The Community Innovations initiative links non-violent offenders with community-based behavioral health services. It encourages communities in Ohio to forge collaborative relationships between the behavioral health and criminal justice systems so that individuals with mental illness and/or alcohol and other drug addiction receive the care they need. This, in turn, helps to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and minimize harm to those who come in contact with law enforcement.
Drug courts are specialized dockets that handle cases involving substance-abusing offenders through comprehensive supervision, drug and alcohol testing, treatment services and immediate sanctions and incentives. The majority of individuals participating in Ohio’s drug courts are heroin/opioid dependent.
Drug court programs have teams that are made up of: probation officers, prosecutors, defense counsel, substance abuse treatment personnel, case personnel, schools, children services personnel and other ancillary service providers. The treatment team meets with the drug court judge to staff cases, provide updates and make recommendations based on participant performance. Drug court participants meet, as a group, and appear before the drug court judge at least twice monthly, while many participants appear weekly.
The Circle for Recovery Programs (CFRO) are located in and administered by a total of nine Urban Minority Alcohol and Drug Addiction Outreach Programs (UMADAOPs) across the state of Ohio. The objective of the Circle for Recovery programs is to prevent relapse of chemical dependency and criminal recidivism among primarily African-American adult parolees. Relapse prevention services for the Circle of Recovery Programs include: employment/vocational training; GED/education; health education including AIDS/HIV/STD education; relationship education; peer support; violence prevention; and crisis intervention services.
In response to the Ohio’s heroin and opioid epidemic, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) created the Specialized Dockets Payroll Subsidy Project to assist drug courts and other specialized docket programs with funding to effectively manage offenders in the community, thereby reducing commitments to the state prison system. Specialized docket programs that target addicted parents charged with abuse/neglect/dependency of their minor children were also eligible for funding.
OhioMHAS provides funding to three Therapeutic Communities to treat offenders with substance abuse and mental health problems. The Therapeutic Communities are located in Franklin, Greene and Cuyahoga Counties.
The Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence promotes the Sequential Intercept Model, to assist communities in systematically approaching efforts to divert people with mental disorders from unnecessary arrest and incarceration.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Reentry Website contains resources and information provided to offenders as they prepare for release.
The GAINS Center focusess on expanding access within the justice system of community-based services for adults diagnosed with co-occuring mental illness and substance use disorders.