Veterans court receives certification
The Greene County Common Pleas – Veterans Treatment Court 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 specified program materials in response to certification standards that went in to effect January 2014.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated the Greene County Common Please Court and Judge Stephen A. Wolaver for receiving the 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 docket 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, and 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 Greene County Veterans Treatment Court requires regular court appearances, as well as mandatory attendance at treatment sessions, and frequent and random testing for drug and alcohol use,” Wolaver said. “Without this structure, these veterans will re-offend and remain in the criminal justice system. The veterans’ treatment court is able to ensure they meet their obligations to themselves, the court and their community.”
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, and 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 commission makes all decisions regarding final certification.