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THE FUTURE OF THEJUVENILE COURTCourts exist to do justice, to guarantee liberty,to enhance social order, to resolve disputes,to maintain rule of law, to provide for equalprotection and to ensure due process of law.Fundamental to the work of the judiciary is doingindividual justice in individual cases, providing a forumfor the resolution of legal disputes, deterring criminalbehavior and helping to rehabilitate those foundresponsible for crimes. The work of the juvenile courtaligns perfectly with those goals. We are a subset ofthe district court and our work is critical to the overallmission and core purpose of the judicial branch.We know that the most important work we performeach day is helping youth find the path to a meaningfullife and teaching families how to support each other. Todo this we assess individual needs, build a continuumof evidence-based services that can be delivered acrossurban and rural North Dakota communities, and matchyouth with the programs that will benefit them andtheir communities. We are relied upon by local lawenforcement, county prosecutors, social service workers,and school teachers to identify root causes of societalissues such as opioid use, child trafficking, and familyviolence and seek ways to prevent these societal problemsfrom damaging lives and communities.High performance courts are always looking to identifyproblems, collect and analyze data, and take action.The juvenile court is flexible, creative, and open to newevidence-based solutions such as early assessments,structured decision-making tools, and community-basedsupervision and delivery of services.PAGE 3The North Dakota Juvenile Court is on the frontline of societal issues such as child abuse and neglect,addiction, behavioral health and delinquency prevention.The dedicated work of juvenile court staff protectscommunities, saves lives and saves taxpayer dollarsthat would otherwise be spent on expensive residentialtreatment or correction confinement. Investing“upstream” in the juvenile court process of youthassessment, service delivery and supervision that keepsyouth out of the correction system altogether makes goodsense. We know that keeping youth at home and engagedin school and family life produces better outcomes foryouth, families and our communities.Most youth who run afoul of thelaw are not on a pathway that leadsto adult criminal careers. Mostdelinquency is self-correcting as youthage and juvenile court intake mustassess the likelihood that a youth willbecome a serious, violent, or chronicoffender, identify those pathways earlyand seek to interrupt them.ANNUAL REPORT 2020

MISSION STATEMENTThe Juvenile Court protects the best interests of children and addresses the unique characteristicsand needs of children that come before the court as deprived, unruly, and delinquent matters.Following the principles of Balanced and Restorative Justice, the mission of the North DakotaJuvenile Court is to promote public safety, hold juvenile offenders accountable, and increase thecapacity of juveniles to contribute productively to their community. The courts empower victims,encourage community participation, and support parental ommutenpeySafetyCommunitymCoREPAIRING HARM,REDUCING RISKAND CREATINGOPPORTUNITIESAccountabilityVictimPAGE 4OffenderANNUAL REPORT 2020

ORGANIZATIONALSTRUCTUR EWithin each unit, there is a Director of Juvenile Courtwho supervises the juvenile court staff and is responsiblefor the planning and directing of all juvenile courtservices in the unit. Under the direction of the Directorof Juvenile Court, the JCO III assists in providingadvanced investigative, diagnostic, supervisory, andprobation services in their designated juvenile courtoffice as well as providing supervision of juvenile courtofficers and staff.TRIAL COURT ADMINISTRATORSUNIT 1Director ofJuvenile Court ServicesShawn PetersonUNIT 2Director ofJuvenile Court ServicesKaren KringlieUNIT 3Director ofJuvenile Court ServicesCarrie HjellmingUNIT 4Director ofJuvenile Court ServicesScott HopwoodJUVENILE COURT OFFICES:JUVENILE COURT OFFICES:JUVENILE COURT OFFICES:JUVENILE COURT OFFICES:Grand Forks/GraftonJim Fish, JCO IIIFargoNicole Leitner, JCO IIIBismarckRyan Kudrna, JCO IIIMinotKristi Chole, JCO IIIDevils LakeJenie Sveningson, JCO IIIJamestown/Valley CityBrian Washburn, JCO IIIDickinsonChase Breitbach, JCO IIIWillistonHolly Volk, JCO IIIPAGE 5ANNUAL REPORT 2020

