Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice

Partners in Public Health

We all have a stake in ensuring Stark County remains a great place to work, live and raise children. It is crucial all sectors including law enforcement, the criminal justice system, the business and medical community, schools, families and more, be involved to be successful in prevention, treatment and recovery for Stark County residents. Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery partners with the community to provide a connected system of care.

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training is a collaboration of law enforcement and mental health professionals that assists police officers in managing encounters involving people who may be struggling with substance abuse and/or a mental illness. Seen as best practice internationally, identified CIT officers are able to interact in crisis situations using de-escalation techniques that improve the safety of the officer, consumer and family members. CIT Trainings occur multiple times a year and encourage collaboration between law enforcement, behavioral health and consumers/families. Currently, the CIT Steering Team, consisting of members from Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery, Coleman Crisis, NAMI Stark County, consumers, Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Canton Police Department, Aultman Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Canton Probation and Adult Protective Services, is working to fully implement CIT as a crisis management approach in our community in order to reduce violence, increase successful encounters for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis and to address the special challenges to law enforcement posed by persons with mental illness. The Stark County CIT Coordinators are Erin Ivers of StarkMHAR and Major CJ Stantz of the Stark County Sherriff’s Office. CIT is sponsored by StarkMHAR, in collaboration with NAMI Stark County, mental health consumers/families, clinical professionals and law enforcement departments across the county. For more information, please contact Erin Ivers at 330-430-3973 or Erin.Ivers@StarkMHAR.org.

Mental Health First Aid for Safety Officers This 8-hour Mental Health First Aid course is especially tailored for public safety professionals including, but not limited to, first responders, police officers, correction officers and 9-1-1 dispatch operators. Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety Officials provides officers with more response options to help de-escalate incidents and better understand mental illnesses so they can respond to mental health-related calls appropriately without compromising safety. Approximately 20,000 public safety professionals have taken the course, including police academies in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Seattle. For more about Mental Health First Aid for Safety Officers »

SOS/SCQRT The Stark Outreach Support team (SOS) and Stark County Quick Response Team (SCQRT) are part of a Quick Response Team program model that provides outreach services to individuals who have recently overdosed on opioids.   The program consists of a team that includes a law enforcement officer from the Canton Police Department or the Stark County Sheriff Department, a nurse from CommQuest, and a Social Worker/Peer from Stark County TASC.  There are two teams in the program: a Canton team and a Stark County team.  The Canton SOS team includes a member of the CPD and outreaches one day per week.  The Stark County QRT includes a member of the Stark County Sheriff’s Department and provides outreach two days per week.  The teams use a list provided by law enforcement to attempt to engage individuals and provide written resources and care packages, which contain comfort items related to the symptoms of withdrawal.  The team offers to connect people who have overdosed with recovery services and, if accepted, needs are assessed and linkage is completed, including transportation to the service provider if indicated.  If the offer is not accepted, the nurse offers to provide a naloxone kit free of charge.  The teams also are able to engage family members and provide referrals and/or linkage to education and support, as well as furnish naloxone kits via Project DAWN. The Stark County’s Sheriff Office contact is Deputy Davis at 330-430-3800. The Canton Police Department contact is Detective Rastetter at 330-649-5800.

Mobile Response Adult and Youth Programs provides a rapid response employing mental health and substance use interventions that are sensitive to the age-specific needs of youth and adults wherever they may be and at any time of day.  The Mobile Response Teams are comprised of a team of professionals trained in crisis intervention, information, and referral. Their goal is to help stabilize any urgent mental health or substance use need such as family arguments, parental struggles, feelings of isolation, difficulty coping with stress, suicide, and substance use worries. The team is able to provide these services at any Stark County community location.  Anyone can request Mobile Response services 24/7 by calling the Crisis Hotline at 330-452-6000.

Naloxone Overdose Kits Are available for law enforcement through the Stark County Health Department.  Other criminal justice partners and general community may be eligible to obtain a free kit from CommQuest Services, Coleman Crisis, or Canton City Health Department. For more about this program, please contact Coalition & Community Development Coordinator Justina Gorman at 330-455-6644 or Justina.Gorman@StarkMHAR.org.

