MetroHealth to Assist Defendants in Gun Court With Trauma Counseling, Mental Health Support
The MetroHealth Institute for H.O.P.E.™ Trauma Recovery Center recently signed a contract with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas to provide trauma counseling and mental health support for defendants in the Violence Intervention Docket, also known as “Gun Court.”
This partnership is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
“Firearms violence is tearing our community apart, and now is the time to try new, fresh approaches to a persistent problem,” said Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE, President and CEO of The MetroHealth System. “Our team is partnering with the court, doing the hard work of digging into the past of these defendants and helping equip them with the tools to process their trauma. Only then can we hope to break the cycle of violence that has plagued our neighborhoods.”
“The goal of this program is to target young adults and focus on their trauma before they become involved in violent crime,” said Cuyahoga County Administrative Judge Brendan Sheehan. “The progress we can make working together is amazing. These efforts will make our community safer and save lives.”
Judge Sheehan oversees the Violence Intervention Docket. The specialized docket is designed to address the root causes of trauma and social determinants that drive many people to pick up a firearm and engage in criminal activity. The defendants participating in the program are individuals indicted on a felony charge of carrying a firearm unlawfully while allegedly committing a non-violent crime.
This program is a diversion program that aims to specifically address childhood and adult trauma experiences, personal safety and health and mental health needs to prevent the very real collateral sanctions that a felony gun conviction can carry.
The Institute for H.O.P.E.TM Trauma Recover Center will receive $275,000 over three years to provide a trauma-informed counselor and coach for participants. The expectation is to serve more than 150 people and permanently reduce the reliance on guns and firearms in our community.
The project is funded by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance.
The MetroHealth System is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.
The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.
Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
MetroHealth is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.
As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.
Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.
The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.
For more information, visit metrohealth.org.