NORTH DAKOTA JUVENILECOURT JURISDICTIONDelinquent and Unruly Case Referrals: In NorthDakota, the Juvenile Court has exclusive jurisdictionover youth ages ten to seventeen who are alleged to havecommitted a delinquent or an unruly act. A delinquent actwould be a crime if committed by an adult, while an unrulyact is behavior such as truancy from school, runaway,ungovernable behavior, or minor consuming alcohol, all ofwhich are based on age.Deprived Case Referrals: The Juvenile Court also hasexclusive jurisdiction over children from birth until ageseventeen who are alleged to be deprived of proper careor control by their parent, guardian, or other custodian.More commonly known as child abuse and neglect, thesecases are referred to the courts by social workers employedPAGE 6by the human service zones (formerly social services) aftera child abuse and neglect investigation.Reviews of Placement in Residential Treatment: Rule18.1 of the North Dakota Rules of Juvenile Procedurerequires the juvenile court director to complete a review ofall child assessments for placement in a qualified residentialtreatment program (QRTP) in order to ensure that theplacement is appropriate.Guardianship of a Child Referrals: Since August 2019,all filings for guardianship of a child, with the exception ofthose created as part of a probate case, are filed in juvenilecourt and receive preliminary review and monitoring bycourt service officers.ANNUAL REPORT 2020

2020 R EFERR ALS TOJUVENILE COURTJuvenile Court referrals are received from law enforcement,schools, human service zones, parents, and people seekingguardianship of a minor child. Juvenile Court Officersscreen referrals to determine how they should be processed;make detention or emergency shelter care decisions onsome of them, prepare court recommendations on thosethat proceed to the formal courts, and process the vastmajority of the cases via an informal adjustment conferenceor diversion.Total referrals to the North Dakota Juvenile Courtsdecreased from the previous year by 1,223 referrals(12%) to 8,877. Deprived referrals account for 11% ofthe decrease. Schools and other social services providerstypically account for a large portion of juvenile courtreferrals. As such, during times of school closure, such assummer break, there is usually a reduction in reports. Theclosure of in-person classes in March 2020 correlates withthe declines seen in 2020. The chart below reflects thetotal number of charges referred to the juvenile courts overthe past five years in the three legal categories of unruly,delinquent, and deprived.TOTAL REFERRALS BY YEAR*Note that the referral data in this chart has changed slightly since 2014 due to a change in the way the data was categorized.PAGE 7ANNUAL REPORT 2020

INTAK E DECISIONS AR E ACRITICAL FUNCTION OFTHE JUVENILE COURT:Intake of all juvenile referrals is required by North Dakota law to be conducted by the Directorof Juvenile Court. Juvenile Court intake staff are knowledgeable about North Dakota criminaland juvenile law as well as the techniques of juvenile treatment and rehabilitation. They screenfor probable cause to believe that a child has been involved in a violation of law or is the victimof abuse or neglect and make decisions regarding the appropriate manner to handle the case bythe use of diversion to services, informal adjustment, or the formal court process. Whether todetain or release from detention a delinquent youth or to take an unruly or deprived child intoprotective custody are statutory duties of the Juvenile Court directors and assigned staff.PAGE 8ANNUAL REPORT 2020

2020 JUVENILER EFERR ALS BYCASE TYPEDelinquent Referrals: Of all the delinquent referralsreceived in 2020, 84% were misdemeanors, 14% werefelonies, and 2% were infractions. The most commondelinquent referrals received by the Juvenile Courts wereSimple Assault (11%) followed by Disorderly Conduct(10%), Possession of Controlled Substance, Possessionof Drug Paraphernalia and Theft of Property/Shopliftingeach made up 9% of the referrals.Deprivation Referrals: Deprivation referrals resulted ina formal petition in 39% of the cases, 9% involved thefiling of a termination of parental rights petition, and lessthan 1 % of cases were youth from 18-21 years of age whochose to remain in foster care. Families cooperated withservices, or the matters were otherwise diverted by humanservice zones from the formal court system in 51% of casesreferred.Unruly Referrals: Of all the unruly referrals received in2020, 27% were runaways, 26% were for ungovernablebehavior, 24% were referrals of unlawful possession/consumption of alcohol, 10% were for school truancy,9% were for curfew violations, and 4% were for tobaccoviolations.Guardianship of a Child Referrals: The creation ofChapter 27-20.1 brought most of the civil guardianshipswithin the jurisdiction of the juvenile courts and requiresreview of preliminary pleadings by the director or designee.In 2020, there were 209 filings for guardianships in thejuvenile courts.PAGE 9ANNUAL REPORT 2020

The chart below reflects the total number of charges referred to the juvenile courts, grouped by casetype over the past five years. In 2020, Deprivation referrals made up 29% of the total referrals to theJuvenile Court, while Unruly offenses (offenses which only a child can commit) also made up 29%of referrals. Delinquent offenses made up 42% of referrals and are broken down into the followingcase types: Property Offenses (28%), Drug-related Offenses (23%), Offenses against Persons (23%),Public Order (20%), and Traffic Offenses (6%) of the total delinquent referrals to juvenile courts.TOTAL REFERRALS BY CASE TYPEAgainst Person 71Property Offenses144113271449101013411035Public 5261239243201216Drug Related 089101008877REFERRAL TYPESAgainst Person OffensesAll assaults, menacing, harassment, terrorizing, gross sexualimposition, robberyUnrulyCurfew, runaway, tobacco, truancy, ungovernable behavior, minorin possession/consumption of alcoholProperty OffensesShoplifting, burglary, criminal mischief/vandalism, criminaltrespass, all theftsDeprivationAbuse/neglect of a child, deprived, services required informationalonly, termination of parental rights, guardianship of a minorPublic OrderDisorderly conduct, disturbance of a public school, failure toappear, resisting arrestTrafficDriving without a license, driving without liability insurance,leaving the scene of an accidentPAGE 10ANNUAL REPORT 2020

DELINQUENT ORUNRULY REFERRALSTO COURT BYLOCATIONStarting in 2018, the juvenile court began to capture dataregarding the location of where the delinquent or unrulyoffense occurred. It was found that in 2020, 48% of alldelinquent and unruly referrals were the result of lawviolations that occurred out in the community such as stores,streets, parks etc., 24% occurred in the home, 23% werefrom acts reported to have occurred at a school building orgrounds, and 5% occurred at juvenile placement facilitieslocated in the state. Given the COVID-19 pandemic andresulting use of hybrid or distance learning, it is believedthe numbers of truancy referrals and delinquency offensesoccurring on school grounds were likely reduced duringthis unusual year.TOTAL REFERRALS BY CASE TYPECOMMUNITYHOMESCHOOLPLACEMNENT FACILITYPAGE 11ANNUAL REPORT 2020

ANALYSIS OFJUVENILE OFFENDERSIn 2020, the most common age of youth referredto the juvenile courts for delinquent or unrulybehavior was 16 years of age. Juveniles age 13 andyounger accounted for 21% of all referrals to thecourts, a percentage that remained consistent fromthe previous year. The age of criminal responsibilityin North Dakota was raised in 2019 from 7 to 10years of age. This increased age better reflects thecurrent science and understanding of the adolescentbrain when it comes to criminal culpability, as wellas best practices nationally.AGE AT TIME OF REFERRAL TO JUVENILECOURT AND NUMBER OF REFERRALSRECEIVED IN 2020PAGE 12ANNUAL REPORT 2020

In 2020, males committed 58% of delinquent and unruly acts referred to the juvenilecourts, while females accounted for 42% of referrals.North Dakota is currently participating in a Vera Institute of Justice study of gender-baseddifferences in juvenile delinquency referrals, detention rates, and access to services.PRIMARY CHARGE DELINQUENT & UNRULYREFERRALS % BY GENDER 2020PAGE 13ANNUAL REPORT 2020

