After earning a B.S. in Business Administration from Youngstown State University and a Juris Doctorate from the University Of Toledo College Of Law, Theresa Dellick entered private practice in 1983. She became a partner in a Youngstown law firm and was a civil trial lawyer. In 1999, she became a county court judge, where she implemented the first misdemeanor county drug court. Since 2001, Judge Theresa Dellick has served as judge of the Mahoning County Juvenile Court overseeing the administration of the Court as well as the Detention Center, intake services, probation, Clerk of Courts, counseling services, community services. Her administration of the court has been directed to balanced and restorative justice with focused attention to youth accountability and responsibility, public safety and restoration of victims’ rights.
Recognizing the complexity of many of the issues before the Court, Judge Dellick has brought evidence based programs to Mahoning County that address both juvenile and family rehabilitation, many which have received state recognition for their effectiveness and have served as model programs to other courts. Under Judge Dellick’s leadership and the relentless staff efforts, the Court has been involved in early intervention and diversion programming, reducing recidivism, increasing family self-reliance and ensuring the safety and well-being of youths and the protection of those served. Judge Dellick believes that the following programs will continue to serve the needs of youths and their families and will foster positive outcomes:
Specialized Dockets – Mahoning County Juvenile Court is the only court in Ohio with six Ohio Supreme Court certified specialized dockets, namely the Treatment Court (Drug and Alcohol), Family Dependency Treatment Court, Mental Health Court, Sex Offender Treatment Court, Re-Entry Court, and Education Court. The Court has the only Sex Offender and Education Court Dockets in the State. Specialized dockets are courts that are dedicated to specific types of offenses or offenders which use a combination of different techniques for holding offenders accountable while addressing the underlying causes of behavior and have been proven effective at reducing recidivism. Judge Dellick serves as vice-chair of the Supreme Court Commission on Specialized Dockets. She is also a member of Ohio’s SSRP Subcommittee that oversees the Supreme Court’s Initiative to advance family dependency treatment dockets throughout Ohio.
Crossover Youth Project: The court was selected by the Georgetown University to participate in its Crossover Youth Project. The court joined a select group of nationwide courts to address the issues affecting foster children involved with the court system. The project is a collaborative effort with the Mahoning County Children Services Board and effectively addresses relative issues. The program results in a reduction of children in foster care and time spent in the justice system enabling them to lead a productive life. The court was also selected to present at a six state summit on the success of the program. Additionally, the court was selected to train the Indiana Judicial Delegates on implementing COY in their state.
Mahoning County High School: MCHS was created by Judge Dellick and is in partnership with Mahoning County Education Service Center to provide an alternative education for students who have been expelled or suspended from their home school or want to get back on schedule with their academics. A team of professionals address the mental, emotional and protective needs of the students who present with low protective and high risk factors that are often obstacles to an education. The balanced and restorative justice principles are the foundation for the school. The school was recently recognized by the United States Department of Education and the White House for its innovative and successful practices.
The Court has also been designated a pilot site for the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice for addressing innovative, successful practices addressing truancy and parental engagement. The Court has partnered with five school districts including Youngstown, Austintown, Boardman, Mahoning County and Struthers school districts Since 2007, the Court’s Juvenile Detention Center has received accreditation from the American Corrections Association. The Detention Center is only one of six in the State of Ohio to have received this certification. The Court is also a Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative partner. Judge Dellick has brought evidence based programs to Mahoning County that address juvenile rehabilitation. She has taken an active role in building collaborations between the juvenile court with school districts, children services, social service agencies and law enforcement.
The Court also has a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Unit to address behaviors of medium to high risk youth. The program was created to prevent institutionalization of youth and to keep students close to home and family while providing positive behavioral therapies. The court’s probation officers are members of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, the only one of its kind in the nation.
Judge Dellick created the Juvenile Court Advisory Board whose members represent the community. The Board provides advice and assistance to the court as well as sponsoring various court events and seminars, on topics as adolescent grief and trauma, bullying, delinquency, adolescent brain development and other relevant juvenile topics. The seminars also feature keynote speakers such as Rosalind Wiseman, Michelle Knight and Sandy Hook Elementary School parents.
As juvenile judge, she has applied and received multiple grants and funding sources exceeding millions of dollars to fund the court’s programs. Judge Dellick is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and is the recipient of Youngstown State University School of Business Outstanding Alumna Award, Justice League of Ohio Model of Justice Award, Ohio Education Services Center Association’s Outstanding Community Leadership Award and YWCA Woman of the Year. She is also the recipient of several other awards and honors.
She is past-president of the Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges and currently is the District 6 Trustee. She has assisted drafting juvenile legislation as well as testifying in support. She has been a national, state and local seminar presenter at juvenile court judges’ conferences, bar associations, schools, colleges and community organizations and agencies. Judge Dellick also served on the Supreme Court Commission for the Rules of Superintendence, Continuing Legal Education and the Judicial Advisory Group. She is a trained racial justice dialogue facilitator, as well. She is also a member of the Catholic Diocese Finance Council, Youngstown State University’s College of Fine and Performing Arts and College of Education Visitors Boards. She is a graduate of Youngstown Leadership. Judge Dellick has served as a member or volunteer for many civic and professional organizations, including Youngstown Business Incubator, United Way, Youngstown Junior League, Turning Point Counseling Center, and Mahoning County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services board, Volunteer Services Agency, Easter Seals and Peat-Marwick Study Board. While still practicing law, she was named to the American Board of Trial Attorneys.