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Hamilton County Drug Treatment & Recovery Court: An Evidence-based Response to a Specialized Docket

Award Information

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Competitive Discretionary
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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $700,000)

In Ohio, one of the main epicenters of the opioid epidemic, policymakers and practitioners have mobilized to develop innovative ways to reduce overdoses and overdose deaths. Hamilton County (Greater Cincinnati area) has averaged 503 overdose deaths each year over the last four years. In 2021, Hamilton County suffered 454 overdose deaths and continues to witness 50-70 overdoses per week across the County. The pervasiveness of substance use disorders and addiction in Hamilton County requires a community-wide solution. Hamilton County’s Adult Drug Treatment and Recovery Court (DTRC) is applying for the Category 1: Planning and Implementation grant for the Bureau of Justice Assistance FY22 Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program. 

 DTRC provides specialized supervision and treatment for defendants whose dependency upon substance use results in criminal penalties.  The court handles Felony 4 and Felony 5 Drug Charges and drug related offenses, (theft, receiving stolen property). DTRC is a voluntary program which offers participants extended treatment, not available to other courts, alternatives to incarceration, and, in some cases, dismissal and sealing of the felony charges. After acceptance into the DTRC Program by the Drug Court Judge, the individual will enter a plea before the Judge in Hamilton County Drug Court. Participation in the program includes regular court appearances before the Drug Court Judge to discuss and evaluate their progress, participation, and achievements with the program(s). DTRC ensures the protection of victims' rights and public safety via the recommendation of sanctions, incentives, and therapeutic adjustments for participants.  

The Category 1: Planning and Implementation funds will allow the Hamilton County’s Adult Drug Treatment and Recovery Court to 1) enhance and strengthen treatment services for 400 participants in the first year and 800 drug court participants annually in year two through four; and 2,800 over the course of the four-year project. 2) Increase abstinence and decrease recidivism by increasing graduate success rates by 150% over the course of the four-year project to 600 total graduates. 3) Provide social service support by hiring a full-time Case Manager to provide wraparound case management services. 4) Establish an advisory committee to monitor progress, ensure compliance with BJA FY22 Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program grant requirements, and deliver increased access to substance use treatment, ensuring that everyone has equal access to quality services from the DTRC, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Date Created: September 28, 2022