Local group lures young people away from gangs by offering mental health services

Juvenile Court Judge Robert Philyaw speaks to attorneys in this file photo.
photo Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw listens to testimony in this file photo.

It's the look on a teenager's face that Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Robert Philyaw remembers.

Philyaw chooses his words carefully because he is not allowed to discuss publicly the details of cases involving juveniles.

"They sit in my courtroom a few just have this blank look of indifference," he said. The particular young man in question had committed a crime that would be serious even for an adult. But he showed no concern for his actions or his situation.

"The kids we see, by the time we get them on a delinquency matter at age 13 or 15 or 16, many of them are hardened," Philyaw said in his conference room at the juvenile court offices on East Third Street.