YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Council members met Wednesday afternoon to formally give their support to a project for the city’s Municipal Court.
Youngstown Judge Carla Baldwin said municipal courts like hers are essentially ERs for the justice system, and it’s their function to help people.
The judge said the city will be bringing back its Municipal Drug Court, starting this September, for those willing and able to go through the program.
“We do a lot of referrals for drug treatment and drug assessments on a daily basis here, so what we want to be able to provide is this same level of support that we do to our veterans who find themselves in similarly situated conditions,” Baldwin said.
She said there is a need to help low-level offenders, other than simply throwing them in jail.
“A lot of misdemeanor thefts are because someone is trying to support their habit or trying to buy something to sell so they can get another fix, so we believe the need is definitely there,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said the program will be patterned after Mahoning County’s Felony Drug Court, which has been in operation for more than 20 years and is seen as one of the most effective in the state.
It also follows a recent trip to the area by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who promised to help create more of these specialty docket courts around the state.