Seneca County Juvenile Court programming makes big impact

Judge Jay Meyer and his Seneca County Juvenile Court team are proud to announce statistics for the court’s Community Service and Restitution Program.

The court’s Community Service and Restitution Program allows delinquent youth the opportunity to satisfy their court-ordered community service and restitution requirements by connecting them to service projects throughout Seneca County. Jim Jarrett, the court’s Director of Community Outreach, works with area partners and Seneca County residents to schedule supervised community service opportunities for these youth.

In the last fiscal year alone, youth participating in the court’s Community Service and Restitution Program picked up over 800 bags of trash along city, county and township roads. To do this, Seneca County youth logged over 600 hours of litter cleanup and covered over 11,000 miles of county and township highways. Items picked up and recycled along the roadside included, but were not limited to, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, mattresses, couches, tires, playhouses, pool parts and truck liners.

The Litter Collection Program is done in partnership with the Seneca County Engineer’s Office.

“It isn’t often taxpayers get a true win-win deal. However, the work being done by Seneca County Juvenile\Probate Judge Meyer and his staff is giving them just that,” Seneca County Engineer Mark Zimmerman said. “By combining the need to provide community service for some of our troubled youth with the need for litter prevention and pickup, taxpayers are getting a two-for-one.  It is with a great deal of respect for Jim Jarrett and his work with the youth of our community, that the office of the Seneca County Engineer is partnering with Judge Meyer and his team to promote and provide the necessary resources to ensure the continuance of this cooperative program.”

Jarrett also coordinates with community members/partners in need to schedule work projects. For example, Jarrett and his team helped very appreciative elderly individuals with yardwork that became more than they could handle. The youth also decorated local churches for the holidays and cared for a community garden, the bounty of which was shared with the Seneca County Youth Center, the Seneca County Commission on Aging and the YMCA. Other beneficiaries of the program’s efforts include the United Way, the Salvation Army, Reclaim It and the Seneca County Commissioners.

Since his election in 2008, Judge Meyer has prioritized the collection and payment of restitution to victims of crime. Last year, through the efforts of the Court, over $20,000 in restitution was collected and paid to victims. Through grant funding obtained through the Ohio Department of Youth Services RECLAIM Ohio Grant, program participants receive credit toward their restitution obligations for community service hours at the minimum wage rate for every hour worked. As a result of this progressive program, an additional $9,000 was paid to local victims for a total paid to the victims of over $29,000. Youth logged almost 6,000 community service hours from July, 2022 to June, 2023.

“The Community Service and Restitution Program provides the perfect opportunity for court-involved youth to learn from their poor decisions while instilling a sense of pride in their work and its impact on our community,” Jarrett said. “I call it a ‘DO PROGRAM’ because we get things done and rehabilitate at the same time.”

“Jim and his Community Outreach team make our community a better place to live. Community Outreach provides our youth an outlet to make a difference and impact our community in a positive way,” Judge Meyer said.

More information regarding the Seneca County Juvenile Court’s Community Service and Restitution Program, along with a comprehensive list and description of all court programming, can be found online at