Drug Collection Boxes A successful partnership of the Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Free Stark County, StarkMHAR, and Tri-County Waste Management District, this collaboration has established more than 18 permanent drug collection boxes throughout Stark County. A strategy to address Stark County’s Opiate Epidemic, drug collections keep prescription drugs out of the illicit pipeline. For more about permanent Drug Collection Boxes »

Mental Health Justice Programs are funded in part by StarkMHAR. For more information about the following specialized dockets, please contact Forensic Coordinator Erin Ivers at 330-430-3973 or Erin.Ivers@StarkMHAR.org.

The Polaris Project is a mental health court at Canton Municipal Court that received its initial certification as a Certified Specialized Docket from Supreme Court of Ohio in 2013. Funded in collaboration by StarkMHAR and Canton Municipal Court, the Polaris Project provides a comprehensive, coordinated approach to the misdemeanor cases of defendants with severe mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders in order to decrease criminal recidivism, improve public safety and improve the defendant’s quality of life by stabilizing the defendant in the least restrictive environment. The Polaris Project is a voluntary program that emphasizes the early identification and intervention of a person whose symptoms of mental illness, history of treatment non-compliance and/or refusal to accept treatment results in a recurring pattern of misdemeanor offenses. Judge Mary A. Falvey presides over the Polaris Project docket. The Polaris Project is a coordinated treatment and supervision program intended to promote effective treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Through frequent judicial interaction and intervention, the program assists defendants in recognizing, taking control, managing and being accountable for their mental illness.

Recovery Court is a specialized docket at Canton Municipal Court that received its initial certification as a Certified Specialized Docket from Supreme Court of Ohio in 2017. Funded in collaboration by StarkMHAR and Canton Municipal Court, Recovery Court provides a comprehensive, coordinated approach to the misdemeanor cases of defendants with substance abuse disorders in order to decrease criminal recidivism, improve public safety and improve the defendant’s quality of life by stabilizing the defendant in the least restrictive environment. Recovery Court is a voluntary program that emphasizes the early identification and intervention of a person whose substance use, history of treatment non-compliance and/or refusal to accept treatment results in a recurring pattern of misdemeanor offenses. Judge Curt Werren presides over the Recovery Court docket. Recovery Court is a coordinated treatment and supervision program intended to promote effective treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Through frequent judicial interaction and intervention, the program assists defendants in recognizing, taking control, managing and being accountable for their substance use while promoting recovery and resilience.

The STAR (Substance Treatment And Recovery) Program is a specialized docket through Stark County Family Court that serves Stark County adolescents 13-17 years of age who have been adjudicated and are currently at risk for substance abuse. STAR is a new program established in 2020 and is partnership between Stark County Family Court, StarkMHAR and Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health. It was developed with the goal of diverting youth out of the criminal justice system and into a comprehensive treatment program that will assist youth with the development of a personal recovery plan, identification of a trusted adult, abstinence from substances, and engagement in prosocial activities, amongst other goals. The program was formed using evidenced based treatment techniques and trauma informed practices. Judge Brown presides over the docket.

The H.O.P.E Program was originally established in 2001 as the Mental Health track of Stark County Common Pleas Court. It was developed with the goal of establishing a cooperative and coordinated solution between community providers as a possible alternative to prison. Since 2007 the program is now known as the H.O.P.E. Program (Helping Offenders Psychologically and Emotionally). It is designed to assist individuals who are involved with the Common Pleas Court and have a history of mental health issues by providing the necessary services that will enhance the probability of stabilization and reduce the likelihood of re-offending. These specially trained professionals understand the complexities that mental health issues add to the Court, process and work together to promote recovery efforts, thus enabling participants to successfully complete Intensive Supervision Probation (ISP). StarkMHAR funds treatment services that otherwise are not covered under Medicaid or other insurances. For more about the H.O.P.E Program »

Outpatient Commitment (OPC) is a collaborative effort between StarkMHAR, Coleman Crisis and Stark County Probate Court. Known as Senate Bill 43 and signed into law in September 2015, OPC added new language to Ohio Revised Code 5122.01 to allow for Probate Court to provide involuntary commitment for an individual, with the least restrictive setting within the community. StarkMHAR and Coleman Crisis will work with providers and Probate Court to provide support and monitoring of treatment recommendations. To qualify, individuals need to meet criteria of involuntary commitment under the above statute and may initially be committed for 90 days and for two years thereafter. For more information, contact Coleman Crisis’s Director of Crisis Support Services Rochelle Jimenez at Rochelle.Jimenez@colemanservices.org or Forensic Coordinator Erin Ivers at 330-430-3973 or Erin.Ivers@StarkMHAR.org.

