16 Nov. – The Ironton Municipal Court’s Second Chance Drug Court Recovery program has received its final certification from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Committee on Specialized Cases.
Specialized cases are courts that focus on specific types of crimes or offenders and use a combination of techniques to hold offenders accountable and address the root causes of their behavior.
Those considered for the role are light offenders with no history of violence.
Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court Maureen O’Connor congratulated both Judge Kevin Waldo and the Ironton Municipal Court on achieving final certification.
“Specialized records divert offenders to criminal justice initiatives that use tools and tailored services to treat and rehabilitate the offender so they can become productive members of society,” she said. “Studies have shown that this approach works by reducing recidivism while saving taxpayers’ money.”
Waldo said he was thrilled that the Ohio Supreme Court renewed Ironton Municipal Court as a specialized court for another three years.
“This certification provides our Drug Court with the opportunity to continue to assist licensed defendants in their struggles to overcome drug/alcohol addiction and to provide the defendant with a treatment plan that will help them live their best life without drug and/or alcohol dependence. ” he said.
There are 210 specialty files throughout Ohio that deal with issues such as drugs and alcohol, mental health, and domestic violence.
To be certified, a court must establish eligibility requirements, assess the effectiveness of the Specialized Role, and assemble a treatment team to perform the day-to-day operations of the Specialized Role. That team may include licensed practitioners, law enforcement officers, court personnel, and is headed by the judge.
The Commission on Specialized Dockets has 22 members who make all decisions related to certifications.
The group advises the Ohio Supreme Court and its staff on the promotion of statewide rules and uniform standards for the specialized roles, the development of standards, and the establishment of training programs for the judges and court personnel.
The Ironton Municipal Court received its first certification as a specialized drug roller court in 2019.
He said at the time that a drug court in the city was important, as much of the region’s criminal activity is related to drug use. He estimated that 90 percent of Ironton cases were drug related in some way.
Another goal of the role is not only to reduce crime, but also to bring families back together.