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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:

  • Clermont
  • Delaware
  • Erie
  • Gallia
  • Hocking
  • Licking
  • Mercer
  • Summit
  • Van Wert

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.

an example of how to calculate the funds available based on bed day credits and felony adjudications

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. The Youth Services Grant has been in existence since 1981 and is known as the “base” portion of the Subsidy Grant funding because, unlike the RECLAIM Ohio “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 uses county population as of the last US census.

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

The funds received through RECLAIM and the Youth Services Grant can be used for a vast array of treatment, intervention, diversion, and prevention programs. 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 expenses, 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.

Based upon court reported data, more than 600 community programs with over 70,000 youth admissions were funded through RECLAIM Ohio and/or the Youth Services Grant.

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 375 in December 2020.

RECLAIM Resources

EVB Resources

Competitive RECLAIM

Competitive RECLAIM is a performance-driven grant program available to juvenile courts and local communities from the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS). It has been made possible by the continued success of juvenile courts in reducing the DYS facility population as well as the successes of the department’s investments in community-based programming to serve the right youth in the right environment with the right treatment.

What is the Purpose of Competitive RECLAIM?

Competitive RECLAIM is designed to divert appropriate youth from further penetration into the juvenile justice system and reduce the need for costly state- and county-supported residential services (DYS facilities, Community Corrections Facilities, and detention facilities) and ineffective and/or costly out-of-home placements (residential treatment in- and out-of-state). The grant program supports juvenile courts and local communities so they can develop services determined by research to be most effective in addressing the assessed needs of multi-system youth and families. In addition, the initiative builds a statistical sample that is analyzed to substantiate the impact of specific interventions and provides outcome data needed to sustain and expand programs that work.

What are the funding and participation requirements?

Requirements for Competitive RECLAIM funding include the following: All program youth must be minimally assessed using the appropriate Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS) tool. Courts must adhere to quality assurance standards to ensure program fidelity; quality assurance, including training, coaching, data collection and evaluation at the conclusion of the grant’s final year of funding. These services are contracted by the juvenile court and must be provided by a qualified university partner or vendor. Courts must submit quarterly youth and family tracking data and require that their contracted quality assurance and evaluation partner submit quarterly program and performance measurement data. Residential services are not an allowable activity, though, up to five days of respite services are allowed for courts awarded a regionalization grant. Sex offenders are not an allowed target population for diversion services.

How will we know Competitive RECLAIM works?

DYS, with the assistance of locally contracted third-party quality assurance and evaluation experts, will evaluate each program’s success during the last year of the funded grant cycle.  Long-term outcomes include measuring admissions to DYS and Community Corrections Facilities (CCFs), residential treatment usage, secure detention placements, rates of delinquency and recidivism, and the number of youth diverted to/from the juvenile justice system.

What is the fiscal impact of Competitive RECLAIM?

With funding awarded each fiscal year, Competitive RECLAIM currently funds 29 programs. The overall fiscal impact of Competitive RECLAIM, as with Targeted RECLAIM, will reduce the need for DYS and CCF beds and county/state funded out-of-home placements.

What happens when a program funded by Competitive RECLAIM is not working?

DYS is committed to working with all juvenile courts and communities to develop programs and services that work. When a program is found to be ineffective, DYS will work with courts and experts to improve services and outcomes. When appropriate, DYS will assist courts in identifying and implementing alternate interventions that may better meet the needs of their youth, families, and community.

Types of Competitive RECLAIM Programs

Three distinct categories of funding were made available to the 88 county juvenile courts in State Fiscal Year 2015 and in State Fiscal Year 2018. The three categories of funding are:

2015 Grants

2018 Grants

2019-2020 Grants

Three distinct categories of funding were made available to the 88 juvenile courts in State Fiscal Year 2019 and in Fiscal Year 2020. The three categories are: 

2022 Grants

Four distinct categories of funding were made available to the 88 juvenile courts in State Fiscal Year 2022.  The four categories are: 

  • Community Resource Centers
  • Community Diversion
  • Race Equity and Inclusion
  • Evidence-Based Prosocial Activities

Targeted RECLAIM

Targeted RECLAIM is a funding initiative of the Ohio Department of Youth Services that is designed to promote the use of model and evidence-based programs to divert appropriate felony youth from DYS commitment and into effective community-based alternatives. Through this initiative, participating county juvenile courts select and implement programming in order to meet a goal of reduced admissions to DYS. Funds are awarded, budgeted and expended in conjunction with the courts’ RECLAIM Ohio programs and services.

Funding Requirements

Requirements for the funding include the following:

  • Juvenile courts commit to reduce and then maintain their numbers of DYS admissions.
  • All programs funded must be either model or evidence-based programs, as approved by university partners.
  • Programs can only serve felony youth that would otherwise be committed to DYS.
  • All program youth must be assessed using the Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS).
  • Courts must participate in quarterly work group meetings and submit youth data.
  • Courts must adhere to quality assurance standards to ensure program fidelity; quality assurance, including training, coaching, data collection and evaluation, is provided through contracts with the University of Cincinnati and Case Western Reserve University.

