• 43°

Community justice center opens In Franklin Furnace

FRANKLIN FURNACE – Ohio’s newest community-based corrections facility opened in this Scioto County community, giving local courts another option in sentencing.

Sunday, November 18, 2001

FRANKLIN FURNACE – Ohio’s newest community-based corrections facility opened in this Scioto County community, giving local courts another option in sentencing.

STAR Community Justice Center held its grand opening Friday with fanfare. Green High School’s marching band, one of the agency’s neighbors, and local and state dignitaries helped kick off the center’s opening.

The center, directed by Dan Hieronimus, is a treatment facility for offenders in nine counties including Lawrence, Adams, Brown, Clinton, Highland, Pickaway, Pike, Ross and Scioto.

The center is an alternative to prison for non-violent, low-risk felons who are open to treatment.

The center’s name, STAR, is derived from its mission – provide clients with Structure, Therapy, Advocacy, and Restoration. In order to do so, clients will live and work in a "boot camp-style" atmosphere called a "therapeutic community."

This type of treatment provides a secured setting where residents have a chance for counseling and educational opportunities.

Hieronimus explained in a previous interview that this type of treatment requires the offenders to be responsible for one another’s actions. He said residents will not only monitor their own actions, but the actions of others. By doing this, the offender learns they are part of a community – inmates learn their actions have consequences on others, he explained. Hopefully, once clients have served their time, the offender will be restored as functional members of the communities.

Residents will be held at the minimum security site during a four to six-month program which mirror services provided by the probation and parole departments in the nine counties it serves.

Community based corrections facilities are funded by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and is overseen by a Judicial Corrections Board. The board is composed of judges in the nine counties served, including Lawrence County judges W. Richard Walton and Frank J. McCown.

Ironton Tribune reporter Jeremy W. Schneider contributed to this article.