose of this rule is to provide consistent guidelines and criteria on the release authority progress review process for long term youth.
(A) Youth committed to the department with minimum sentences, minus confinement credit, greater than twelve months shall be scheduled for semi-annual progress reviews.
(B) A release authority designee shall meet with the youth, institutional representatives, regional staff and the youth's family to review the youth's progress in meeting his/her goals and objectives, identify reentry needs, address any intervention time that has been accrued since the last review and discuss positive incentives.
(C) The progress reviews shall not affect a youth's release nor be used to extend his/her release dates.
(D) The youth shall be present for the review and shall have the opportunity to present information on his/her release readiness except in cases of absentia. The youth may have an institutional staff representative at the hearing to provide support and assistance with the process.
(E) In cases where the progress review panel was done in absentia, the institution shall schedule a special progress review panel upon the youth's return to the institution. The special progress review panel shall occur at the next regularly scheduled panel site visit.
(F) The progress review panels shall be restricted to persons necessary for the orderly and fair conduct of the reviews and shall be conducted in a manner to respect the youth's privacy.
(G) The youth's custodial parent or guardian may participate in the progress review panel at the institution, via videoconference, webcam, videophone or telephone, as well as provide written input prior to the completion of the progress review.
(H) At the end of each progress review, the next review month and review type shall be re-affirmed and a copy of the progress review summary provided to the youth, youth's custodial parent or legal guardian, institution, region, court, prosecutor and office of victim services.
(I) The superintendent in conjunction with the chair shall identify youth who have received recommended intervention time who should be scheduled for a special progress review to discuss the youth's behavior. The superintendent or direct deputy shall be present for the special progress review.
The purpose of this rule is to provide consistent guidelines and criteria on the release authority revocation review process.
(A) Youth returning to the department from either a judicial release to probation (division (B)(1) of section 2152.22 of the Revised Code) or a judicial release to parole (divisions (B)(2),(C)(1) and (D)(2) of section 2152.22 of the Revised Code) from a revocation shall have their time set at either ninety days unless the journal entry specifies a different amount of time.
(B) Youth returning to the department from supervised release shall be set at thirty days unless the journal entry specifies a different amount of time.
(C) Youth may have their time set and be approved for release under the expedited release approval process.
(D) If a youth is not approved for release under an expedited release approval process the youth shall be subject to the regular release review process.
The purpose of this rule is to provide consistent guidelines and criteria on the release authority discharge review process.
(A) Youth may be discharged from the department from either parole status or institutional status based on the length of their sentence and the manner in which they are leaving the department's custody.
(B) Institutional discharges may occur when a youth's sentence reaches or exceeds age twenty-one, the youth is sentenced as an adult, the youth is transferred to the custody of another agency, the youth's sentence has been vacated or the youth has met the criteria for a medical discharge.
(C) When a youth is approved for release and placed on parole status, a period of parole supervision shall be set based on the youth's risk assessment level, public safety concerns and the expectations for parole. If a youth is judicially released prior to his MSED, then JJCMS extends the PPS to the MSED or age twenty-one if the MSED is greater than age twenty-one. Upon release, the youth shall be given a discharge eligibility date (DED).
(D) A discharge review shall be requested from the release authority according to the RARS. The regional administrator shall make a recommendation for approval or denial.
(E) If the youth was judicially released or has an SYO sentence, court approval is required for any request to discharge the youth from ODYS custody.
(F) A board member shall consider information provided by the regional office and any information provided by the office of victim services, the registered victim, the court and the prosecutor.
(G) A discharge decision shall be based on whether or not the youth has completed his/her parole plan requirements or if there are public safety or treatment concerns that warrant an extension of the parole period.
The purpose of this rule is to provide consistent guidelines and criteria on the release authority information and education program.
(A) The release authority shall provide youth with information and materials about the release and discharge processes. The information shall be provided during the reception/orientation period and included in the youth handbooks.
(B) The release authority shall provide educational materials and informational sessions for the families of youth committed to ODYS. Custodial parents and legal guardians shall receive communications of all release authority decisions concerning their son or daughter.
(C) The release authority shall provide training on the release and discharge process to staff through pre-service training and periodic in-service training opportunities, as well as the provision of informational materials on the process.
(D) The release authority shall work with other departmental divisions to provide training to courts, prosecutors, defense attorneys and law enforcement personnel on the release process.
(E) The release authority shall utilize technology whenever possible to increase access to information concerning the release authority and the release and discharge processes.
The purpose of this rule is to provide consistent guidelines and criteria on the release authority constructive journalization process.
(A) At least thirty days prior to a youth's POA, the regional office shall forward a copy of the supervised release plan to the placement juvenile court requesting that the plan be journalized.
(B) Within fifteen days after receiving a copy of the supervised release plan, the placement juvenile court shall pursuant to section 5139.51 of the Revised Code:
(1) Enter the plan in its journal as submitted; or,
(2) Enter the plan in its journal with additional terms and conditions provided that they do not:
(a) Decrease the level or degree of supervision specified by the release authority; or,
(b) Substantially increase the financial burden of supervision; or,
(c) Alter the placement specified in the plan; or,
(3) Not enter the plan in its journal.
(C) When the placement juvenile court does not journalize the plan, the regional administrator or designee shall have three business days to work with the court to resolve the issues that are preventing the journalization of the plan.
(D) If at the end of the three day period, the regional office and the court remain at an impasse, the regional administrator shall notify the chair of the release authority in writing within two business days that there is an impasse.
(E) Within five business days of receipt of the notification from the regional office, the chair shall send a constructive journal entry letter to the juvenile court judge of the placement county with copies sent to:
(1) The youth from a representative of the IDT;
(2) The institution;
(3) The regional office;
(4) The youth's custodial parent(s) or legal guardian;
(5) The committing juvenile court;
(6) The office of victim services if applicable;
(7) The prosecutor; as required by the Ohio Revised Code; and
(8) Local law enforcement agency, as required by the Ohio Revised Code;
(F) The youth shall be released on his/her POA.