It is the mission of the Athens County DUI Program to provide management and treatment to repeat DUI offenders in an effort to recognize and correct their problematic behavior, as well as reduce the risk they pose to the safety of the community.
The opportunity for change is afforded through regular appearance before the judiciary, supervised treatment, mandatory periodic drug / alcohol testing, and the use of graduated sanctions and rehab services. Participation in the one year probation program is an alternative to an extended jail sentence. Probationers are monitored closely and are required to attend substance abuse counseling regularly. Violations, including alcohol or drug use or missed appointments, result in prompt sanctions.
Our program is the second such program in Ohio, designed on a national model shown to provide a long-term solution to the program of repeat offenders.
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Intensive Probation Program
In response to the jail overcrowding problem the Athens County Municipal Court has established an Intensive Probation Program. The program targets high risk misdemeanor offenders who have a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse and lack of job training. It is used as a means of closely monitoring offenders who could benefit from treatment rather than incarceration.
This program targets 50 offenders over the course of six months and supervises their progress through treatment, job training, and the mandatory 100 hours of community service. The offender will meet with the probation officer on a weekly basis to update their advancement through the court ordered program. He / she will be responsible for making appointments with drug and alcohol counselors, paying their fines and restitution, and setting up community service at a local nonprofit organization.
The Court often suspends major jail sentences and fines if the client agrees to participate and successfully completes the program. Sanctions for not successfully completing the program are imposing any and all of the suspended jail and fines the client agreed to once they entered the program. The Intensive Probation Program is funded through a State grant and currently consists of two probation officers.
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Substance Abuse Mentally Ill (SAMI) Program
The Athens County Court SAMI (Substance Abusing Mentally Ill) Court Program is a treatment based program designed to divert individuals from jail who incur misdemeanor level charges and have serious and chronic mental illness as well as substance abuse diagnosis.
The program is voluntary but requires that participants enter a plea of guilty or no contest, be sentenced, and then follow through with the program are provided through Tri-County Mental Health and Counseling Services, Inc. and include psychological assessment, individual and group counseling, and case management services.The Athens County Municipal Court provides supervision and court monitoring of treatment through the services of a dedicated probation officer.
The SAMI Court Program exists as a result of a partnership formed among several community stakeholders in an effort to better serve the member of our community who live with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance addiction. The partners of our collaboration include the court, the local mental health treatment provider, local law enforcement agencies, the local Public Defender’s office, the city and county prosecutors and the local Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board.
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The Athens County Municipal Court Early Intervention Screening Program
The Early Intervention Screening Program is designed to detect mental health issues in underage individuals charged multiple times with alcohol-related offenses with the underlying premise being that these individuals may be at risk for developing mental health problems, substance abuse problems, or both. The screening is an informal mental health and substance abuse assessment designed to detect whether further assessment is warranted. Individuals who are ordered to participate in the screening process meet with a qualified mental health professional who conducts the assessment and makes recommendations for treatment, if necessary.
The goal of the Early Intervention Screening Program is to link individuals to appropriate treatment and reduce the possibility of charges in the future related to either mental health symptoms or substance abuse issues or both.
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