Helping offenders after their release

Officials and staff at the Oakview Juvenile Residential Center in Belmont County have every right to be proud of a recent evaluation by the American Correctional Association. Oakview earned a perfect score, 100, in the ACA examination.

But as ACA official Michael Radon pointed out, it is time to move on.

Oakview seems to do a good job in dealing with boys aged 12-17 who are there because of criminal acts. Juveniles from Belmont, Jefferson, Monroe, Harrison, Guernsey and Noble counties are housed at the center.

What happens to them after they leave Oakview or, for that matter, other incarceration centers for juveniles? As Radon pointed out, ensuring that question has a positive answer is becoming “a big emphasis …” Follow-up programs to help minors released from custody make good transitions back into outside life are important.

So, kudos to all involved at Oakview. Now, it’s time to examine how successfully juvenile offenders are being dealt with after they are released from custody.