New program in Summit Co., Ohio, aims to reduce probation violations
The Summit County Offender Recidivism Reduction program (SCORR) begins Monday and will last three years.
“This model has the potential to revolutionize the probation department and how we monitor offenders,” said Kerri Defibaugh, the Summit County Adult Probation Department’s director of offender services. “I’m excited to see the outcome.”
She’s not alone. Officials from the probation department, Summit County Common Pleas Court, sheriff’s office, area defense attorneys and several local treatment providers have been working since last fall to map out plans for SCORR. They see the potential of the program, which features closer supervision, a defined set of rewards and punishments and quicker responses to rule breaking.
“I think that the clear structure and immediate consequences are what will make this more effective than traditional probation,” said Andrea Whitaker, an Akron defense attorney who spends much of her time on probation violation hearings.
The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, however, is evaluating the program and its potential effect on crime victims.
“We are reviewing the requirements of this new program and its impact on victims,” Assistant Prosecutor Brian LoPrinzi, who supervises the Criminal Division, said in a prepared statement. “As always, we will continue to work to make sure those convicted of crimes are held accountable for their actions. Our hope is the program provides sentencing alternatives while ensuring safety.”