Presiding Judge Kathryn Michael and the Akron Municipal Family Intervention Court Program earned final certification from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets.
In order to receive final certification, Judge Michael had to submit an application, undergo site visits and provide specific program materials in response to certification standards that went in to effect in January 2014.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulates Judge Michael and the Akron Municipal Family Intervention Court Program for receiving final certification.
“Specialized dockets have proven effective at addressing persistent criminal behaviors,” said Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. “Specialized dockets result in significantly lower recidivism rates which means offenders become productive members of society, for which we all benefit.”
Specialized dockets are courts that are dedicated to specific types of offenses or offenders and use a combination of different techniques for holding offenders accountable while also addressing the underlying causes of the offender’s behavior. The new Ohio Supreme Court standards for specialized dockets provide a minimum level of uniform practices, and allow local courts to innovate and tailor to meet their community’s needs and resources.
Recommended practices outlined in the certification process include establishing eligibility requirements, determining and implementing best practices and assembling a treatment team for implementing daily operations of the specialized docket.
The Akron Municipal Court’s Family Intervention Court Program uses a therapeutic model, while holding offenders accountable. This highly successful program breaks the cycle of generational family violence. “It is my privilege to preside over a program which not only has a positive impact on the life of offenders, but also improves the quality of life for those relationships closest to him or her,” said Michael.
The Akron Municipal Court’s Family Intervention Court team includes licensed treatment providers from Oriana House, Inc. and Summit Psychological Associates, Inc., the Public Defender’s Office, municipal court personnel, a representative from the Battered Women’s Shelter, Inc., the Akron City Law Department and is headed by the specialized docket judge, Judge Kathryn Michael.
The Commission on Specialized Dockets advises the Supreme Court 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.
The Akron Municipal Court serves the cities of Akron and Fairlawn; the townships of Bath, Richfield and Springfield; the Villages of Lakemore and Richfield; and that part of Mogadore in Summit County, Ohio. For more information about Akron Municipal Court services and programs, visit http://courts.akronohio.gov/.