North Dakota law requires that youth securelydetained have a detention hearing held withintwenty-four hours, excluding weekends and holidays,and on average, most youth spend only a few hoursto a few days in secure detention before beingreleased or other placement options are used.Detention Screening Tool: In order to place a child insecure detention, law enforcement must use a detentionscreening tool to assure the appropriate use of detentionand whether the child poses a risk to public safety. Thedetention risk screening tool is an objective checklistof criteria that is applied to each youth brought to orconsidered for secure detention. The overall score guidesthe law enforcement officer or the intake court officer inmaking the critical decision of whether to securely detainthe youth. The purpose is to ensure release of appropriateyouth back into the community with the minimum risk ofre-offending or not appearing for a scheduled hearing. Thescore of the detention screen does not tell the user exactlywhat course of action should be taken but rather providesobjective information, grounded in research, to enhancethe decision-making process.PAGE 14Alternatives to Detention: Since the use of the detentionassessment tool is to help guide the decision to determinewhether to place a youth in detention or not, it is importantto establish and maintain viable alternatives to detentionthat are available in communities to maintain communitysafety and assure that youth will appear for future courthearings on the pending charge or charges. In additionto simple release to a parent or non-secure attendant care,another alternative to pre-adjudicatory detention is the useof house arrest. House arrest can be either monitored bya Juvenile Court Officer using a voice verification systemto confirm a youth›s location or in conjunction with GPSelectronic monitoring systems. Electronic monitoringis a continuous monitoring device that attaches arounda youth›s ankle and allows the youth to stay at homepending further court hearings. Voice monitoring andGPS electronic monitoring have been increasingly usedby North Dakota Juvenile Court staff as an alternative todetention. Electronic monitoring can cost as little as fivedollars per day which is much lower than the cost of securedetention and allows the youth to remain in his or herhome and community.ANNUAL REPORT 2020

2020 JUVENILE COURTDISPOSITIONS FOR DELINQUENTAND UNRULY CASENorth Dakota law provides a system where the vastmajority of juvenile cases are handled by juvenile courtintake officers. On average this occurs within five days ofthe referral. Court staff recognize that it is critical to divertfrom the traditional or formal court process those childrenwith little to no delinquent history, who have committeda minor offense and who are at low to medium risk ofre-offending. In conjunction with that, diversion meetsthe need to provide immediate in-time sanctions, addressthe behavior and meet the needs of victims, along withproviding services or skills-based programs for youth andtheir families. Intake occurs consistently across the state asdecisions about diversion or use of informal adjustment areguided by state-wide criteria.All juvenile referrals are screened using an objective intakematrix for diversion, informal adjustment, or for formalcourt processing by referring the matter to the StatesAttorney for the filing of a petition and proceedings beforea judge. Most low-level offenses and early offenders arehandled via diversion or informal adjustment. This is anadvantage for the youth, family and victim as diversionand the consent-driven informal adjustment process canaddress the matter quickly and effectively after an offenseoccurs.Diversion is an intervention strategy that redirects youthaway from formal processing in the juvenile justice systemwhile still holding them accountable for their actions andconnecting them to appropriate services.An Informal Adjustment is a dispute resolution meetingheld by the director of juvenile court or designee to resolvelow-level delinquent or unruly referrals and is an alternativeto the filing of a petition for formal court proceeding.Participants include the youth referred for the offense, theyouth’s parents, the juvenile court officer, and the victim, ifthe victim chooses to participate. If the youth admits to thebehavior, an agreement to resolve the matter is reached andcompliance is tracked by juvenile staff. Unlike diversion, apre-screen risk assessment is conducted and the results areused to guide the outcome. A juvenile’s participation inan informal adjustment agreement is typically six to ninemonths but by statute cannot exceed 15 months.Typically, felony-level cases, youth requiring placement,and contested matters are heard by a District Court Judgeor Judicial Referee after the filing and service of a formalcourt petition by the state’s attorney.85% of all juvenile disputes were resolved outsideof the courtroom through either a diversionto programming or an informal adjustmentconference conducted by a juvenile court officer.PAGE 15ANNUAL REPORT 2020

J U V ENI L E COU RT PROCESSES FORDELINQU ENT & U N RU LY CASE TY PESDisposition Types: North Dakota law allows flexibility in disposition outcomes once a juvenile has admitted or beenfound to have committed a delinquent or unruly offense. This allows justice to be administered on an individual, case-bycase, basis depending on the child’s needs and risks as well as the needs of the victim and community. Custody is removedfrom a parent only as a last resort or when public safety requires such a measure.DELINQUENT/UNRULY DISPOSITIONS 2020Released with a warningDeclined to Prosecute by State’s Attorneyor Dismissed by CourtDiversion to ServicesProbation Supervision and Services*Custody to County Social Services(delinquent or unruly youth)Custody to the ND Division of JuvenileServices of the DOCRTransfer to Adult Court Jurisdiction*87 probation cases included youth participation in a juvenile drug court in the regions with a drug court and whereyouth met criteria for drug court admissionPAGE 16ANNUAL REPORT 2020

