More than 25,000 Marion County youths have been referred to juvenile court this year for adjudication as children in need of services, an increase of more than 35 percent compared to last year.
“I see the question marks above your heads,” Marion Superior Juvenile Division Judge Marilyn Moores told her judicial colleagues Monday. “The answer is heroin.”
Moores said at a meeting of the general term of superior court judges that the number reflects only cases filed this year and not open and ongoing cases, which numbered more than 19,000 in 2013.
She said the juvenile division is swamped by the rise in cases fueled by parental drug abuse – a problem Moores and other juvenile court judges say is straining resources. Moores said Marion Superior juvenile court dockets are frequently being extended until 7:30 to 8 p.m. to try to keep up.
“We are drowning,” Moores said. “It’s crazy.”
Separately Monday, the general term received a brief update on the criminal justice complex proposed to be built on the site of the former General Motors stamping plant west of White River and south of Washington Street.
Deputy Mayor Adam Collins told judges that input was still being received from the judiciary and the Indianapolis Bar Association, but that the three development teams are expected to return bids below budget by Nov. 21.