Volume 13, Issue 6

A publication of the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety

July 25, 2016

News and Announcements

Family Drug Court Helps Families Reunite: Study

Parents who participated in family drug treatment courts to address substance-abuse issues—while their children were in foster care—were reunited with their children at higher rates than parents who did not participate in the courts, according to a study published in the Juvenile & Family Court Journal.

"(Family Drug Treatment Courts, or FDTCs) seek to blend the coercive ability of the dependency court with treatment and other needed services in order to more effectively address substance abuse and addiction in families,” write Jacqueline van Wormer, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at Washington State University and Ming-Li Hsieh, a doctoral student at the school.“These programs aim to reunify families, if in the best interest of the child.”

The study looked at 468 participants (82 enrolled in an FDTC program and 386 enrolled in a traditional court program) in Snohomish County, Washington, between 2009 and 2011, and determined that 69 percent of parents enrolled in the FDTC program were reunited with their children, versus 62 percent of parents enrolled in a traditional court program.

FDTCs, which provide treatment, parenting skills, employment, housing, and other services, were developed nationwide in response to the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, which seeks to ensure children are reunited with their parents rather than remaining in foster care for long periods of time. There were 329 FDTC programs nationwide as of 2012.

Other findings of the study include:

The Crime Report


Data Tool: Incarcerations Impacts Vary by Race

The growth of jail incarceration has not impacted everyone equally, according to an updated interactive data tool published today by the Vera Institute of Justice.

“The racial composition of counties varies widely, but particular racial groups are over-represented in jail populations,” researchers write in the section of the online tool measuring incarceration impacts by race. “For example, although African Americans comprised just 13 percent of the general population in 2014, they made up nearly 40 percent of the overall U.S. jail population.

“The Incarceration Trends Project online data tool was updated with federally-collected prison population data from 1978-2014, in addition to providing new data on county residents in prison, for each county in Ohio and Pennsylvania (in addition to existing data for California and New York). It measures incarceration trends by race, gender, decades of jail growth, the size of jails today and jail and prison populations – enabling justice stakeholders to analyze jail and prison populations by jurisdiction.

“Until now, there hasn’t been a nationwide dataset to examine whether, and how, state prison and jail trends relate to one another,” said Christian Henrichson, research director of Vera's Center on Sentencing and Corrections, in a press release. “While these data alone cannot explain why trends diverge, it’s now clear that they often do. Policymakers and the public must look at both prison and jail populations to measure the success of reform efforts.”

Jails and prisons saw similar incarceration trends in most states between 2006-2014, but diverged in 16 states, VERA said. According to the data tool, the average daily jail populations continued to rise while prison populations declined in seven states, while in nine states this trend was reversed.

Continue reading…


Training/Technical Assistance

Free Grant Writing Seminars

OCJS will host free Grant Writing training sessions throughout 2016. The trainings will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Department of Public Safety 1970 W. Broad St. Columbus. Two dates - April 27 and August 15 - have been scheduled at this time. OCJS's grant trainings provide an overview of the grant making process. Focus is on the major components of OCJS's applications including problem statements, project descriptions, program objectives, budget details and collaboration boards. Participants must register through the Public Safety Training Campus.

Click here to register. Select new user and follow the instructions given.

Space is limited to the first 30 registered participants. Email Melissa Darby or Jacquetta Al-Mubaslat with any questions.


Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence Regional Trainings

OAESV is hosting Regional Trainings for rape crisis advocates and prevention specialists in August. Training topics include OHMANN-Engaging Men in Prevention of Sexual Violence, Evaluation-Meaningful Ways to Measure Success and more. NOTE: ODH funded RPE prevention projects are required to send a representative. 

This free training is held from 9 AM to 4 PM in each location and includes separate afternoon sessions for advocates and prevention specialists:

Click here to register.


Grants Training in Columbus, OH – August 15-16, 2016

Columbus Division of Police Regional Training Center and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Columbus, August 15-16, 2016.  This training is for grant seekers across all disciplines. Attend this class and you'll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals. Click here for full event details.

Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend.

Multi-enrollment discounts and discounts for Grant Writing USA returning alumni are available.  Tuition payment is not required at the time of enrollment.

Tuition is $455 and includes everything: two days of terrific instruction, workbook, and access to our Alumni Forum that's packed full of tools, helpful discussions and more than 200 sample grant proposals. Seating is limited, online reservations are necessary.

Complete event details including learning objectives, class location, graduate testimonials and online registration are available here.

Janet Darling
at Grant Writing USA
888.290.6237 toll free
Lisa Murray
Columbus Division of Police Regional Training Center
614.645.4800 - Ext 1117

More than 10,000 agencies across North America have turned to Grant Writing USA for grant writing and grant management training. 


Grant Funding

New Sexual Assault Services Program Grant

This grant opportunity is specifically to increase provision of sexual assault services to survivors of sexual violence in communities including African-American/African/Black, Asian American/Asian, and Hispanic/Spanish speaking. If you could distribute the information to agencies that work with these communities it would be very much appreciated.

The new Sexual Assault Services Program Grant RFP has been posted to the Ohio Department of Health website. It can be found HERE.


News From Our Ohio Task Force Commanders

Officials Battle Addiction With Recovery

It’s clear heroin and other harmful drugs have a tight grip on the area. Numerous overdoses and drug deaths are reported each year.

“We’re definitely not isolated from it,” Ottawa County commissioner Jim Sass said. “Heroin used to be an inner city drug. But it’s here in Ottawa County, right now. So we deal with it.”

It’s an uphill battle for elected officials, court employees and law enforcement officers. How can they fight back?

“We do what we can with funding to support counseling programs; the drug task force; and programs within the court,” commissioner JoEllen Regal said.

Additionally, the county has prescription drug drop-off locations found in many local police departements. Narcan, a compound used to bring people back from an overdose, is also being used by road deputies, commissioner Mark Stahl said.

“The intent here is to help get drugs off the streets and allocate resources to help those with addiction,” Sass said.

Flooded court
It seems Ottawa County Common Pleas Court is constantly dealing with drug-related crimes. In fact, almost 80 percent of all cases that pass through the court can be traced back to drugs, Judge Bruce Winters said.

“The drug problem has gotten much worse,” Winters said. “There are plenty of possession and trafficking cases, but there are even more cases involving breaking and entering, impaired driving, child support, thefts and shoplifting. Many of those cases involve addicts who are looking for drugs or money for drugs.”

He continued: “While I’ve seen a marginal uptick in the number of people struggling with addiction, the worst part seems to the the burgeoning use of heroin. Heroin kills. I think it kills everyone who remains addicted to it eventually.”

But while the heroin problem remains a popular talking point, the solution remains illusive for many addicts struggling in the area.

“We can’t arrest our way out of this,” said Carl Rider, an agent with the Ottawa County Drug Task Force. “There needs to be recovery, counseling and detoxing available.”

The court employs several in-house programs to help addicts on the road to recovery. For instance, the Ottawa County Drug Addiction Treatment Alliance program graduated its first participant, Bryan Hofacker, in March.

Hofacker struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for years before entering the program. The program helps lead addicts to sobriety through coaching, care and support, program coordinator Katelyn Ritzler said.

“Our mission is to establish longterm sobriety and to create proactive, positive citizens, Ritzler said. “This kind of program has been growing in popularity. In these cases, the judge is an ally, not the punisher.”

Hofacker’s brother, Tim, cried as he congratulated his brother during his March graduation.

“We all thought he was going to be six feet under,” Tim said. “I’m proud of him for becoming sober.”

Ottawa County Common Pleas Court employees haven’t stopped there. In fact, there are numerous officials and counselors dedicated to assisting locals struggling with addiction. Among other in-house recovery initiatives:

Looking for help in the area? Check out these services: