The Delaware County Common Pleas General Division Recovery Docket 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.
Judge James P. Schuck, who oversees the court’s drug court, stated “I am gratified that the Supreme Court has recertified our Recovery Docket, and in so doing, has demonstrated its approval of the work we’re doing. The Docket involves intensive probation and increased interaction with the judge, court staff, and treatment personnel for those defendants who would benefit more from treatment than prison for substance abuse-related violations. The Recovery Docket, like many other specialized drug courts around the state, are a proven way to hold those with substance-abuse concerns accountable and ensure participation in treatment and counseling programs.”
Schuck added, “The mission of the Recovery Docket is to prevent recidivism; assist participants in taking responsibility for their behavioral health issues by turning them to a path of recovery; and provide approved treatment services through community programs that meet the needs of participants.”
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated the Delaware County Common Pleas General Division Recovery Docket and Judge James P. Schuck 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,” O’Connor said. “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.
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 team can include licensed treatment providers, law enforcement, court personnel, and is headed by the specialized docket judge.
The Commission on Specialized Dockets has 22 members who advise the Ohio 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.
Submitted by the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.