Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Conference to Focus on Treatment Options in Specialized Dockets Programs

Drug courts and other specialized dockets have proven successful in recent years and a conference next month will give those efforts a boost.

Registration is open for members from throughout Ohio to participate in the 10th annual conference of the Ohio Specialized Dockets Practitioner Network, which will meet in Columbus in late November.

National speakers and emerging alternative therapies will be highlights of the 2013 conference, which takes place on November 21, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road, on the campus of The Ohio State University. The conference is offered by the Supreme Court of Ohio, in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services.

Using a team approach to the treatment of individuals served by specialized dockets in Ohio courts, the conference allows the practitioners making up the court teams opportunities to learn new strategies and treatment options, as well as network with others in similar positions.

Those wanting to attend can register online at www.sc.ohio.gov/sdpn or by fax at 614.387.9409. Registration also may be e-mailed to specdocs@sc.ohio.gov. Conference registration ends on November 1, 2013.

Cardwell C. Nuckols, PhD, a favorite speaker from past conferences, will keynote the conference during the opening session. Nuckols is a widely published clinician whose work focuses on the integration of emerging scientific research with traditional spiritual and self-help knowledge. This technique often is helpful to those who assist alcoholics, addicts, and other mental health patients find healing on their personal road to recovery.

“In our work with Ohio’s judges and court personnel who operate the state’s specialized dockets, we listen and try to seek training to meet their needs regarding operation and therapy,” said Stephanie E. Hess, the Supreme Court’s director of court services. “Likewise, we have a record of being a leader on the cutting edge of what specialized docket courts do to help participants recover from various addictions or abuse.”

Emerging alternative therapies also will be a highlight on the conference agenda with sessions on equine therapy and other methods.

Equine therapy allows participants to build trust and social skills, as well as provide an outlet from personal toil when they focus on caring for an assigned horse. Kirsten Stumpo, the session’s speaker, contracts with the Marion County Family Court to provide equine-assisted psychotherapy and equine-assisted learning services to at-risk youth and families.

“We study which budding therapy alternatives have promise for the future and we seek each year to bring in the country’s leading professionals in these areas to our conference. We’re pleased we’re offering new focus areas for participants again this year,” Hess said.

Ohio currently has more than 130 specialized dockets in about half of the state’s counties. The various specialized dockets serve as OVI/DUI courts, domestic violence courts, child support enforcement courts, re-entry courts, sex offender courts and veterans courts, as well as drug courts and mental health courts, which are the state’s two largest focus areas for specialized court dockets.

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