The new Franklin County Courthouse, scheduled for completion in 2010, will be the first LEED-certified building in the State of Ohio. Click here to learn more.The Franklin County Court of Common Pleas is a stong supporter of Green initiatives. Click here to learn more.

Drug Court

The Franklin County Common Pleas Court created the “Treatment is Essential to Success” (TIES) Program in order to lessen the impact of drug and/or alcohol use on the level of crime in Franklin County. Drug and alcohol use directly or indirectly plays a large role in many crimes. Linking persons who have committed crimes related to use and treatment is the court’s effort to deal with the root causes of crime and not just the symptoms.

The TIES Program began operation in April 2004 by Judge Jennifer L. Brunner (ret.) after two years of planning. A steering committee was created and support was enlisted from community leaders and the Common Pleas judges. With over 50 successful graduates to date, TIES participants are returning to college, purchasing their first homes and becoming valued employed taxpayers. Additionally, several child custody issues have been resolved with children being returned to safe and sober homes from the foster care system.

The “drug court” movement began in Dade County Florida when Judge Stanley L. Goldstein (dec.) realized he was seeing the same defendants over and over again on basically the same charges. Traditional community control (probation) and/or incarceration were not working to rehabilitate the offenders he was seeing. Many of these individuals had never had access or minimal access to chemical dependency treatment. From one court, the movement has swelled to over 1600 courts - represented in all 50 states and several foreign countries as well.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Felony 4 or Felony 5 felony offenders
  • Non-violent, non-sexually oriented charges
  • Non-gun-related charges
  • Domestic Violence charges considered on a “case-by-case” basis
  • No significant history of violent crimes or drug trafficking
  • Sufficient motivation for treatment/change
  • Primary diagnosis of chemical dependency; however, as most prospective candidates for admission demonstrate some degree of co-occurring mental health conditions, comprehensive MH treatment is available
  • Defendant meets the criteria for:”Presumption for probation” per sentencing guidelines.

The TIES Program consists of three twelve-week Phases of decreasing structure. As participants learn to make healthier lifestyle choices, their contact with the court is lessened. A final six-month period of more traditional probation follows completion of Phase III. Most participants complete the program in less than 18 months and are eligible for successful termination of probation. Each phase requires completion of various tasks and activities designed to increase an individual’s opportunity for success. The court recognizes success and also a catalog of individualized sanctions for non-compliance. Upon graduation, a participant will have completed a treatment program, completed restorative justice requirements by paying restitution and fines/court costs, maintained continuous abstinence, built healthy support networks and developed positive social and community participation skills.

The TIES Program is under the supervision of
Judge Stephen L. McIntosh. Judge McIntosh heads the TIES Team which consists of representatives from Probation, the Defense Bar, the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office and liaisons from each of the partner treatment agencies. For additional information regarding the TIES Program, please contact the TIES Coordinator, Marquita Smith. Find out how you can support this unique and effective program by contacting the TIES office.

TIES Program Coordinator

Marquita Smith
Common Pleas Courthouse
345 S. High Street, Courtroom 4A
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 525-7645