Ohio Launches Drug Court For Women
After noticing the high rate of female repeat offenders, Judge Gregory Singer has decided to create a drug court that specifically addresses the issues of women addicts.
As more women are entering the justice system for drug related offenses, a judge in the Ohio city of Dayton has launched a drug court specifically for women.
Montgomery County Judge Gregory Singer is launching the program after noticing how often female defendants in his courtroom who suffered from addiction were repeat offenders. The new drug court will also address other issues facing women including domestic and sexual abuse, human trafficking, and mental health problems.
“Prostitutes, or as I call them, prostituted women, are more victims than perpetrators inasmuch as they are in sex trafficking, they are the product, a human product,” said Singer. “Women in our criminal-justice system are pretty well underserved.”
The concept of the women-only drug court is to move away from treating all offenders in the same manner, while still providing resources to defendants with shared circumstances. The Montgomery County court program will require police, court officials, and treatment groups to collaborate in addressing the issues facing women in the area. Services and resources in the areas of prenatal care, education, housing, and nutrition will also be provided.
A similar program is also scheduled to launch later this year in the Franklin County region of Ohio. Judge Paul Herbert, who runs the Changing Actions to Change Habits, or CATCH Court, in Franklin County Municipal Court, said that women entering the justice system can often be a challenging issue. He cited data which states that nearly 75 percent of defendants were sexually abused as young children and felt “women entering the court system are the most challenging population that judges will deal with."
Ohio has continued to remain one of the more pro-active states in the country when it comes to addressing addiction. A law passed in 2012 allows gambling addicts to ban themselves from casinos, while aggressive anti-drug campaigns targeted at young people have led to a drastic drop in painkiller abuse among teenagers.