Volume 13, Issue 1

A Publication of the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety

January 19, 2016

News and Announcements

Senate Passes MIOTCRA Reauthorization Bill

The Senate has passed the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act (CJMHA). The bill, S. 993, sponsored by Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX), would reauthorize and improve the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA). The bill would continue support for mental health courts and crisis intervention teams and expand services to veterans including treatment court programs, peer-to-peer services, and services for returning veterans. In addition, the CJMHA would strengthen training for local law enforcement and correctional officers and create programs for federal first responders and tactical units to identify and respond appropriately to incidents involving mentally ill individuals.

An identical bill, H.R. 1854, has been introduced in the House by Reps. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA).


Senate Health Committee Holds Hearing on Opioid Abuse

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing last month on “Opioid Abuse in America: Facing the Epidemic and Examining Solutions,” the second in a three-part series on mental health and substance abuse. Witnesses included Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, Professor Robert Valuck, PhD, University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Eric Spofford, chief executive officer of Granite House, a substance abuse treatment program in Derry, New Hampshire.

The hearing focused on the prevention, treatment, and recovery of opioid abuse, including prescription opioids and heroin. Several senators on the committee described the crisis in their states, as demonstrated by statistics on growing opioid abuse and stories of those who have struggled with addiction and its consequences. Deaths from opioid drug overdoses have tripled over the last 15 years and the number of heroin users has doubled since 2005.

“I’m not alone in hearing about these challenges. It affects all of our states,” said Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

Continue reading...


Child Trauma the Topic of Congressional Briefing

Last month, the National Children’s Alliance and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) cohosted a briefing “Child Trauma: Helping Children Recover.” The event highlighted effective federal programs for addressing child trauma, which can stem from sexual or other physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence, neglect, or trauma passed on from a parent. Panelists included Abigail Gewirtz, PhD, project director at Ambit Network, a NCTSN treatment center; Teresa Huizar, executive director of the National Children’s Alliance; and Michele Booth Cole, executive director of Safe Shores, the District of Columbia’s Children’s Advocacy Center. The event was moderated by Denise Edwards, director of government affairs for the National Children’s Alliance.

Continue reading…


Cyber Crime Fighting Bill Passes House

The House has passed the Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act. The bill, H.R. 3490, would support the education of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges on training in technologies that will aid in investigations regarding cyber-crime. It would also establish a National Computer Forensics Institute within the Department of Homeland Security. The Institute would be operated by the U.S. Secret Service, which would circulate information regarding cyber security and threats of terrorism. Training would focus on investigation methods, electronic forensic examinations, network intrusion incidents, and methods of obtaining and storing evidence. It also requires all relevant information and expertise to be shared in a timely manner with all law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and judges who are involved with the matter.

The Institute would be authorized to provide state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges with computer equipment, hardware, software, manuals, and tools necessary to conduct cyber and electronic crime and related threats investigations and computer and mobile device forensic examinations, although no funding is provided to purchase such equipment. The Secret Service would also be required to expand its network of Electronic Crime Task Forces to include more task force officers, prosecutors, judges, academics and private sector stakeholders who are trained in the subject matter.



Training/Technical Assistance

Free Grant Writing Seminars

The 2016 schedule will be announced shortly.


Westerville Division of Police Presents: Understanding the Threat – The West Memphis Shooting and the Sovereign Citizen Movement

When: February 15, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Where: Westerville North High School, 950 County Line Road, Westerville, Ohio 43082

Speaker: Chief Robert Paudert, Paudert Consulting LLC

Registration fee: $60

Please remit fee to:
Officer Daniel Pignatelli
Westerville Division of Police
29 South State Street
Westerville, Ohio 43081

Make checks payable to: WCPAAA
Proceeds will go to a local non-profit organization

To register and request additional information, please contact Officer Daniel Pignatelli at 614.901.6489 or Daniel.pignatelli@westerville.org.


CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT CONFERENCE: Trauma-Informed Practices to Enhance Policy, Investigation, and Resolution of Gender-Based Misconduct March 7 - 8, 2016

Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH

Media scrutiny surrounding campus sexual assault and the staggering statistics about sexual violence have captured the nation’s attention. While campuses have begun the process of creating or revising their gender-based misconduct policies, resolution structures, and training individuals to work within the systems, many continue to struggle with how to consistently implement their protocols and procedures. Lindy Aldrich, attorney, national Title IX trainer and Deputy Director of the Victim Rights Law Center and Jeremy W. Inabinet, University of Chicago Associate Dean of Students, national resolution process trainer and consultant, have joined together to share their expertise on what campuses need to know beyond their policies in order to effectively respond to gender-based violence. Together, they have worked with thousands of campus professionals to address underlying concerns associated with resolving cases of gender-based misconduct, and the combination of their broad experiences allows them to draw from campus-specific examples to create sound, practical advice. This two-day training starts with the fundamentals of creating integrated, trauma-informed policies, confidential response protocols, and investigation/resolution processes, and continues with insightful workshops on how to practically implement each system with a community-centered, multi-disciplinary team approach. This training is open to all, but will most benefit Title IX coordinators, campus administrators, investigators, conduct board members, faculty, first responders, and general counsel.
Registration fees are $495 per person. A $50 per person discount will be applied when registering 3 or more people.

For hotel accommodations, the Marriott Courtyard Cincinatti (3813 Edwards Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45209) has a limited number of available rooms at the federal per diem rate. To book, please call 513-672-7100.

OVW Campus Grantees must request approval for coverage of travel costs and registration fees from their grant manager.

