The STOP (Scioto Treatment Options Program) Adult Drug Court of the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas recently 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 keeping with certification standards adopted in January 2014.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated the common pleas court and Judge Mark E. Kuhn.
“Specialized dockets divert offenders for criminal justice initiatives that employ tools and tailored services to treat and rehabilitate the offender so they can become productive members of society,” O’Connor said. “Studies have shown this approach works for reducing recidivism while saving tax dollars.”
Specialized dockets are courts 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 dealing with issues such as drugs and alcohol, mental health, domestic violence and human trafficking.
The standards provide a minimum level of uniform practices for specialized dockets throughout Ohio and allow courts to innovate and tailor practices to meet their community’s needs and resources.
“I am pleased that I can continue to work with the Drug Court team members toward this program,” Kuhn said. “Drug Court is about personal responsibility, whether it is the participant’s addiction, treatment, education, restitution or in finding employment. This approach has seen great success and I look forward to continuing this work.”
The certification requirements include establishing eligibility requirements, evaluating the effectiveness of the specialized docket and assembling the treatment team for implementing daily operations of the specialized docket. The team can include licensed treatment providers, law enforcement or court personnel and is headed by the specialized docket judge.
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.
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