Begun Center Awarded Grants for Work with New Cuyahoga County Specialty Courts

It’s been an eventful couple of months for Margaret Baughman-Sladky, Ph.D and her Begun Center team working with Cuyahoga County – along with counties throughout the state of Ohio – implementing and evaluating the success of Adult Drug Court and Specialty Court Dockets. Dr. Baughman-Sladky and her team of Lacey M. Caporale , Mike Gearhart , and Madison Wheeler recently received word of new funding via two Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association (SAMHSA) awards.

The first award, $195,00 over three years, will involve evaluating the efficacy of the new Veterans Specialty docket for Judge Michael E. Jackson’s Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to adjudicate non-violent felony cases for, and provide treatment services to, military veterans. The Veteran’s Court will take into consideration such factors as PTSD and will provide linkages and services related to the veterans such as introductions and connections to local veteran’s administrations and other social services agencies, including mentoring with a former military person who will be in regular contact.

The second grant, also for $195,000, will likewise involve research and evaluation services for Judge Ronald B. Adrine’s City of Cleveland Municipal Court for mental health dockets for four specialized courts: Drug Court, Veterans Court, Mental Health Court, Human Trafficking Court, all taking into consideration the extenuating circumstances of individuals their cases.

Dr. Baughman-Sladky has also been selected as one of seven national experts to serve on an Evaluation Steering Committee for the Behavioral Health Court Collaborative Community Support Evaluation (BHCCC) being conducted by ICF International. The BHCCC is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.