Lorain County Recovery Court (Felony Drug Court)

Program Overview
The Lorain County Recovery Court began in the fall of 2015 after receiving certification from the Ohio Supreme Court to operate this special court. Judge John R. Miraldi was appointed to preside over the court. Initial participants were accepted into the program in September 2015. The program is geared toward the opiate addicted person whose behavior has resulted in felony criminal charges. The goal of the recovery court program is to address the offender’s addiction through a comprehensive assessment and the implementation of a specific treatment plan. Success is determined by a sobriety that breaks the cycle of criminal activity and restores the individual to the family and community as a peaceful and productive member

The recovery court utilizes experienced treatment providers in the community including drug addiction counselors, recovery coaches residential sober living homes, mental health providers and medication assisted treatment for the opiate addict.

Recovery (Drug) Court Works
For over two decades, Drug Courts have led the charge towards a more humane, cost effective justice system. Research demonstrates that Drug Courts provide a highly effective alternative to incarceration for individuals whose involvement in the criminal justice system is rooted in serious addiction to drugs.  By keeping drug-addicted offenders out of jail and in treatment Drug Courts have been proven to reduce drug abuse and crime while saving money.  The scientific community has put Drug Courts under a microscope and concluded that Drug Courts work. Better than jail or prison. Better than probation and treatment alone. Drug Courts significantly reduce drug use and crime and are more cost-effective than any other proven criminal justice strategy. (National Association of Drug Court Professionals)

Generally speaking, eligible felonies must be a lower level offense of either the 4th or 5th degree. The offense cannot be drug trafficking if the felony level is of the 4th degree or higher, nor can it be an offense of violence or a sexually oriented offense. Opiate addiction must be a substantial factor in committing the criminal offense.

There are two “tracks” for Recovery Court, Intervention Track and Non-Intervention Track. The main difference is that successful completion of the Intervention Track will result in the dismissal of your pending charges. This is not the case on the Non- Intervention Track.

General Ineligibility Factors: The following make a Defendant immediately ineligible for Recovery Court:
  • The defendant is currently charged with or has been convicted of a felony offense of violence.
  • The defendant is currently charged with or has been convicted of a sex-related crime.
  • The defendant is currently charged with or has been convicted of drug trafficking that is a felony of the first, second, third or fourth degree.
  • The defendant is charged with or has past convictions for any charges involving use of a weapon.
  • The defendant does not live within the jurisdiction of the LCAPD.
  • The defendant’s participation is opposed by the prosecutor or law enforcement personnel.

TRACK 1: INTERVENTION ELIGIBLE: (Charge(s) dismissed upon successful completion of LCRC)
ALL of the following must apply to be eligible for “intervention track.” Please place a check.>
  1. The individual's drug or alcohol usage was a factor leading to the criminal offense with which the offender is charged.
  2. The offender previously has not been convicted of or plead guilty to a felony, previously has not been through intervention in lieu of conviction or any similar regimen, and the offender meets all eligibility requirements of O.R.C. 2951.041. (An offender with a prior felony conviction, excluding felony offenses of violence, may be recommended by the prosecutor for eligibility.)

TRACK 2: NON-INTERVENTION ELIGIBLE: (Eligible for LCRC, but charge(s) is not dismissed)
ANY of following apply to the Defendant.

The offender’s current charge meets the requirements of O.R.C. 2951.041, but the offender has previously been through intervention in lieu of conviction, OR

The offender’s current charge meets the requirements of O.R.C. 2951.041, the offender has less than three (3) prior felony convictions, and none of the prior felony convictions make the offender ineligible under O.R.C. 2951.041 or the General Ineligibility Factors listed above. (They are eligible under this track even if the prosecutor does not recommend that the offender be found eligible for the intervention track) OR

The defendant has been convicted of a felony, the defendant is currently serving a community control sentence and does not have any pending violations of CCS, he or she has less than three (3) prior felony convictions, and NONE of the felony convictions are charges that exclude them from the Program under the General Ineligibility Factors listed above or are felonies of the first or second degree.

Program Details
A participant handbook is available and it contains the specifics of the program. In general, the program will take fifteen months to two years to complete the three phases necessary to graduate. A treatment team that includes all the medical providers, recovery coaches, the judge and the probation department, discuss your case, progress, compliance or non compliance every week. In the first phase you will be required to attend a court session every week to give an account for your week and to be encouraged and rewarded for compliance or sanctioned for non-compliance. Attendance in court is reduced as you advance through the second and third stage. Compliance with treatment team goals and consecutive days of sobriety are necessary to advance through the phases. While sobriety is the initial goal, phase advancement includes vocational and educational training along with work opportunities through an employment services.

The court also utilizes medication assisted treatment (MAT) for those individuals who are assessed to be medically eligible for the medication and who voluntarily want to use MAT.

Graduation from recovery court will result in the criminal charges being dismissed for the first time felony offender.

For more information, call Shanna Rose, Probation Officer and Drug Court Coordinator at 440-326-4709