PORTSMOUTH — The Juvenile Drug Court of the Scioto County Juvenile Court has earned final certification from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets.
In order to receive the certification, the local court had to submit an application, undergo a site visit, and provide specific program materials in response to certification standards that went in to effect in January 2014.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated the Scioto County Common Pleas Juvenile Division and Judge Alan Lemons for receiving final certification.
“Specialized dockets divert offenders toward criminal justice initiatives that employ tools and tailored services to treat and rehabilitate the offender so they can become productive members of society,” said Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. “Studies have shown this approach works by reducing recidivism while saving tax dollars.”
Specialized dockets are courts that are dedicated to specific types of offenses or offenders and use a combination of different techniques for holding offenders accountable while also addressing the underlying causes of their behavior. There are more than 210 specialized dockets in Ohio courts that deal with issues such as:
• Drugs and Alcohol
• Mental Health
• Domestic Violence
• Human Trafficking
The standards provide a minimum level of uniform practices for specialized dockets throughout Ohio, and allow local courts to innovate and tailor to meet their community’s needs and resources.
“Judge Alan Lemons stated that he and the court staff is very excited about receiving our certification of the Juvenile Drug Court program. As a result, this will continue to allow our court to help as many families with which we come into contact through the various delinquency, unruly and traffic cases we see. Judge Lemons went on to say that he and his staff we are trying to combat a drug epidemic that has been ongoing in our area for over 20+ years, and this program is extremely important in that struggle.”
The certification requirements include establishing eligibility requirements, evaluating effectiveness of the specialized docket, and assembling a treatment team for implementing daily operations of the specialized docket. The court team includes licensed treatment providers, Jay Willis from Shane Tieman’s Prosecutor’s office, court personnel, and is headed by the Specialized Docket Judge, Magistrate Rebecca Bennett.
The Commission on Specialized Dockets has 22 members who advise the Supreme Court and its staff regarding the promotion of statewide rules and uniform standards concerning specialized dockets in Ohio courts; the development and delivery of specialized docket services to Ohio courts; and the creation of training programs for judges and court personnel. The commission makes all decisions regarding final certification.
The Scioto County Juvenile Court is also pleased to welcome to the drug court team, Kelsea Silvia, who has agreed to join the court’s drug court program as Drug Court Coordinator effective January 3, 2022.
Kelsea Silvia is a graduate from the University of Cincinnati and Shawnee State University. She completed an associate’s degree in criminal justice at Cincinnati before moving back to the area to attend Shawnee State. While at Shawnee State she received a bachelor’s degree for individualized studies focused in psychology and sociology. She has completed multiple internships during her education through an adult probation office, a juvenile detention center, and different substance abuse treatment facilities.
Silvia started her career in social services working in the substance abuse treatment field for multiple years before becoming a treatment specialist at a community-based adult corrections facility. She recently was a caseworker with Scioto County Children Services and then worked with adults and children with mental health needs at a Behavior Health office in our community.
Silvia is currently in the process of obtaining her LCDCIII (License in Chemical Dependency Counseling) to better serve those struggling with substance related issues. She volunteers frequently in the community by being a member of the Recovery Coalition where she helps to organize sober events for those in the recovery community in Scioto County