Summit County Court of Common Pleas Administrative Judge Amy Corrigall Jones is pleased to announce that the Summit County Adult Probation Department has been awarded the Justice Reinvestment and Incentive Grant (JRIG) for FY2018 and FY2019. JRIG, which will replace the Probation Investment and Improvement Grant the department received in 2015, was awarded in the amount of $168,435 and is effective December 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019.
The grant is funded by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. The purpose of the funding is to divert low-risk, felony four and five offenders from prison to community control and reduce recidivism. The grant award will fund department staffing and intervention programming.
Probationers under the department’s supervision are required to complete various programming and/or treatment as part of their probation to address underlying factors contributing to their criminal behavior, such as substance abuse and securing employment. Probation officers meet regularly with probationers, monitor his or her compliance with the conditions of their probation and report back to the courts on their progress.
Additionally, the grant will fund in-house programming Thinking For A Change (TFAC) and Brenda Burnham Unruh Job Readiness (BBU), effective interventions in reducing recidivism. TFAC is a nationally-recognized cognitive behavioral treatment program designed to alter participants’ criminal thinking patterns and teach them pro-social thinking and problem-solving skills. BBU, named to honor the late Judge Brenda Burnham Unruh, teaches participants job-readiness skills and invites service providers to speak about community resources that aid participants in securing employment and addressing other barriers.
In recent years, research has indicated that committing first-time and low-risk felony four and five offenders to prison is not effective in reducing recidivism and maintaining long-term public safety. Such research has spurred funding opportunities for diversion interventions and community control.
“There is a lot of research demonstrating that community control and interventions are much more effective at addressing the factors influencing an individual’s criminal behavior and reducing recidivism. To that end, this funding enables the probation department to maintain its capacity to monitor probationers and offer services that teach them how to lead crime-free lives through Thinking For A Change and the BBU program,” Corrigall Jones said.