Court News Ohio reports that 23 specialized dockets in Ohio courts have recently received final certification by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Specialized Dockets. This includes a Veterans Treatment docket in Hamilton County Municipal and Common Pleas courts and an OVI docket in Clermont County.
There are currently over 150 specialized dockets in Ohio courts. These dockets provide a “therapeutically oriented judicial approach to providing court supervision and appropriate treatment to individuals” (Rules of Superintendence 36.20). This is a non-adversarial approach to the justice system wherein court and treatment personnel collaborate to provide treatment instead of prison time for defendants dealing with issues such as mental health and drug and alcohol abuse. This involves a treatment team that can include prosecutors, defense counsel, probation officers, case managers and licensed treatment providers, among other community and court personnel. The team is led by a specialized docket judge. According to Court News Ohio, "the success of specialized dockets is measured by reduced recidivism, improved treatment, and cost savings."
Specialized courts must undergo an application and certification process with the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Specialized Dockets before hearing cases. They must be re-certified after three years of certification or within six months of a change in judge for that court. For more information on the rules for specialized dockets see Appendix I of the Rules of Superintendence for Ohio Courts.