MOUNT GILEAD — The Morrow County Court of Common Pleas recently held its Substance Abuse Court Summer Graduation. The ceremony took place on Friday, July 13 in the Trinity United Methodist Church.
The Morrow County Substance Abuse Court, or Drug Court, has been in existence since 2002.
Currently, the court has four different dockets: Felony, Treatment-In-Lieu, Family and Juvenile. There are 42 participants in the four dockets. Typically, 60-65 participants are served annually in the Drug Court.
All four Specialized Dockets are credentialed and certified through the Supreme Court of Ohio, and all are funded by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. A total of eight graduates were recognized during the ceremony, with five participants graduating from the felony docket and three graduating from the Family Docket.
Judge Robert C. Hickson, Jr. presides over the Treatment-In-Lieu, Family, and Juvenile dockets, while Judge Tom C. Elkin presides over the Felony docket. Each docket has a “treatment team” that includes a judge, a probation officer, treatment providers, and, for the Family docket, a Children Services caseworker.
“It is really important to understand that it is up to the Judges to have a Substance Abuse Court. There is nothing mandating the court to have a Drug Court. Judge Hickson and Judge Elkin are fully committed to these specialized dockets. The judges take great pride in getting to know the participants personally that come before them,” Morrow County Court of Common Pleas Court Administrator Greg Thomas said.
“Our Drug Court is successful because of the level of care that the participants receive from the treatment teams. Probation Officers Andrew Szteiter and Renee Watts take such pride in their work, and they genuinely want to see the participants achieve a sober, crime-free lifestyle. Additionally, Recovery and Prevention Resources, Maryhaven, and Southeast do a great job of providing substance abuse and mental health counseling services.”
For information pertaining to theMorrow County Court of Common Pleas, contact Greg Thomas, Court Administrator at 419-947-4515; ext. 2295.