COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio judges are increasingly using specialty dockets to deal with drug addicts, veterans or other categories of offenders, and the Ohio Supreme Court will begin certifying such dockets next year.
The Columbus Dispatch ( http://bit.ly/P9raht ) reports more than half of Ohio's 88 counties have a specialty docket. They can cater to needs of groups such as drunken drivers, prostitutes and the mentally ill. Typically, the defendants plead guilty to their crimes and then report regularly to a judge who can order treatment, meetings or jail time.
Beginning in 2013, courts will have to offer treatment and supervision in a "therapeutically oriented judicial approach" to receive "specialized docket" status from the Ohio Supreme Court.
An official who oversees the specialized-docket division says the standards help create effective programs around Ohio.