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Rep. Denson issues statement on new Ohio Department of Youth Services director

Urges transparency, accountability for new leadership to better protect juvenile offenders
December 14, 2021
Sedrick Denson News

COLUMBUS– Correctional Institution Inspection Committee Member State Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) issued a statement after Gov. DeWine named Amy L. Ast as the new director of the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS). 

“Ohio’s juvenile detention centers have a long history of abuse. But with new leadership comes an opportunity for change and growth. I hope to work with DYS to help begin a new chapter of transparency and accountability. This is vital to protecting Ohio’s youth and solving the issues that plague our juvenile corrections system,” said Rep. Denson.

DYS is the juvenile corrections system for the state of Ohio and operates three detention facilities for juvenile felony offenders ages 10 to 21. The department is currently facing a lawsuit over the death of 17-year old Robert Wright while he was in custody. Ohio is the only state ranked “high” for its rate of sexual victimization in juvenile correctional facilities. In 2018, more than 15% of juveniles in Ohio’s custody reported sexual victimization by another youth or staff member.