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Court and City Collaborate On Curbing Addiction, “No More Excuses” to Get Well

Apr 26, 2013
(Cleveland) - The Cleveland Municipal Court and The City of Cleveland Department of Public Health are teaming up in an effort to help individuals with alcohol and substance abuse problems obtain access to comprehensive health care and other recovery support services, which in turn will increase their chances of achieving sobriety and therefore lead more productive lives.

Contact:  Ed "Flash" Ferenc, Public information Officer
              Cleveland Municipal Court                   
              216-664-6787   216-857-7420
              ference@cmcoh.org

 

(Cleveland) - The Cleveland Municipal Court and The City of Cleveland Department of Public Health are teaming up in an effort to help individuals with alcohol and substance abuse problems obtain access to comprehensive health care and other recovery support services, which in turn will increase their chances of achieving sobriety and therefore lead more productive lives.

Details of the collaboration were unveiled at a Cleveland City Hall Press Conference
Thursday, April 25, 2013.

“This will take Drug Court to the next level,” said Cleveland Municipal Judge Anita Laster Mays, who oversees the Greater Cleveland Drug Court Program.  Judge Mays says the targeted population is already eligible for the benefits as the result of federal grant money. 

“The Court is simply linking defendants up to whatever services they need, from basic vision and dental care to complete physicals, HIV referrals and intensive outpatient services.  There is even GED support so defendants can be better educated for the current job market,” she added.

Typically 60% of Greater Cleveland Drug Court participants are young African-American males and 70% did not graduate from high school.  Research has shown African-Americans experience more severe medical and social consequences from drug abuse and addiction compared to Caucasians.  They are also more likely to be poor and uninsured.

“By having all this at our fingertips, we can safely say there’s no more excuses for people in this program to get well,” said Judge Mays who takes pride in saying Cleveland Municipal is the first Court in Ohio to embark on such a partnership.

Much of the reasoning for this approach comes from several studies on the effectiveness of Drug Courts.

According to data compiled by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Drug Courts produce an average of $2.21 in direct benefits to the criminal justice system for every $1.00 invested.  When they target their services to the more serious higher-risk offenders, the average return is even higher:  $3.36 for every $1.00 invested.

Specifically when it comes to health care needs, the National Drug Court Institute has found some substances (e.g, methamphetamines) create serious health and dental problems.   Programs that offered dental care had 59% greater reductions in recidivism than programs that did not and programs that offered health care had a 50% reduction in recidivism.

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From Left to Right: Daryl Jackson, Drug Court Coordinator; Karen Butler, Director of Public Health; The Honorable Anita Laster Mays, Greater Cleveland Drug Court and The Honorable Ronald B. Adrine, Administrative and Presiding Judge, Cleveland Municipal Court. Judge Adrine is holding up the "gold" card that Drug Court participants will use to access health care services.

 

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