Community Supervision: Juvenile probation is the mostwidely used means of delivering a range of court-orderedservice while supervising the youth within the community.Staff work to change behavior, hold the youth accountable,and increase offender competency at one-tenth of the costof out-of-home placements. For youth whose primaryissue is with addiction, Juvenile Drug Court is an optionin six North Dakota cities and the youth are supervised byjuvenile court staff.Transfer to Adult Court: Studies have shown thattransferred youth quickly re-offend and at much higherrates than youth kept in the juvenile system. Further,national studies have shown that transferred youth detainedpretrial in adult jails are at serious risk of rape, assault,death, or suicide. Transfer is an option of last resort, butsome youth do request transfer to adult court as a legalstrategy.In 2020, only two youth were transferred to adult court. Ofthose, one youth chose to voluntarily transfer their chargesto adult court, and the other youth had their chargesinvoluntarily transferred. These cases all involved seriouscharges of against person felonies, including simple assaulton peace officer/correctional officer, terrorizing, robbery,and burglary. In 2019, only three youth were transferredto adult court involuntarily. All involved serious chargesof against person felonies, including murder, conspiracy tocommit robbery, and gross sexual imposition.PAGE 17ANNUAL REPORT 2020

2020 JUVENILE COURTDISPOSITIONS INDEPRIVED CHILD CASESDeprivation Cases Referred:In North Dakota,deprivation cases are referred to the Juvenile Court by localcounty human service zone departments. The referralsare received after a child abuse or neglect investigation isconducted by a child protection worker. If services arefound to be required, the case is referred to Juvenile Court,and a decision on whether to file a petition is made bythe County State’s Attorney’s office based on informationgathered in the investigation.In 2020, 51% of all deprivation cases referred to the juvenilecourt did not result in a petition for various reasons, suchas the family was already cooperating with services or thestate’s attorney declined to file a petition. In 39% of thecases referred, the County States Attorney determined itnecessary to file a deprivation petition, and a court hearingwas scheduled and held. In 9% of the deprivation cases,a termination of parental rights petition was filed, and ofthose, 94% were brought by the state (involuntary), while6% were at the request of parent (voluntary). Less than 1%involved youth between the ages of 18-21 who requestedto remain in or return to foster care.DEPRIVED CASES 2020PAGE 18ANNUAL REPORT 2020

North Dakota law defines a deprived child asa child who is without proper parental care orcontrol necessary for the child’s physical, mental oremotional health, or morals, and the deprivationis not due primarily to the lack of financial meansof the child’s parents, guardian or other custodian.§27-20-02(8) N.D.C.C.Continued Foster Care: Since 2011, youth ages 18 to21 who currently or have previously been in foster caremay choose to stay in foster care. The goal is to supportthem in continuing with education and make a successfultransition to adulthood. In 2019, there were 29 continuedfoster care cases filed in North Dakota, and in 2020 therewere 17 cases.Disposition Types: Under North Dakota law, if a child isfound to be deprived, the court may order services for thefamily, place the child with a willing relative or guardian(guardianship), or place the child with a local humanservice zone for foster care placement.DEPRIVED DISPOSITIONS 20202314616716539171252PAGE 19ANNUAL REPORT 2020

