Two judges of the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, General Division, (“Court”) have received notice that the specialized dockets the judges oversee have received certifications from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets (“Commission”).
Judge Dennis Adkins received notice that the Veterans’ Docket he administers has been certified, while Judge Mary Katherine Huffman received notice that the Women’s Therapeutic Docket that she presides also has received certification.
Judge Huffman is starting her first term presiding over the Women’s Therapeutic Docket. She stated “I am proud of the Court’s work in the specialized dockets field and am pleased to be associated with its recognized excellence.” Judge Adkins is starting his second term as the head of the Veterans’ Docket, and he noted that “the Court’s work to assist veterans who have come in contact with the law and are in need of social programming assistance should make all of the citizens in Montgomery County proud.”
In order to receive certification, the assigned judge for each docket had to submit an application, undergo a site visit, and provide specific program material in response to certification standards set by the Commission that the went into effect in January 2014.
Specialized dockets are dedicated to specific types of offenses or offenders and use a combination of different techniques for holding offenders accountable, while also addressing the underlying causes of their behavior. There are more than 210 specialized dockets in Ohio courts that deal with such issues as drug and alcohol use and addiction, mental health issues, domestic violence, and human trafficking.
The standards for certification of specialized dockets provide a minimum level of uniform practices throughout the state and allow local courts to innovate and tailor their practices to meeting the needs and resource found in their communities.
The certification requirements include establishing eligibility requirements, evaluating effectiveness of the specialized docket, and assembling a treatment team for implementing daily operations of the specialized docket.
The Court maintains a specialized dockets section in its probation services department to provide assistance to the judges assigned to each specialized docket. The section is led by Terra Bechtol, supervisor of specialized dockets, who oversees a staff of nine personnel.
For additional information, contact Judge Dennis J. Adkins at 937.496.7951 or Judge Mary Katherine Huffman at 937.496.7955.