Reasoned and


Community and


Alternatives to the

Incarceration of

RECLAIM Ohio is a funding initiative which encourages juvenile courts to develop or purchase a range of community-based options to meet the needs of each juvenile offender or youth at risk of offending. By diverting youth from Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) institutions, courts have the opportunity to increase the funds available locally through RECLAIM.

History of RECLAIM
In response to a growing need for local alternatives for juvenile courts and overcrowding in DYS institutions, the RECLAIM Ohio initiative (Reasoned and Equitable Community and Local Alternatives to the Incarceration of Minors) was created on July 1, 1993, in House Bill 152.

In January 1994, DYS launched the RECLAIM Ohio pilot program, with nine counties participating:

The pilot counties were selected based on their proposals and projected reduction in commitments to DYS. During that year, the pilot counties had a 42.7% decrease in commitments to DYS compared to 1993. Some operational changes were made to RECLAIM as a result of lessons learned from the pilot.

RECLAIM was implemented statewide in January 1995. From that time through June 2003, RECLAIM was operated as follows:

The juvenile courts received a yearly allocation (distributed monthly) from DYS for the local treatment of youthful offenders and at-risk youth.

From these allocations, deductions were made based on per diem costs for youth in the care of an institution or community corrections facility. The deduction for an institutional bed was 75% of the daily rate and the deduction for a community corrections facility bed was 50% of the daily rate.

Each month, after the court’s total incarceration costs were subtracted from the monthly allocation, any remaining funds were paid to the court for use in community-based programming.

One of the core principles of RECLAIM since its inception has been collaboration between DYS and the juvenile courts. DYS has hosted regular meetings with court staff throughout the initiative to share program ideas, provide training and seek input on changes to RECLAIM. This initiative has been—and continues to be—an evolving one.
Reinventing RECLAIM
For the State Fiscal Year 2004-2005 biennium budget, fiscal realities required DYS to restructure RECLAIM so that the infrastructure costs for the courts, community corrections facilities and institutions were stable. The challenge was to maintain funding for all of these entities consistent with recent fiscal years, while retaining incentives similar to those already in place for the courts.

To address this need for change, DYS worked with juvenile court judges and other juvenile court staff, including a budget committee. The result for State Fiscal Year 2005 was an annual formula that preserved much of the flexibility and incentives of RECLAIM (described in the How RECLAIM Works section). In order to facilitate a smooth transition, for State Fiscal Year 2004, RECLAIM funding to courts was based on funding earned in State Fiscal Year 2003.
Beginning with State Fiscal Year 2005, the juvenile court RECLAIM Ohio allocations are based on a four-year average of felony adjudications, with deductions for DYS and community corrections facility bed day usage in the prior year (beginning with State Fiscal Year 2013, the average extends by one year each year until a 10-year average is reached). Unlike the original version of RECLAIM, the amount allocated is the actual amount a court receives. There is no longer a per diem charge for beds used during the current year.

Here’s how the formula works:
Under the formula, each court is given a number of “credits” based on the court’s average number of youth adjudicated for felony offenses. Those credits are reduced by one credit for each chargeable DYS bed day used during the previous year and 2/3 credit for each chargeable community corrections facility bed day used during the previous year. Each court’s percentage of the remaining credits statewide translates into that court’s percentage of the total RECLAIM funds allocated to the courts.

Public Safety Beds
Chargeable bed days do not include a category of commitments called public safety beds. A court’s RECLAIM funding is not reduced as a result of youth in public safety beds, which are defined in Ohio Revised Code section 5139.01(A)(13). These include all Category One offenses and all Category Two offenses except for Aggravated Robbery and Aggravated Burglary:

Category One
  • Aggravated Murder
  • Attempted Aggravated Murder
  • Murder
  • Attempted Murder

Category Two
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Voluntary Manslaughter
  • Involuntary Manslaughter (only Felony 1 is a public safety bed)
  • Felonious Sexual Penetration
  • Aggravated Arson
  • Aggravated Robbery (not a public safety bed)
  • Aggravated Burglary (not a public safety bed)

Public safety beds also include the following:
  • Complicity to all of the Category One and Category Two offenses except Aggravated Burglary and Aggravated Robbery.
  • 3-year gun specification for all Category One and Category Two offenses except Aggravated Burglary; in the case of a 3-year gun specification for Aggravated Robbery, only the gun specification is a public safety bed, not the Aggravated Robbery offense itself
  • Youth serving discipline time
  • Youth serving more than 90 days on a parole revocation following supervised release from DYS, unless the underlying offense was a public safety bed
  • Youth from counties which adjudicate less than one-tenth of one percent of the total number of youth adjudicated for felony offenses statewide

The following are never public safety beds:
  • Aggravated Robbery; however, if a youth used a gun in the commission of the act, the 3-year commitment for the gun specification is a public safety bed
  • Aggravated Burglary
  • 3-year gun specification on Aggravated Burglary, Felonious Assault or any other offense not specifically listed above
  • 1-year commitment for “possession of a firearm”
  • Any gun specification other than the 3-year gun specification that is detailed in Ohio Revised Code sections 5139.01(A)(13)(e), 2152.17(A) and (B), and 2941.145
  • Attempt of any Category Two offense
  • Conspiracy to commit any offense, whether a Category One, Two or other offense
Youth Services Grant - Partner to RECLAIM Ohio
RECLAIM Ohio and the Youth Services Grant together make up the DYS Subsidy Grant. Youth Services Grant funds have been in existence since 1981 and are known as the “base” portion of the Subsidy Grant because, unlike the RECLAIM “variable” funds, their allocations do not vary based on the number of felony adjudications and bed days used. The Youth Services Grant is allocated annually to juvenile courts based on a formula that used county population:

Each court is allocated a base amount of $50,000. The remainder of the line item is then allocated to courts with a population of more than 25,000 on a per capita basis.

Subsidy Grant ProgramsThe funds received through RECLAIM and the Youth Services Grant can be used for a vast array of treatment, intervention, diversion, and prevention programs. Examples of such programs include day treatment, alternative schools, intensive probation, electronic monitoring, and residential treatment. The primary limitation on the use of Subsidy Grant funds is that they cannot be used to supplant local funds. In addition, RECLAIM funds cannot be used for construction or renovation, while a limited amount of Youth Services Grant funding can be used for such expenditures.

Annually, the juvenile courts submit one Subsidy Grant funding application that addresses use of both RECLAIM Ohio and Youth Services Grant funds.

Each year, more than 80,000 youth admissions are funded through RECLAIM Ohio and/or the Youth Services Grant. Based on reported expenditures by the courts in Fiscal Year 2013, the top program areas used were probation and intensive probation, residential treatment; mental health counseling; substance abuse; monitoring and surveillance; diversion; restitution, community service and work detail; and sex offender treatment.
Impact of RECLAIM Ohio
Thanks to RECLAIM Ohio, more youth today are being served locally where families can participate more fully in their treatment. Institutions are less crowded, and the Department is focusing its treatment and rehabilitative efforts on the more serious, repetitive, felony-level youth. In fact, DYS population is down from a high of more than 2,600 in May 1992 to less than 510 in June 2013.

Want Even More Information? Tony F. Panzino
Bureau Chief of Community Reinvestment