Proposal to re-establish drug court in Youngstown - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Proposal to re-establish drug court in Youngstown

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

The city of Youngstown could once again be home to its own drug court, separate from Mahoning County.

Youngstown City Council is set to review a resolution to re-establish the court at the suggestion of Municipal Court Judge Carla Baldwin.

Judge Baldwin and council are looking for a way to pay for that drug court to try to help people with both mental health and drug addiction issues.
Baldwin wasn't available for an interview but told 21 News on the phone that the idea has the backing of Mayor Brown, police chief Robin Lees, and Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene.

But not everyone is convinced the need for a city drug court is valid.

Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick said she believes the proposal should wait.
Dellick said The Ohio Judicial Conference is trying to get Senate Bill 3 re-written because it doesn't discourage people from using drugs.

The bill aims to re-classify drug offenses into four types, three felony categories and an unclassified misdemeanor for possession offenses.
The idea is to separate traffickers and dealers from users and addicts.

The Ohio Judicial Conference said that re-classifying is too complicated.

Nonetheless, Youngstown City Law Director Jeff Limbian is among those who believe there are many good reasons to bring a drug court back to the city of Youngstown.

"It's absolutely necessary on the misdemeanor level," said Limbian. "It works beautifully on the felony level of the Court of Common Pleas. Judge Durkin does a great job. Unfortunately, a lot of people can't get to that point because they haven't passed that Rubicon where they're engaging in felony behavior to any great extent. So it would be good to be able to catch addicts before they get into a more serious set of consequences."

Youngstown City Council will review the measure when it meets Wednesday.

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