Fairborn court plans upgrade to track trends in drug cases, improve outcomes

Municipal Court’s specialized drug case docket gets grant for new management system

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

A new system the Fairborn Municipal Court plans to install this year is expected to improve efficiency and the tracking of drug trends.

The court whose jurisdiction is Bath Twp., Beavercreek, Beavercreek Twp. and Fairborn will be buying a probation case management system mainly to improve data collection and create reports to comply with the Ohio Supreme Court’s specialized docket certification, Clerk of Courts Melissa Litteral said.

But the Ohio Community Supervision System will provide multiple other benefits for the Fairborn drug court, also known as a specialized docket for drug and alcohol addiction, Litteral said. They include helping identify trends as they change.

“It helps to look at the needs of our community,” Litteral said. “So, when we’re talking about a case management system, (it) should be able to help the user be able to print out reports (and) understand where our needs are.

“Say we have 20 people using … fentanyl or (another) drug,” she added. “We can identify how many people have tested positive for a certain substance. And then we can look and see what’s going on in our area. Is there a change? What has happened?”

The Fairborn court was recently notified by the Ohio Supreme Court that it qualified for a grant of about $32,000 to buy the system, which is used by more than 100 courts in the state.

The drug court’s goal is to help those with drug dependencies become sober through proper treatment in a “non-adversarial approach, as an alternative to traditional case processing,” records show.

The drug court has six probation officers who have a combined caseload that can range from 1,200 to 1,500, Litteral said.

The system, which Fairborn hopes to install in about three months, can help the probation officers track participants, perform case planning, schedule the docket, and create treatment team staffing reports, court records show.

“We want to make sure that we’re providing the services necessary so that people don’t stay in the system,” Litteral said.

The new system will also have tools like a drug test call-in platform, check-in kiosks, drug testing result kiosks, texting, communication, appointment reminders and mass text messages.

“Most of our defendants and our clients all have cell phones, and so we were able to communicate with them a lot more efficiently,” Litteral said. “When you can do text messages to a group and texting reminders that they have appointments, that’ll also help reduce warrants.

“If they failed to appear in the past, we didn’t have a way to remind them,” she added. “But now, with this type of system, we can do all those things.”

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