April 2014 the Treatment Alternative Court (TAC) and STAR Program (Sobriety, Treatment, Accountability, and Recovery) of the Fairfield Municipal Court earned their final certifications 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.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated the Fairfield Municipal Court and Judge Joyce A. Campbell for receiving final certification.
“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. There are more than 150 specialized dockets in Ohio courts that deal with issues such as:
· Drugs and Alcohol
· Mental Health
· Domestic Violence
· Sex Offenses
The new 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.
When asked about the two Specialized Dockets Judge Joyce A. Campbell states “that the Treatment Alternative Court (TAC Docket) was originally established in 2000. The Treatment Alternative Court has assisted hundreds of individuals that came into contact with the criminal justice system as a result of their untreated severe mental illness. Certification is an important step in improving outcomes for our citizens.” And “that the STAR Program has assisted numerous individuals since beginning in 2009 to overcome their addictions and become productive law abiding citizens.”
Recommended 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, 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 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.