Criminal Justice Update
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Criminal Justice Update

A letter from the Attorney General:

Many of Ohio’s children are practically raising themselves, as one or both of their parents are dependent on drugs and cannot properly provide for them. The chaos at home spills over into every area of their lives. Truancy, poor school performance, and behavior problems are all side effects of the difficulties these children are experiencing.

As Robert Shapiro, M.D, of Cincinnati Children’s Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children said at my office’s “Ideas for Our Future” conference in March, supportive and positive relationships, such as with teachers, coaches, or law enforcement officers, can make a huge difference to children who are struggling. (See story, Page 1.)

Another conference speaker, Eric Nation, who worked undercover in narcotics for six years during his law enforcement career, agrees.

For a long time, Nation believed that the children of people involved in the drug trade were doomed to repeat the cycle. A particular case changed his mind, and now he works for the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children. Today, he urges police to work with child-welfare agencies on cases and handle such children with care. “We have to do it differently,” he said. “If you don’t intervene,
who will?”

Another way to reach children is through effective prevention efforts. In 2016, I created the Joint Study Committee on Drug Use Prevention Education in conjunction with the Ohio House speaker and the Ohio Senate president. In February 2017, the committee issued a report on its findings and recommendations. The committee’s first recommendation was that every Ohio student receives annual, age appropriate prevention education.
Schools need greater resources to help the children who are being exposed to addiction. On June 18, my office released the committee’s Drug Use Prevention Education Resource Guide, an inventory of programs and a planning resource for school leaders to help fill the gaps in their districts’ comprehensive prevention strategies.

By using the manual, schools will be able to follow the lead of others and gather partners to further build their drug-education programs, potentially reaching more students.

My office will continue to offer resources to help schools and communities battle this epidemic. While there is still much to do, we are making progress. To read the report or the resource guide, visit

Very respectfully yours,
Mike DeWine
Ohio Attorney General