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Recovery Court Certification

Recovery Court Certification


The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Recovery Court has earned final certification from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets.


In order to receive the certification, Recovery Court, under Judge Joan Synenberg, 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.


“I am so proud of our Recovery Court team and what they accomplish,” says Judge Synenberg. “When I see the clean and sober faces of our clients during graduation ceremonies, I know the difference our team has made in their lives.


Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated Recovery Court and Judge Synenberg for receiving final certification.


“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 Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen 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, and Recovery Court focuses on those with dual diagnoses of addiction and trauma.


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 team can include licensed treatment providers, law enforcement, court personnel, and is headed by the specialized docket judge.


Recovery Court is one of three dockets operating under the Drug Court umbrella in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Judge David Matia presides over a docket that utilizes medication to assist in other treatment efforts, while Judge Nancy McDonnell oversees a standard Drug Court docket