FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Two Allen County juvenile justice judicial officers have been picked to participate in a state-level review of youth justice in Indiana.

The Youth Justice Oversight Committee was formed by the Indiana General Assembly this year. The 20-member committee and six working groups, made up of juvenile justice authorities from around the state, has been tasked with developing plans to improve juvenile justice statewide.

Magistrate Carolyn Foley will serve on the main Youth Justice Oversight Committee. Judge Andrea Trevino, administrative judge of the Court’s Family Division, will Co-Chair a working group created to develop risk screening and needs assessment tools related to decision-making and diversion programs. The group will also work on a detention tool to evaluate the use of secure detention for juveniles.

Trevino will also Chair the Indiana Supreme Court’s Juvenile Justice Improvement Committee, which serves as liaison with state and private agencies that work with juveniles to discuss policy matters that affect juveniles and review recent legislation concerning juveniles and juvenile courts.

Both Foley and Trevino serve at the Allen County Juvenile Center.

“This is the most comprehensive review in decades of juvenile justice in Indiana,” said Magistrate Foley. “It is a powerful statement about the work we do in Allen County that two judicial officers from Superior Court are included in the leadership of this project. It is important to our community that we be at the table.”

“It is exciting to be part of a generational review of how we deal with juveniles in the justice system,” added Judge Trevino. “We know more now than ever before about what works and what does not when it comes to juvenile matters. Our Legislature has done a great service by giving us a chance to make Indiana’s juvenile justice system state-of-the-art.”

The Youth Justice Oversight Committee was established to:

  • Develop a plan to collect and report statewide juvenile justice data
  • Establish procedures and policies related to the use of certain screening tools and assessments
  • Develop a statewide plan to address the provision of behavioral health services to children in the juvenile justice system
  • Develop a plan for the provision of transitional services for a child in the custody of the Indiana Department of Corrections
  • Develop a plan for the juvenile diversion and community alternatives grant programs.

The committee will submit its recommendations by July 1, 2023.