Canton Recovery Court Provides Innovative Drug Docket

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Court services began this month; Treatment is key offering of new docket

gavel-books-FT-newsStark County, OH (Mar. 20, 2017) Canton Municipal Court and Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) have partnered to bring a certified Ohio Supreme Court Recovery Court model to the area. A specialized drug court docket emphasizing treatment for offenders, Canton Municipal Court Judge Curt Werren will provide judicial oversight. The Canton court began processing cases this month.

The Recovery Court planning team has been working since October last year to bring the certified model to the Canton Municipal Court. Currently there are 30 specialized, municipal Drug/Recovery Courts in Ohio certified by the Supreme Court of Ohio. The planning team includes representatives from the Canton Municipal Court, Canton Prosecutor’s Office, CommQuest Services, Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery, and the Stark County Public Defender’s Office.

Two tracks on the Recovery Court docket include Intervention In-Lieu-of-Conviction, and a Post-Conviction track. The intervention track would allow those who successfully complete the recovery program to have their case dismissed and record sealed. This supports the concept of recovery leading to a fresh start. Participants would need to demonstrate a year of sobriety to obtain the dismissal. The treatment program component is designed to assist offenders address the substance use struggles that resulted in involvement in the legal system. Recovery Court will provide access to a range of supportive services to assist the individual in managing their recovery.

StarkMHAR will contribute funding for the salary needs of the probation officer assigned to the Recovery Court for the remainder of the state fiscal year. In addition, StarkMHAR will provide individuals in Recovery Court funding from a $408,240 award of Addiction Treatment Program (ATP) funds from Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) to CommQuest Services for addiction treatment. Although the ATP funds are specific to individuals with opiate and/or alcohol addictions, the Recovery Court does not prohibit acceptance of individuals that may have an addiction to other substances.

For more information about Canton’s Recovery Court, please contact Court Administrator Michael Kochera at 330-438-4231 or at