Summit County, Ohio’s S.C.O.R.R. program is helping to keep former convicts on the straight and narrow.
According to the latest stats, thousands of people on probation in Summit County, Ohio wind up committing another crime, which typically leads to a longer sentence. That’s why Summit County leaders are taking a new approach to keep offenders from continuing to be locked up.
“You show up, you get rewarded. You fail to show up, you’re going to suffer a consequence,” Judge Amy Corrigall Jones told News 5.
Judge Jones briefly described what the S.C.O.R.R. program is. S.C.O.R.R., which stands for Summit County Offender Recidivism Reduction, works by replacing parole officers and their human subjectivity with a chart that shows various decisions and their consequences (e.g. if you drink or use drugs that violate your probation terms, the chart will show how much potential jail time you have).
“It’s swift, it’s certain, and it’s fair,” said Judge Jones. According to her, within the first few months of implementing S.C.O.R.R., the decreased recidivism rates show that the program is working. 18 people are enrolled in the program and already, 29 incentives have been given out for good behavior (sentence reductions, bus passes to get to work, fewer drug tests, etc.).
“They gave me so many opportunities that I’ve never really had in my life,” said Chris Price, one of the 18 participants. Price was initially locked up for nearly a year for aggravated burglary. Now he’s following S.C.O.R.R.’s rules to ensure he doesn’t wind up in prison again.
“Honestly I’d be lost because without guidance and structure, it doesn’t really lead to too many places,” said Price.
The program is funded by a grant that allows up to 50 participants who are considered likely to commit another crime. At the end of a three-year trial, community leaders will discern how S.C.O.R.R. compared to more traditional probation.