Three Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Drug Court dockets have received updated certification from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets.
In order to receive the three-year certification, the court had to submit an application, undergo a site visit, and provide specific program materials in response to certification standards that went into effect in January 2014.
The Medically Assisted Treatment Drug Court presided over by Judge David T. Matia serves individuals with an opioid use disorder, and was initially created in 2015 a response to Ohio’s opioid pandemic.
Recovery Court, led by Judge Joan Synenberg, received certification as a human trafficking court. Although this court has been existence since 2015 serving those with dual-diagnosis of addiction and trauma, it modified its target population to those with human trafficking exposure, given their unique needs. This is the first felony human trafficking court certified in the state of Ohio.
HOPE Court is overseen by Judge William T. McGinty, and received certification as a Drug Court serving those whom are high risk to recidivate and have longer criminal histories.
“Addiction and its underlying issues factor into many cases that come before our Court,” says Administrative and Presiding Judge Brendan J. Sheehan. “I can’t say enough about the hard work and compassion shown by these Judges and their Drug Court teams. They are, literally, lifesaving dockets.”
The Court also has a fourth, traditional Drug Court presided over by Judge Kelly Ann Gallagher.
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.
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.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court also has additional specialty dockets for veterans, mental health and developmental disabilities, high risk domestic violence cases, and gun violence intervention.