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Drug Court Earns Three Year Certification

Drug Court Earns Three Year Certification



Cleveland:  Judge David Matia’s Drug Court has earned a renewed three-year certification from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets.


In order to receive the certification, the docket had to submit an application, undergo a site visit, and provide specific program materials in response to certification standards that went in to effect in January 2014.


“It has been my honor to preside over the Drug Court docket since it was approved by our Bench in 2009,” says Judge Matia. “Every year, dockets like these become more important as our communities continue to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic.”


Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated the Judge Matia and his team for receiving final certification, which will run through the end of December 2023.


“Specialized dockets divert offenders toward criminal justice initiatives that employ tools and tailored services to treat and rehabilitate the offender so they can become productive members of society,” said Justice O’Connor. “Studies have shown this approach works by reducing recidivism while saving tax dollars.” 


Specialized dockets are courts that 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 issues such as drugs and alcohol, mental health, domestic violence, and human trafficking.


Judge Matia’s docket focuses on clients who would benefit from medically assisted treatment (MAT). Additionally, the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court has a standard Drug Court docket presided over by Judge Nancy R. McDonnell. A third docket, Recovery Court, overseen by Judge Joan Synenberg, treats people with a dual diagnosis of addiction and trauma.


The Commission on Specialized Dockets has 22 members, including Judge Matia. The commission advises the Supreme Court and its staff regarding the promotion of statewide rules and uniform standards concerning specialized dockets in Ohio courts; the development and delivery of specialized docket services to Ohio courts; and the creation of training programs for judges and court personnel. The commission makes all decisions regarding final certification.