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Judicial candidate proposes adult drug court
By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent

A candidate for Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge is advocating the return of an adult drug court—and vows to help make it happen if he’s elected.

Assistant Lucas County Prosecutor Ian English outlined his proposal at an Oct. 7, 2014 press conference outside the county courthouse in downtown Toledo. According to English, two Lucas County judges were assigned specifically to a drug-related docket until about ten years ago. He is proposing to re-establish an adult drug court if elected to the bench.

Ian English


“We’ve seen here recently a growth in addiction in Lucas County, specifically the use of heroin,” English said. “It’s time for the court to join the fight.”


According to federal estimates, over 10,000 people are addicted to opioids, including heroin. English stated that thousands of drug-related offenders are placing greater and greater strain and costs on the county’s court system as a result.

“Heroin addiction touches every single area of the community, every corner of this county,” the judicial hopeful said. “When I am elected judge, I will work with my colleagues to establish a drug court so that every individual who qualifies will have access to intense treatment. This will save lives. This will save money.”


What the candidate dubbed the English Plan would create an adult-oriented drug court which would place an emphasis on pre-conviction alternatives for nonviolent drug offenders—including supervision and monitoring, graduated sanctions and incentives, as well as judicial interaction. The judicial hopeful stated his program would give drug offenders “the tools to kick their habit and return to productive society.”

English stated that drug addiction is bringing new individuals into the court system, many who have never been in legal jeopardy before. He maintained that the current court system is simply not equipped to effective handle the growing problem.

The assistant Lucas County prosecutor said when implemented in other communities, adult drug courts have proven to reduce recidivism and save the court systems an average of $5,000 per offender. But he emphasized there must be accountability built into the system to ensure offenders follow through on their promises to seek treatment.


The candidate contended that because Lucas County spends more than 70 percent of its budget on criminal justice, his plan “could potentially save millions of taxpayer dollars over time.” English, who has served as an assistant county prosecutor for 13 years, has handled, in his words, “hundreds of significant criminal prosecutions.”


“I’ve worked as a prosecutor in the criminal justice system. I’ve seen an exposure of addiction. I’ve watched the tragedy of heroin addiction,” said English. “It’s time for the court to join the fight against heroin.”


English, 44, completed both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Toledo. He won the May primary with 46 percent of the vote, holding off Democratic challengers Laura Restivo and Richard L. Roberts. He will face off against Republican Mark Davis in the Nov. 4 general election. Davis has run numerous times for judge.


Mark Davis


Davis also has publicly pledged support for an adult drug court and criticized the English Plan as nothing new. He has stated the Ohio Supreme Court has had something similar in place for nearly 20 years.


In the 2014 Toledo Bar Association Judicial Candidate Poll, English was ranked as “highly recommended” by 37 percent of respondents and “recommended” by another 51 percent. Davis received “not recommended” from 85 percent of respondents.

The questionnaire posed to the legal community was based on integrity, legal ability, legal experience, fair-mindedness, promptness, professionalism and judicial temperament, public and community service, as well as other qualifications bearing upon their fitness for the office.

Both candidates are seeking to replace Common Pleas Judge Frederick McDonald, who is being forced into mandatory retirement by current Ohio judicial rules (except for status as a visiting judge) and could not run again for his current seat on the bench.

Copyright © 1989 to 2014 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10/28/14 20:22:16 -0800.




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