DUAL STATUSYOUTH INITIATIVEThe North Dakota Dual Status Youth Initiative (DSYI)was implemented because the life prospects of NorthDakota’s youth are significantly impaired if they aresimultaneously involved in the state’s child welfare andjuvenile justice systems. Youth in this situation are referredto as dual status youth. The Initiative is a collective effortof the North Dakota Department of Human Services childwelfare division, the North Dakota Division of JuvenileServices, the North Dakota Court System juvenile courtdivision, and the North Dakota Association of Counties.and less likely to be in the custody of juvenile corrections orthe social service system. Though the analysis shows somepromising outcomes, some challenges and obstacles werereported as well. The North Dakota Court ImprovementProgram continues to work with a dual status workgroupto update the field protocol and address issues noted in theevaluation. An updated protocol and practice guide will beprovided to the field in early 2021.Once a child has been identified as a dual status youth,child welfare and juvenile court work together to shareinformation between agencies and engage with thefamily to coordinate and participate in Family CenteredEngagement meetings (FCEs). Participants includeparents, extended family, children, service providers, childwelfare staff, and juvenile court staff. These meetings areconducted by the Village Family Service Center and helpthe team make critical decisions regarding the child’s safetyand well-being to achieve the safest and least restrictiveoutcomes in the best interest of the dual status youth.Between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, therewere 1,052 Dual Status Youth (DSY) in North Dakota.Youth simultaneously involved in both the judicial andchild welfare systems are considered “involved” youth.“Identified” youth consist of youth with an open case inone system with a case history in the other. Of the 1,052DSY between those dates, 458 (44%) were involved, and594 (56%) were identified.A one-year evaluation of the Initiative’s programmaticoutcomes was completed in July. The evaluation stated thatthe DSYI successfully prevented dual status youth fromgoing deeper into the juvenile justice and social servicessystems. More specifically, compared to baseline data from2015, North Dakota dual status youth are less likely to beplaced in foster care, more likely to have their cases diverted,PAGE 20ANNUAL REPORT 2020

COURT IMPROVEMENTPROGR AMThe Court Improvement Program (CIP) is used to assessthe court system’s response to child abuse and neglectissues. It is funded by three separate federal grants providedby the Administration of Children and Families Children’sBureau.In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, theCIP collaborated with the Juvenile Policy Board on howto best balance statutory requirements for child safetywith public health mandates. Guidance was provided tothe district courts regarding flexible means of conveningrequired hearings and managing juvenile cases.Over the past year, the CIP continued to work with theAmerican Bar Association’s Center for Children and theLaw (ABA). The ABA provided technical assistance andexpertise in developing a legal representation plan forchildren and parents involved in the child welfare systemwhose children are at risk of being placed in foster care.Through collaboration with Legal Services of NorthDakota and North Dakota Children and Family Services,the CIP has drafted a plan to develop and implement amodel pre-petition legal representation program. Byproviding representation before a court case is filed, thePAGE 21program aims to prevent removals based on poverty andcombat the disproportionally high number of AmericanIndian children in the child welfare system.In the summer of 2020, the CIP provided funding forthirty stakeholders, including state’s attorneys, indigentdefense attorneys, Guardians ad litem, and judicial officersto complete a course in the National Association of Counselfor Children (NACC) Child Welfare Law and PracticeRed Book training. This training provides an in-depthanalysis of child welfare topics, including constitutionalbasics of child abuse and neglect law, permanencyplanning, appellate practice, and techniques to addresssecondary trauma. In December, the CIP also provided anopportunity for judicial officers and attorneys to receivetraining on assessing child safety. The child safety trainingprovided an overview of the North Dakota Departmentof Human Services new safety practice model for childwelfare cases. The training also included information onlegal advocacy strategies and effective judicial decisionmaking to keep children safe when removal from the homeor family reunification is being considered.ANNUAL REPORT 2020

COMMUNITYSUPERVISIONNorth Dakota juvenile court officers are dedicatedprofessionals who believe that all young persons who breakthe law can change their behavior. They are committedto protecting the safety of the public while holding youthaccountable. Court officers also assist youth and theirfamilies to become healthy, productive individuals whocontribute to their communities’ strength. For that reason,probation is the most widely-used community-basedjuvenile court program. During probation supervision, ajuvenile offender remains in the community and continuesnormal activities such as school and work while complyingwith individualized probation rules such as curfew,community service, payment of restitution, and attendanceat classes counseling.The supervision of offenders in their communitiesenhances community safety and prevents the need forcostly out-of-home placement. Juvenile court officers usea graduated response system to ensure compliance withinformal adjustment agreements or formal court orders andtreatment goals. In October 2019, Juvenile Court begantracking probation violations to ensure that responses toviolations or noncompliance are appropriate and beneficialto the youth’s treatment and rehabilitation for the offensecommitted. In addition to monitoring compliance, courtofficers coordinate rehabilitative and treatment servicesfor youth and families. Court officers evaluate the

JUVENILE COURT Courts exist to do justice, to guarantee liberty, to enhance social order, to resolve disputes, . UNIT 2 Director of Juvenile Court Services Karen Kringlie UNIT 3 Director of . Juvenile Court intake staff are knowledgeable about North Dakota criminal and juvenile law as well as the

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