Refunds & Cancellation Policy: Cancellation requests must be received by February 22, 2016. No refunds will be given after this date. Cancellation and refund requests must be given in writing and must be emailed to smalone@victimrights.org. An administrative fee of $200 applies to all cancellations to cover printing costs, food, and administrative costs. Refunds will be processed within 30 days following your request.

Register here



Autism Training DVD for Police Officers

This year SaharaCares produced a DVD that will be used to train police officers at training facilities and in regular pre-duty training sessions.  The purpose of the DVD was to raise awareness of the rising prevalence of autism in our communities.  It discusses ways to recognize the disability and gives constructive suggestions for dealing with people with autism.  The DVD is being offer for free to any organization that can benefit from it.

Link to DVDs


Grant Funding

Funding Alert: OVW Grant Solicitations

The following grant solicitations from the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, may be of particular interest to our partners. For a full list of open solicitations, click here.

The Grants to Enhance Culturally Specific Services for Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Program (Culturally Specific Services Program) was created by the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005) (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 14045a). This program creates an opportunity for culturally specific community-based organizations to address the critical needs of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking victims in a manner that affirms a victim's culture and effectively addresses language and communication barriers.

Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. E.T. on February 24, 2016

Learn more.


OVW Fiscal Year 2016 Grants to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking on Campus Program

The Campus Program encourages a comprehensive coordinated community approach that enhances victim safety, provides services for victims and supports efforts to hold offenders accountable.  The funding supports activities that develop and strengthen services for sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking victims.  Grant funds also support strategies to prevent, investigate, respond to and prosecute these crimes.  The development of campus-wide coordinated responses involving campus victim service providers, law enforcement officers, health providers, housing officials, administrators, student leaders, faith-based leaders, representatives from student organizations, and disciplinary board members is critical.  To be effective, campus responses must also link to local off-campus criminal justice agencies and service providers, including local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors' offices, courts, and nonprofit, nongovernmental victim advocacy and victim services organizations.

Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. E.T. on March 3, 2016

Learn more.


News From Our Ohio Task Force Commanders

Heroin still making headlines but 2016 may see deadlier drug take spotlight

Stories about increasing heroin use throughout the country are a dime a dozen, it seems.  Police are seeing it more and more on the streets. Judges are seeing crimes which are ultimately related to it play out day after day and coroners are calling more and more deaths its fault on certificate after certificate.

But a new opiate scourge is already beginning to play a role in the Northeast Ohio illicit drug scene and it’s got authorities worried.  It’s called fentanyl and, although its abuse has been on law enforcement’s radar for years now, its synthetic incarnation, which is produced in clandestine drug labs often outside the U.S., is becoming more and more familiar to area police departments and courtrooms.

It began seeing use as a cutting agent traffickers mixed with heroin to get more product out of a given quantity of the latter drug, said Lake County Narcotics Agency Director David Frisone, who added that fentanyl is now beginning to show up on its own and it’s much more potent than heroin alone.

“Now we’re hearing about a lot more overdose deaths with this fentanyl,” Frisone said. “It’s stronger than heroin and now its being sought by addicts because they don’t get the same high from just the heroin anymore.” Frisone said it’s much more dangerous than even heroin because it’s a synthetic drug and its potency can vary from dose to dose, depending upon where it’s being manufactured, and that it’s likely contributed to a number of heroin-attributed deaths in recent months.

Speaking of heroin-related deaths, Frisone said they’re climbing back up after a decrease.  He said his agency had 42 opiate-related overdose deaths in Lake County in 2013, according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office. That fell to about 24 in 2014, Frisone said.

But by mid-November, they stood at 33, which is close to the average Lake County had been seeing each year for a while, he said.  “It’s unfortunate,” he said. “Here, we were encouraged. We were making an impact and we were proud about that, but now I have to go to the board and tell them we’re back up close to our average of 35 overdose deaths for the year.”

As far as heroin seizures go, Frisone said those spiked this year, but it had a lot to do with two big busts agents made in 2015: one involving 2 kilograms delivered via UPS to a Painesville Township address over the summer and another involving about 300 grams of black tar heroin delivered to a Madison Township trailer park.

Those two busts alone brought the total weight of heroin seized by the LCNA in 2015 to 3,151 grams, compared to 398 grams in 2013 and 309 grams in 2014, he said.

In Geauga County, the heroin picture seems to be arranging itself similarly.  Chardon Municipal Court Judge Terry Stupica, who has been on the bench there since 2012, said she began keeping a tally of the number of heroin addicts appearing before her, ever since May 28, 2013 – a day on which she saw nine heroin addicts compared to seven OVI offenders, and that was something that struck her.  “Then, yesterday, I looked and I’ve had 483 heroin addicts appear before me since I started keeping that tally,” she said in a Dec. 29 phone interview.

To add to that perspective, she said that, when she started Geauga County’s Opiate Task force in 2012, there were 36 overdose deaths that year. And by 2015, there have been 190 to 200 such deaths between Lake and Geauga counties.  “And there could be more,” she said, adding that the system in place to keep track of the number of overdose deaths doesn’t provide an up-to-the-minute, or even an up-to-the-month, number.

And, like, Frisone, Stupica said she’s been paying attention to the fentanyl issue as its death toll is beginning to eclipse that of heroin.  “Heroin deaths, overall, are down,” she said. “But fentanyl deaths are up and it’s no surprise when you look at it. Fentanyl can be 50 times more potent than heroin.”

Both Stupica and Frisone agreed that the abundance of doctors prescribing prescription opiate pain killers throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s may very well have set the stage for the heroin epidemic seen through much of the state today. With heroin becoming more pure and more available, it’s become a replacement for many who became addicted to pain pills and needed another way to get high.

The News-Herald