“This is exciting!” Summit County Common Pleas Judge Amy Corrigall Jones said during the first hearing for the pilot program last week. “We have a lot to do.”
Summit County Offender Recidivism Reduction (SCORR) is a ramped-up version of traditional probation that includes more visits with a probation officer and before a judge and a defined set of consequences and rewards for breaking or following rules. Participants also will get help with the obstacles in their lives that need addressed to get them back on track.
Summit Co. (OH) court employees go to prison to learn about programs
A judge sends herself and her staff to prison for an education.
She was among 10 Summit County Common Pleas Court employees who traveled to Grafton to tour the minimum- to medium-security prison that houses about 2,000 inmates.
Judge Amy Corrigall Jones organized the tour for herself and the staff of Valor Court, a diversion program for veterans, and SCORR (Summit County Offender Recidivism Reduction), a new probation program, to provide them with a glimpse of what prison is like.
“I want my team to understand — when we have discussions of sending people to prison — what does that mean in practicality,” Jones said.
At the start of the prison tour, Warden LaShann Eppinger told the Summit County contingent that the things the prison does are similar to the court’s efforts. He said it tries to help address inmates’ needs so that when they leave they’re better able to function in society. That help includes treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues and medical problems such as hepatitis and hypertension.
“Our goal is returning a better person than came into the institution,” he said.