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Federal Grant Will Help Summit County Judge Serve More Veterans

photo of Amy Corrigall Jones
SUMMIT COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
Judge Amy Corrigall Jones presides over the Summit County Valor Court, which works with non-violent felons who served in the military.

A Summit County program that helps veterans who’ve been charged with a felony is getting a big financial boost.

Valor Court is a program for non-violent felons who have served in the military. Susan Sweeney, assistant court executive officer, says there are a lot of them.

“They’re there. It’s just a matter of having the program capacity to meet the needs.”

Since the court's founding in 2013, Judge Amy Corrigall Jones, has been able to handle about 60 cases per year. With a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, Sweeney says the court will be able to serve another 40 veterans.   

“The participants are seeing their judges weekly. And having interaction and a case plan that they have to work. There are sanctions and there are incentives. When start going wrong way, sanctioned. Doing good things correctly you receive rewards. It’s a proven method.”

Sweeney says the goal is simple.

“They’ve served their country and we want to help give back to them, get them back on the right track.”

Summit County's Valor Court is one of 23 veterans courts in the state of Ohio. 

A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah Taylor graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she worked at her first NPR station, WMUB. She began her professional career at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and spent two decades in television news, the bulk of them at WKBN in Youngstown (as Sarah Eisler). For the past three years, Sarah has taught a variety of courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State, where she is also pursuing a Master’s degree. Sarah and her husband Scott, have two children. They live in Tallmadge.