Sequential Intercept Mapping is a model through SAMHSA’s GAINS Center and The Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence (CJCCOE) to address the overrepresentation of individuals with mental illness in the criminal justice system. The model outlines sequential points at which a person with mental illness can be “intercepted” and diverted from going further into the criminal justice system, leading to a decrease in individuals with mental health issues in the criminal justice system. Stark County was selected by the CJCCOE to be trained and receive assistance in developing a local map to improve service delivery and developing an Action Plan. For more information, contact Forensic Coordinator Erin Ivers at 330-430-3973 or Erin.Ivers@StarkMHAR.org or Manager of Programs and Evaluations Jeannie Cool at 330-430-3947 or Jeannie.Cool@StarkMHAR.org.

Stepping Up: The Stepping Up Initiative is a national initiative targeted at reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. Without change, large numbers of people with mental illnesses (many with co-occurring substance use disorders) will continue to cycle through the criminal justice system, often resulting in missed opportunities to link them to treatment, tragic outcomes, inefficient use of funding, and failure to improve public safety.

The Stepping Up initiative brings together a diverse group of organizations, including those representing sheriffs, jail administrators, judges, community corrections professionals, treatment providers, people with mental illnesses and their families, mental health and substance use program directors, and other stakeholders. StarkMHAR leads the Stepping Up workgroup in Stark County. For more information, please contact Forensic Coordinator Erin Ivers at 330-430-3973 or Erin.Ivers@StarkMHAR.org or Manager of Programs and Evaluations Jeannie Cool at 330-430-3947 or Jeannie.Cool@StarkMHAR.org.

Crisis Management Team: On September 11, 2008, Stark County Commissioners signed a Resolution formalizing the development of the Stark County Crisis Management Team. The purpose of the committee is to provide a cross-system decision making process for those clients with challenging physical and/or behavioral health needs that interfere with appropriate case planning and indicated placement.  A Crisis Management Team meeting is called when each involved system has exhausted all their normal avenues for case planning and cross system collaboration but has found that the systems are unable to resolve or respond to the needs of the individual.  Note: This committee is not intended to be used as a normal means of case planning, but is instead for the most complex and complicated cases that require the cross collaboration of multiple systems with directors who can affect any needed change. For more information, please contact StarkMHAR’s Clinical Director, Michele Boone at 330-455-6644.

Jail Liaisons are funded by Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery to work with both resource-connected and non-linked individuals that are incarcerated at Stark County Jail. The Stark County Jail Liaison is charged with the responsibility to assess an inmate’s mental health and/or addiction needs, advocate for their client and assist with release planning. Currently, Stark County TASC serves adults 18-29 in the jail and Coleman Behavioral Health serves adults ages 30 and over in the jail. To reach the jail liaisons directly please call 330-451-1380 for TASC or 330-430-3874 for Coleman.  For further information, contact Forensic Coordinator Erin Ivers at 330-430-3973 or Erin.Ivers@StarkMHAR.org.

Forensic Services Program is a collaborative effort of Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery, Coleman Professional Services, OhioMHAS as well as the county’s municipal and common pleas courts. The Forensic Monitor, employed at StarkMHAR, works jointly with the courts, the state psychiatric hospitals and the forensic service providers in providing monitoring and treatment provisions to individuals found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) and incompetent to stand trial, unrestorable (ISTU-CJ) for individuals on Conditional Release in the community or those individuals committed to the state hospitals that are preparing for Conditional Release. The focus of the Forensic Services Program is first on-risk management and monitoring to ensure community safety, while also providing treatment to individuals so they can address mental health concerns.