Mission of the Juvenile Court is stated in Chapters 2151 and 2152 of the Ohio Revised Code and the rules of Juvenile Procedure as promulgated by the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Effective on January 1, 2002, the delinquency provisions, along with the juvenile traffic offender sections will be transferred to new RC Chapter 2152. This will change the applicable purposes and principles. In addition, a new category - Serious Youthful Offender - will be recognized, along with the blended (juvenile/adult) sentences.

Under the new delinquency and traffic offender chapter, the overriding purposes of the law are (1) protecting the public interest and safety, (2) holding offenders accountable, (3) restoring victims, (4) rehabilitating offenders, and (5) providing for the care, protection, and mental and physical development of children. These purposes are to be achieved through a system of graduated sanctions and services. In contrast prior law delineated the purposes as (1) providing for the care, protection, and mental and physical development of children, and (2) protecting the public interest by "removing the consequences of criminal behavior and the taint of criminality" from delinquent children and substituting a program of supervision, care, and rehabilitation. These purposes were to be achieved in a family environment, separating the child from parents only when necessary for the child's welfare or public safety.

Juvenile Court

The Belmont County Juvenile Court is mandated by law to deal with children who are delinquent, unruly, neglected, dependent or abused. The Court also has the authority to take appropriate action deemed to be in the best interests of said children, while also considering what is necessary for the protection of the community. The Juvenile Court also has jurisdiction over the parents of said children as well as contributing to the delinquency of a child charges.

Serious Youthful Offenders and blended (Juvenile and Adult) sentences are still provided for in the Ohio Revised Code. Juvenile, in certain circumstance, may be bound over as an adult. Juvenile competency laws have recently been enacted.