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Supreme Court Ruling Makes It Harder To Shackle Juveniles In Court

Creative Commons

The Ohio Supreme Court has adopted an administrative rule that would restrict the use of shackles on juveniles during court proceedings.
The amendment to court rules would require judges to begin with the premise that shackles aren't needed.

Judges could restrain juveniles on a case-by-case basis if a judge deems their behavior a threat or they're at risk of fleeing. The judge also would have to determine whether less restrictive alternatives exist.

The change was adopted on a 6-1 vote Monday and takes effect July 1. Justice Terrence O'Donnell dissented, saying he would limit the rule's application to certain categories of offenses while giving judges continued discretion.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio praised the move, saying it allows children to appear in court in a dignified manner.