Implementation of Targeted RECLAIM

In FY 2009, the average daily population at DYS was 1,430 youth. In order to achieve the most cost-efficient use of program dollars, Targeted RECLAIM funding was awarded, beginning in FY 2010, to the six counties (Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Montgomery and Summit Counties) that historically committed the most youth to state custody. In the year prior to the initiation of Targeted RECLAIM, these counties accounted for 63% of the total admissions to DYS. In total, these six juvenile courts set a goal of reducing admissions in the first year (FY 2010) by 189, or 19%, compared to FY 2009. The actual reduction in admissions in FY 2010 was 389, or 39.3% compared to FY 2009. In FY 2021, the six counties collectively admitted 176 youth to DYS.

Following is a chart showing DYS admissions from the six juvenile courts by fiscal year:

  FY2009 FY2010 FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021 compared compared
County actual actual actual actual actual actual actual actual actual actual actual actual committed revoked total to FY2020 to FY2009
Cuyahoga 293 208 173 124 96 110 104 104 123 111 68 54 72 4 76 22 -217
Franklin 212 176 119 97 71 86 58 44 59 34 42 25 50 1 51 26 -161
Hamilton 147 88 52 27 27 56 68 59 51 51 58 31 20 3 23 -8 -124
Lucas 76 32 33 33 33 17 10 19 16 20 11 14 11 1 12 -2 -64
Montgomery 129 49 38 25 28 19 19 28 21 16 9 7 10 0 10 3 -119
Summit 132 47 42 29 22 10 10 13 8 8 13 5 2 2 4 -1 -128
6 county total 989 600 457 335 277 298 269 267 278 240 201 136 165 11 176 40 -813

Note: These six counties have also been the recipients of Behavioral Health / Juvenile Justice (BH/JJ) dollars since FY 2010. In FY 2010, the BH/JJ awards also included a goal of reducing DYS admissions.

Expansion of Targeted RECLAIM

Beginning in January 2012, Targeted RECLAIM funding was awarded to eight additional counties (Allen, Ashtabula, Licking, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Stark and Trumbull Counties) that collectively committed 197 youth to DYS in FY 2011. Butler County was added to the initiative in FY 2013. Although the baseline of commitments for these counties is much lower than for the initial six counties, they adhere to the same funding and quality assurance requirements. Following is a chart showing DYS admissions from the nine juvenile courts compared to their baseline year. For detail on the admissions maintenance and reduction goals in each year, please download the Targeted RECLAIM / BHJJ Overview located within the Implementation of Targeted RECLAIM ribbon.

Targeted RECLAIM Funding

Targeted RECLAIM funds are state General Revenue Fund (GRF) dollars. The total amount of Targeted RECLAIM funding allocated to courts, by year, is as follows:

The following list shows the Targeted RECLAIM interventions funded:

County Targeted RECLAIM Intervention Funded
Allen Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Rehabilitation Center)
Ashtabula Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Community)
Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS)
Butler Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Community)
Cuyahoga Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Guidestone & Applewood)
Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST)
Multi-Systemic Therapy -Problem Sexual Behavior (MST-PSB)
Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
Franklin Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (COYC)
Hamilton Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Hillcrest & Lighthouse Reentry)
Licking EPICS (Sex Offender Population)
Family EPICS
Lorain Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST)
Multi-Systemic Therapy -Problem Sexual Behavior (MST-PSB)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Community)
Lucas Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Day Reporting and EPICS)
Mahoning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Detention)
Medina Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST)
Montgomery Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Detention)
Stark Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Community)
CHOICES (Core Correctional Practices)
Summit Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Groups (Community)
Trumbull Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Detention & Community)
High Fidelity Wraparound

Targeted RECLAIM Results

As an integral part of Ohio’s community continuum for serving youth, Targeted RECLAIM has contributed to a reduction in the DYS population.

The graph shows the yearly DYS admissions from the original Targeted RECLAIM counties, the expansion counties, and the remaining counties in Ohio. Total admissions show a decline from 1,579 in FY 2009 to 267 in FY 2020. There was a increase (13 youth) in the total DYS admissions for the expanded nine Targeted RECLAIM counties for FY 2020, as depicted in red, while original six Targeted RECLAIM counties had a decrease (-165 youth) in total; DYS admissions for FY 2020, as depicted in blue. The state’s total admissions to DYS for FY 2020 has decreased by 83.1% from FY 2009 and 22.2% from FY 2019 admissions.

Targeted RECLAIM outcomes are a result of the continued success of juvenile courts to support local evidenced-based alternatives and preserve public safety and the department’s investments in community-based programming to serve the right youth in the right environment with the right treatment. In the most current study, recidivism was the outcome of interest (a new admission to DYS/DRC) as one of the major goals of Targeted RECLAIM is to reduce the number of admissions to state supported correctional facilities and institutions.

Following are the conclusions drawn from the most recent Targeted RECLAIM Evaluation (2018) of youth served in the 15 Targeted RECLAIM Counties serving youth from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015 as evaluated by the University of Cincinnati’s Corrections Institute:

  • The findings from this study suggests that Targeted RECLAIM is an effective justice reinvestment strategy and way for the state to reduce youth recidivism.
  • Youth who participated and successfully completed Targeted RECLAIM services were significantly less likely to reoffend than similarly matched youth that were released to DYS.
  • All services (residential, CBT-community, and family interventions) showed reductions in rates of incarceration across all risk to re-offend levels.
  • The Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS) continues to prove to be a valid risk/needs assessment tool in predicting risk to re-offend.

For more information about the study and other reports...

Please Note: Funding for 3rd party evaluation of each county’s individual Targeted RECLAIM outcomes will be available after January 2020.