Drug Courts offer significant advantages to the community, the criminal justice system and the offender.
Through our Recovery Court, less-serious, drug abuse offenders have the opportunity to have their charges dismissed once they successfully meet all the demands of the yearlong program, including treatment, aftercare, sobriety, case management and drug-free status.
Recovery Court eases overcrowding on felony court dockets and in jails, while also improving community safety by providing early intervention so first-time drug abusers don't become repeat offenders.
Recovery Court's Presiding Judge is Judge Jon Oldham.
What is Recovery Court?
Recovery Court is a special court given the responsibility to handle cases involving drug-using offenders through intensive judicial supervision, case management, mandatory substance abuse treatment and drug testing, and graduated sanctions and rewards.
A minimum of one year's participation is required. During this time, offenders are on probation to the Akron Municipal Court Probation Department and are subject to the rules of the Probation Department. Upon successful completion of the program, offenders will have their guilty plea vacated and their case dismissed.
This program accelerates the prosecution process by disposing of cases within ten days of arrest and initiates treatment as soon as possible. Drug Court is held weekly for dispositions, judicial rewards and sanctions.
History of Recovery Court
The Akron Municipal Recovery Court began in 1995, and at that time, was known as Drug Court. It is a collaborative effort between Summit County Courts, the Akron Police Department, the Akron Prosecutor's Office, the Public Defenders Office, the Akron Municipal Probation Department, the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Board, and Oriana House, Inc.
The National Association of Drug Court Professionals is the principal organization of professionals involved in the development and implementation of treatment-oriented drug courts. Since the first drug court was established in 1989 in Miami, Florida, the national drug court field has grown to include over 700 drug courts in operation or in the planning stages.
How Is the Success of Recovery Courts Measured?
The success of the recovery court system is well documented. In 2018, Akron Recovery Court’s retention rate was 62.38%. We currently average 24 graduates per year from the program. From its beginning in May 1995, through the present date, more than 1,000 people successfully completed the Recovery Court program.
How Do Recovery Courts Save Money?
Incarceration of drug-using offenders costs approximately $20,000 per person per year. In contrast, a comprehensive drug court system typically costs less than $2,500 annually for each offender.
Is Recovery Court a "Soft on Crime" Program?
Recovery Court controls participants' drug usage and activity through frequent drug testing, intensive case management and judicial monitoring, and immediate sanctions that include terms of incarceration in response to program violations. Without Recovery Court, this same population often receives little jail time, supervision, drug testing or treatment, giving these offenders little reason to change their behaviors.
Who is Eligible for Recovery Court?
Recovery Court is intended for male and female drug abuse offenders who meet the following criteria:
- Intervention in lieu offenders are required to meet Ohio Statutory requirements. This offenders are typically charged with misdemeanor drug offenses of the first or second degree.
- Post-conviction offenders are individuals convicted of a first or second degree misdemeanor offense that is directly related to substance abuse; or wherein the offender has prior drug-related convictions, is under pre-sentence investigation; or is on direct supervision by the Akron Municipal Court and determined to have a drug issue.
For More Information
For additional information about Akron Municipal Court's Recovery Court, contact Akron Municipal Court Deputy Chief of Probation Jeff Sturmi at 330.375.2760.