Fairborn court earns state certification for helping drug offenders in Greene County

The Fairborn Municipal Drug Court earned a certification from the Ohio Supreme Court for helping drug offenders in Greene County.

Judge Beth Cappelli started the Fairborn Municipal Drug Court in 2015. This is the only drug court in Greene County.

“This is a wonderful resource for people who maybe other people have given up on. It’s way more intensive and going to attack all aspects of your life to find the source of the addiction,” said Amy Bailey, Fairborn Municipal Court administrator.

The court has to be recertified every three years, so this certification enables the court to continue operating.

In order to get certified, the Fairborn Municipal Court had to submit an application, undergo a site visit and provide specific program materials, like the participant handbook and paperwork, to ensure the court is operating to certification standards that went in to effect in January 2014. Representatives from the Ohio Supreme Court sat in on a drug court session and treatment team meeting via Zoom this year because of the pandemic, Bailey said.

“As treatment evolves, (the Ohio Supreme Court) wants to make sure we’re evolving as well,” Bailey said.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated Fairborn Municipal Court and Judge Cappelli 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 Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor in a media release. “Studies have shown this approach works by reducing recidivism while saving tax dollars.”

There are more than 210 specialized dockets in Ohio courts that deal with issues like drugs and alcohol, mental health, domestic violence and human trafficking.

“This is more intensive than a regular probation,” Bailey said. “They (offenders) have a whole treatment team monitoring their progress. And we’re a smaller court, so we are able to be more personalized.”

The treatment team can include licensed treatment providers, law enforcement, court personnel and is headed by the specialized docket judge. Bailey said anybody in Greene County can make referral for someone to enter into the Fairborn Municipal Drug Court.

“This is just another resource for people in Greene County who have addiction issues and it allows them to be out of custody,” she said.

The court works to change participants' lifestyles and help with triggers in their personal lives that could cause them to go back to their old habits, Bailey said.

“Our program’s aim is to help those at high risk. It is structured and intensive. The real reward is to have a person who has struggled with addiction issues living a life in recovery. It is a collaborative approach and would not be possible without the support of community partners," said Judge Cappelli.

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