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, Crisis Intervention and Recovery Center, NAMI Stark County, consumers, Stark County Sheriff’s Office, North Canton Police Department, Canton Police Department 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. 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

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 »

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a collaborative effort of StarkMHAR, Canton Police Department, TASC of Stark County, Canton City Prosecutor’s Office and Stark County Public Defender’s Office. Modeled after the LEAD Program in Seattle, Stark County LEAD is a pre-booking diversion program. Using police officers discretion, an individual that could be charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor and has suspected mental health, addiction or co-occurring issues can voluntarily enter into the program rather than be arrested. A TASC Care Coordinator will work to ensure the individual is enrolled in treatment services as well as assist them with other community resources. For more information, contact Forensic Coordinator Jeannie Cool at 330-430-3947 or or Manager of Programs and Evaluations Michele Boone at 330-430-3946 or

Mobile Crisis Team, a collaborative program with Crisis Intervention and Recovery Center, offers an innovative response to crisis situations for the adult system of care in Stark County. Utilizing the Crisis Hotline, a Mobile Crisis Team Member can be dispatched 24 hours a day in order to provide assessment, de-escalation, safety planning or scene support when an individual with behavioral health concerns may experience a crisis. By providing swift responses, the goal of Mobile Crisis is ultimately to reduce psychiatric hospitalizations by providing intervention and re-engagement. Currently being piloted with the Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Mobile Crisis is expected to be fully active countywide in SFY17. For more information, contact Forensic Coordinator Jeannie Cool at 330-430-3947 or or Manager of Programs and Evaluations Michele Boone at 330-430-3946 or

Naloxone Overdose Kits In 2014 the Opiate Task Force and Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery partnered to bring Project DAWN, a community-based overdose education and Naloxone distribution program funded by the Ohio Department of Health, to Stark County to provide overdose prevention kits to law enforcement departments across the county. For more about this program, please contact Youth Development Coordinator Allison Esber at 330-455-6644 or

Drug Collection Boxes A successful partnership of the Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Free Stark County, StarkMHAR, Tri-County Waste Management District, Republic Steel and SOLACE of Stark County, this collaboration has established more than 16 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 Jeannie Cool at 330-430-3947 or

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 and Judge Curt Werren preside 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.

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 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 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 Forensic Coordinator Jeannie Cool at 330-430-3947 or

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 Jeannie Cool at 330-430-3947 or or Manager of Programs and Evaluations Michele Boone at 330-430-3946 or

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. StarkMHAR was also awarded a Criminal Justice/Behavioral Health grant through OhioMHAS to fund a Jail Liaison to specifically work with transitional age adults 18-25 that are either incarcerated at Stark County Jail, or who are returning from a state correctional facility. The Jail Liaison will use the Transition to Independence Process (TIP Model) to engage and link these young adults to services. For more information, contact Forensic Coordinator Jeannie Cool at 330-430-3947 or

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.

Step In. Step Up. A stigma awareness campaign, Step In. Step Up. materials provide information to judges, courtroom officials, lawyers, police chiefs, law officers and more. Learn more about Step In. Step Up. »