By Wayne Allen
Alan Lemons, magistrate with the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division, is working to establish a Family Reunification through Recovery Court (FRRC) in Scioto County.
Lemons said once established the FRRC will not only be a good thing for the court, but also for the entire community.
“This is going to be a good thing for the community because I think it will be a more effective way to deal with the parents that that are addicts and are not properly caring for their children,” Lemons said. “We’ve had some recent reports coming from the hospital and the number of addicted babies is on the rise.”
Lemons said the design of FRRC is to form partnerships with other agencies that could be of assistance to the addicted parents.
“They would be helped with a system of support, a system where they (parents) would receive incentives for doing the right thing and they would receive sanctions for not doing the right thing,” Lemons said.
He said this would be a program the parents would volunteer for.
“We are not just talking about drug babies, we are also talking about children who are not being properly taken care of, because the parents are addicted,” Lemons said.
In a effort to establish the FRRC in Scioto County an advisory committee was established. The committee serves as the policy making authority for the FRRC. Lemons has invited several agencies and members of the community to be on the advisory committee.
“We have this addition that does not see wealth and intelligence it’s wide spread. We could have some very capable people who are addicted and if we could get them into college and back into productivity,” Lemons said.
There is currently a drug court operating within the Juvenile Court that has been operating for several years. On April 22 two youth graduated from the drug court program.
“We got them back to where without the drugs they would have already been. We got them back to where they need to be and I think life will be good for them and their families now,” Lemons said. “It really is a good day when we graduate someone who is now clean, stable and back creating relationships with their families.”
Family Reunification through Recovery Courts are certified by the Ohio Supreme Court and Lemons will soon have completed all of the necessary paperwork to have the program considered for implementation in Scioto County.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.