2017 #Catalyst4Change Finalist
Medina County Court of Common Pleas Adult Probation Department – Medina, Ohio
Chief Veronica Perry is not just focused on investing in changing probationer’s behavior throughout the Medina County Court of Common Pleas Adult Probation Department, it resonates in everything she does. She takes a holistic approach to supervision with a focus on providing offenders access to all resources necessary to be successful on community supervision. She encourages behavioral changes rather than punitive responses, and has implemented an extensive array of programs and initiatives to support both clients and staff.
One project that illustrates her vision and dedication to providing clients what they need to be successful in life is the development of Robby’s Recovery Center — a safe, sober environment where clients can attain resources and engage in positive activities and community events. Veronica worked diligently to not only develop the center, but raise awareness and funds, and rally community support.
Modeled after Edwins Restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio the center provides adults a foundation in the hospitality industry while providing a strong support network. In addition to teaching a skilled trade in culinary arts, the center provides a myriad of resources and activities including peer support, resource referrals, recovery programs, family support groups, and relapse prevention support, even a health and fitness program, among others. The center offers regular social gatherings where clients can take their families. Since the center opened in July 2017 it has had over 800 visitors.
Veronica has implemented numerous programs and services that invest in changing probationer’s behavior, and give staff and clients needed resources.
Client Services and Support
- Behavior Management System designed to deliver both incentives and sanctions to promote prosocial behaviors. Incentives and sanctions are delivered based on the level of behavior to be awarded or sanctioned.
- Free programming to those on supervision including Drug & Alcohol (AoD) and Mental Health (MH) Assessments, individual AoD and MH counseling, case management, employment assistance/GED, and Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT) groups.
- In-House Administrative Sanctions. To allow less severe/technical violations to be addressed outside of Court, and free jail space for higher risk offenders.
- In-House CBT. All High and Moderate Risk offenders referred to CBT. Currently offer Courage to Change and Thinking For A Change-II in-house classes separated by gender (and risk when possible).
- Offers Project Learn to provide GED/Literacy Education, pays pay for supplies and fees.
Hired Key Positions
- In-House Independent Licensed Clinical Counselor. Completes assessments, conducts individual counseling and refers to community agencies.
- In-House Quality Assurance Position. Conducts file audits, coaching sessions, ORAS double coding/interview skills coaching, offender feedback surveys, reviews case plans to ensure offender needs are being met, audits groups (in-house and external). Provides feedback from offender-officer interactions (via recorded or face-to-face interactions), and feedback from probationers to officers.
- In-House Case Manager. Assists with housing, education, employment, parenting, other non-substance abuse/mental health issues.
Expanded Staff Resources
- Implemented Evidenced Based Practices, and supports officers learning new skills to best support their probationers including Effective Practices In Community Supervision training, Carey Guides, BITS, and Cognitive Behavioral Interventions.
Additionally, Chief Perry has championed specialized dockets in Common Pleas Courts that are Supreme Court certified. They are currently working towards national certification.