Common Pleas Court, General Division
Fairfield County, Ohio
Fairfield County Common Pleas, Lancaster, Ohio.
Adult Community Control Department
The Adult Community Control Department, formerly known as the Probation Department, has the ongoing mission to provide the highest quality of community control services to assist offenders in becoming law abiding citizens, while being sensitive to the safety and expectations of the community, the victims, and governing agencies of the Department. The goal is that through effective supervision, offenders will achieve a productive life, lawfully contributing to the community. The Community Control Officers strive to accomplish this goal keeping in mind the best interests of the community.
The purpose of Community Control is to employ alternatives to incarceration (diversion from jail or prison) for felony offenses. Senate Bill 2 established the truth in the sentencing structure in 1996, which is the guiding law today. This is accomplished by offering community control supervision, along with other special conditions, such as electronic monitoring, drug testing, mental health services, substance abuse counseling, and other rehabilitation methods, as mandated by the court. Community Control is also ordered by the court, in some cases, through Judicial Release. Upon application by an offender, the court may release an offender from prison, prior to the expiration of the prison term, and place him/her on community control. Judicial Release may be ordered to offenders convicted of crimes that do not have a minimum mandatory sentence.
There are FOUR DIVISIONS within the Adult Community Control Department:
Regular or Basic Supervision
This division has a caseload of approximately 510 felony offenders who normally report to the Department once a month. Basic supervision is reserved for offenders who are in full compliance with all court orders, such as working a regular job, paying all court costs, and are maintaining healthy and lawful lifestyles. When offenders in this group have fully completed all requirements established by the court, the offender may be considered for early release from Community Control.
This division has a caseload of approximately 330 felony offenders who either report to a Community Control officer or are visited by a Community Control officer at least twice per week. Off-site or home visits are incorporated into this supervision on a regular basis. This type of supervision is reserved for the most difficult offenders who may have been convicted of a violent crime, who are at risk of being substance dependent, or who have demonstrated a reluctance to conform to regular or basic supervision.
Pretrial Services involve the supervision of individuals who have been charged with a crime and have been released on bond pending trial. This supervision requires the individual to have personal contact with a Community Control officer, to undergo random drug/alcohol testing, and be subject to modifications of bond, arrest, and incarceration in the event there is evidence of a violation of the pretrial release conditions.
Recovery Court - Recovery Court, also known as Drug Court, has a caseload of approximately 30 felony offenders who have entered into a contract with the court for an intensively supervised program which usually continues for 24 months. Offenders admitted into the Recovery Court are supervised by the Intensive Supervision division and have direct court involvement on a regular basis.
Re-Entry Court - Re-Entry Court has a caseload of approximately 35 felony offenders. These offenders are returning to the community from incarceration, either from local incarceration or from state prison. Offenders in Re-Entry Court are also supervised by the Intensive Supervision division and have direct court involvement on a regular basis.
The Adult Community Control Department of the Fairfield County Common Pleas Court employs 8 Community Control Officers who typically supervise approximately 800 felony cases at any given time. The 3 Basic Supervision Officers each supervise a caseload of approximately 170 felony offenders. The 5 Intensive Supervision Officers each supervise approximately50 felony offenders. Intensive Supervision Officers also supervise approximately 65 felony offenders in the Specialized Docket programs and 50 offenders in Pretrial Services.
The Adult Community Control Department had established an internship program with two local colleges. Students are referred to the court for a monitored practicum. The students learn all facets of the criminal justice system and particularly the operation of the Community Control Department. A contractual agreement is signed by the Director of Community Control and a representative of the college for each student applying for the internship. The interns do not receive monetary compensation for services rendered; however, the interns do receive college credit. The practical experience compliments an internís course study.