Family Treatment Court earns final certification

Judge Shriver

BATAVIA, Ohio (Jan. 9, 2017) — The Family Dependency Treatment Court of the Clermont County Juvenile Court has earned final certification from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets.

To receive the certification, the local court had to submit an application, host a site visit, and provide specific program materials in response to certification standards that went into effect in January 2014.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated the Clermont County Juvenile Family Dependency Treatment Court and Judge James A. Shriver 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,” said Justice O’Connor. “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:

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.

In this particular instance, the Family Dependency Treatment Court is provided as a voluntary option for parents whose children have been removed from their custody because of issues involving substance abuse.  The Family Dependency Treatment Court requires frequent court hearing attendance, office appointments, random drug screens, participation in substance abuse treatment and many other elements to support and encourage sobriety.

“The Family Dependency Treatment Court takes a holistic approach to deal with all problems in a family to bring families together again permanently. We have been successful in reunifying children to parents in very difficult circumstances. I am honored that the Supreme Court of Ohio recognizes the importance and great value in the program,” said Judge James A. Shriver.

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 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.