May 30, 2018

Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health to continue to manage CASC

Steve Goldsberry of GCB speaks before Commissioners on May 30, 2018.

BATAVIA, Ohio (May 30, 2018)– Clermont County Commissioners today approved a one-year contract with Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCB) to continue to manage operations at the county’s Community Alternative Sentencing Center (CASC). GCB will be paid $665,228. The contract goes from June 3, 2018, through June 2, 2019, with the option to renew for four one-year periods.

The CASC, which operates in a wing of the County Jail, is an alternative to jail for misdemeanants who are convicted of drug- or alcohol-related crimes. It includes substance abuse and mental health treatment, medication-assisted treatment, and educational and vocational services.

GCB has managed the CASC since June 2015, and began admitting male clients in September 2015. The CASC admitted its first female clients in September 2017, funded through the federal 21st Century CURES Act.

In a report to Commissioners in April, Steve Goldsberry, Vice President of Addiction Services at Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health, noted that since September 2015, the CASC has had more than 500 admissions, with an 84% completion rate. Those who complete CASC treatment are less likely to be rearrested, a GCB study shows. Clients are connected to outpatient treatment at Clermont Recovery Center after their release from CASC.

The three-year average cost per day of a client in CASC is $61 – compared to the 2017 cost of $72 per day per inmate in the County Jail.

During the April presentation, Chief Probation Officer Joe Ellison, Clermont County Municipal Court, said, “We certainly see that people released from CASC do better. They show up for probation and treatment.”

Of the $665,228 one-year contract, County Administrator Tom Eigel noted that $188,000 for the women’s wing and $86,000 for medication-assisted treatment would be covered by the 21st Century CURES Act. The county would fund the remaining $391,000, which is less that what it allocated for the 2017-18 budget — $410,000.

Goldsberry, who also spoke at today’s Session, thanked the county for its support of the CASC.

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July 14, 2017

Community Alternative Sentencing Center will soon admit women

BATAVIA, Ohio (July 14, 2017) – Clermont County Commissioners approved on July 12 the expansion of the Community Alternative Sentencing Center (CASC) to serve women. The CASC, which has been open since September 2015 under the management of Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Systems, provides an alternative to jail for misdemeanants who are convicted of drug- or alcohol-related crimes.

Since 2015, the CASC has served men. It provides various kinds of treatment and therapy, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), cognitive behavioral therapy, sober recovery meetings, and work readiness classes. It is funded by Clermont County, and its current budget is $440,800.

Now, thanks to a grant from the federal 21st Century Cures Act, Clermont County will start admitting women to the CASC as of Sept. 1, said BCC President David Uible. “This will allow us to address a gap in our attempts to address this crisis. We have wanted to offer this treatment alternative to women, and the grant will allow us to do so.”

Under the Cures Act, $26 million was allocated to the State of Ohio to fight the opioid epidemic. Clermont County, as one of the top 15 counties in the state most affected by the crisis, was given priority in the grant process, according to Karen Scherra, Executive Director of the Clermont County Mental Health & Recovery Board (CCMHRB), who led the application for the grant.

CCMHRB is receiving approximately $418,000 in the first year of the grant and up to $700,000 in the second year, which is being provided to the County to fund the CASC program. By the second year, the county hopes to serve up to 25 women in the pod. Medication-assisted treatment will be emphasized, Scherra said.

“We were very pleased to be awarded funding to expand CASC to women, which will allow a greater access to needed services and a better chance for recovery,” Scherra said.

The CASC, which operates in a wing of the County Jail, will operate its women’s pod completely separated from the men’s. The new staff will include an admissions coordinator, three counselors, three aides, a part-time employment specialist, and a recovery coach. It will also include dedicated hours from a physician and nurse.

The Community Alternative Sentencing Center – the only one in the State of Ohio – is a voluntary program. Municipal Court judges refer misdemeanants to the CASC if they think they will be good candidates for treatment as opposed to incarceration. Since it began operating under the management of Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health, the CASC has admitted 378 men. Of those 307 have successfully completed the program, with many transitioning into continued services and supports in the community.

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September 1, 2015

CASC Reopens This Week

cascBATAVIA, Ohio (Aug. 31, 2015) — A presentation and tour was held at the Community Alternative Sentencing Center, in a wing of the Clermont County Jail, on Aug. 28 to prepare for its reopening this week. CASC provides innovative behavioral and medical treatments for drug and alcohol offenders. Clermont County Municipal Court has begun referrals of clients. To see a photo album of the CASC tour, go to our Facebook page.

(Photo: Program Manager Sherry Cox of Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health, center, flanked by counselors/case manager Lora Moore, Jess Heller, Bobi Whitinger and Cindy Frazier.)