Mahoning Juvenile Court Certified for Specialized Dockets

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Mahoning County Common Pleas’ Juvenile Division Mental Health Court has received final certification from the Ohio Supreme Court to provide specialized dockets.

The specialized dockets allow the juvenile court to offer alternative sentences that address behaviors. In Ohio, more than 210 specialized dockets have been approved, including those relating to drugs and alcohol, domestic violence and human trafficking.

“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 Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor in a statement. “Studies have shown this approach works by reducing recidivism while saving tax dollars.” 

To be approved for a specialized docket, courts must submit an application, undergo a site visit and provide specific program materials to the Supreme Court commission. Courts must also establish eligibility requirements, evaluate the effectiveness of the specialized dockets and assemble a treatment team – which includes licensed treatment providers, law enforcement and court personnel among others – for daily operations of the dockets.

“The certification is both an acknowledgement by the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets of the challenges in our community and represents its confidence in our Court to tackle these problems and provide solutions that result in positive changes,” said juvenile court Judge Theresa Dellick.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.