Specialized dockets in courts addressing mental health and substance abuse issues are the way to reduce future crime from occurring. No child growing up wants to be on the wrong side of the law. No one wants to spend their time in jail, prison, paying fines, court costs and losing other liberties like their drivers' license. However, I believe some people have had traumas that have affected them in a way that they have a hard time dealing or coping with. These untreated traumas can lead to self-medicating with alcohol and drugs which leads to a potential addiction. Once the addiction sets in getting back to "normal" can be an impossible feat.
I have seen addiction ruin people's lives. I have seen people set aside everything that is important to them in life - job, family and friends; for the pursuit of the drug of their choice. This leads to behavior and decisions the person would never have made prior to their addiction. Shop lifting, trafficking in drugs, forgery, fraud, breaking and entering, burglary, robbery and the list goes on.
Today attorney Mike Streng appeared in drug court representing a lady charged with trafficking in prescription drugs. She was accepted into the drug court program. She has been clean and sober for forty-three days and has a personal victory every day. Her enthusiasm for life, staying clean and avoiding any future wayward choices was delightful.
Specialized dockets are making a difference for people and the community at large. They recognize and attempt to treat the root of the problem so the person does not re-offend. It would be nice to see more specialized dockets in the courts throughout Ohio.
To learn more about specialized dockets visit the Ohio Supreme Court web site.