Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Specialized Courts Awarded Final Certification

Thirty specialized docket programs within common pleas and municipal courts have received final certification from the Supreme Court of Ohio.

“Specialized dockets have proven effective at addressing persistent criminal behaviors,” said Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. “Specialized dockets result in significantly lower recidivism rates which means offenders become productive members of society, for which we all benefit.”

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. Examples include drug courts, mental health courts, veterans’ courts, and courts that handle prostitution offenses.

The certification of the 30 courts announced today was approved by the Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets after the local courts submitted an application, were evaluated during a site visit, and provided specific program materials in response to certification standards that went in to effect in January 2014.

“By successfully pursuing the intensive certification process, these courts have demonstrated hard work and a commitment to ensuring that we have uniform quality and consistency in these programs statewide,” Chief Justice O’Connor said.

There are more than 150 specialized dockets in Ohio courts that bring together court and treatment personnel to work collaboratively to assist defendants with treatment instead of prison for issues such as drugs, alcohol, and mental health. The success of specialized dockets is measured by reduced recidivism, improved treatment, and cost savings.

The following is a list of the specialized dockets that have received final certification:

County Court Docket Type
Allen Common Pleas Mental Health
Allen Common Pleas Drug
Belmont Juvenile Family Dependency
Belmont Juvenile Drug
Butler Common Pleas Substance Abusing Mentally Ill Offenders
Butler Fairfield Municipal OVI
Butler Fairfield Municipal Mental Health
Cuyahoga Cleveland Municipal Drug
Cuyahoga Cleveland Municipal Veterans Treatment
Erie Juvenile Drug
Fairfield Municipal Drug
Fairfield Juvenile Drug
Franklin Municipal Mental Health
Hardin Common Pleas Drug
Hardin Juvenile Family Dependency
Hocking Municipal Drug - Vivitrol
Hocking Municipal Drug
Hocking Common Pleas Drug
Knox Juvenile Drug
Licking Municipal Drug
Licking Municipal OVI
Mahoning Juvenile Drug
Marion Municipal Mental Health
Marion Municipal Veterans Treatment
Mercer Common Pleas Drug
Summit Stow Municipal Mental Health
Tuscarawas Common Pleas Drug
Union Juvenile Drug
Wayne Common Pleas Mental Health
Wayne Common Pleas Reentry

Required practices outlined in the certification process include establishing eligibility requirements, evaluating effectiveness of the specialized docket, and assembling a treatment team for implementing daily operations of the specialized docket. The team can include licensed treatment providers, law enforcement, court personnel, other local agency staff, and is headed by the specialized docket judge.

Most of the remaining specialized docket applicants have received an initial certification and are in the process of undergoing a site review of their procedures prior to final certification recommendation to the Commission on Specialized Dockets. Final certification by the commission is a significant achievement for these specialized docket programs in Ohio courts.

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.