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Judge, Summit County Valor Court earn re-certification

FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: March 28, 2017 12:43 PM

AKRON -- Judge Amy Corrigall Jones and the Summit County Valor Court have earned final re-certification from the Ohio Supreme Court's Commission on Specialized Dockets through 2019.

Jones established the Valor Court in 2013 and initially received certification in 2014.

Valor Court is a collaborative effort that combines rigorous treatment, intensive judicial monitoring and coordinated services, as well as enhanced communication among various stakeholders, including the court, defense bar, local treatment providers and the VA. In addition to aiding veterans on the road to recovery via access to treatment for substance abuse, PTSD and other combat-related disorders, the court provides support services to address associated problems, such as unemployment and homelessness.

To help ensure the success of participants, the court incorporates a core element of peer mentors, military veterans who volunteer their time to offer Valor Court participants support and motivation as they navigate the legal process and the challenges of re-assimilating to civilian life.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor congratulated Jones.

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"Specialized dockets divert offenders toward criminal justice initiatives that employ tools and tailored services to treat and rehabilitate the offender so they can become productive members of society," O'Connor said. "Studies have shown this approach works by reducing recidivism while saving tax dollars."

"Valor Court is an innovative court model that recognizes the sacrifices of our brave servicemen and women. Our Valor Court team is dedicated to serving our veterans in Summit County and we are grateful to be able to continue to serve our community," said Corrigall Jones.

The certification requirements include establishing eligibility requirements, evaluating effectiveness of the specialized docket and assembling a treatment team for implementing daily operations of the specialized docket. The team can include licensed treatment providers, law enforcement, court personnel and is headed by the specialized docket judge.

The Commission on Specialized Dockets has 22 members who advise the Supreme Court and its staff regarding the promotion of statewide rules and uniform standards concerning specialized dockets in Ohio courts; the development and delivery of specialized docket services to Ohio courts; and the creation of training programs for judges and court personnel. The commission makes all decisions regarding final certification.

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