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The Franklin County Board of Commissioners maintains volumes of records that are used in the administration and operation of the Board of Commissioners and the 14 Commissioner Agencies. The maintenance and accessibility of public records are a legislated and mandated means to provide trust between the public and this office. Public records are maintained in a manner that provides for prompt inspection and copying of these records within a reasonable amount of time during regular business hours.

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Melissa Young is dedicated, determined and courageous in her relentless motivation for change

Melissa Young is dedicated, determined and courageous in her relentless motivation for change

I have battled with substance abuse for over 15 years, funneling in and out of the county jail. Often times I found myself with little to no hope of ever doing anything different in my life. When I say nothing different, I literally mean nothing different. Not even the birth of my older two children was enough for me to stop using drugs or change my criminal behavior. I was released from doing a 6-month sentence at the Franklin County Correctional Center in 2015 and returned within a month and a half doing yet another 90 day sentence of probation violation due to another relapse from opiate addiction.

This time was different for me because I really was tired. I signed up for this program called Pathways for Women Healthy Living, but a few weeks in, I was removed from the group due to an institutional keep separate from a fight. I was so hurt because after the first group I knew that this was something that I needed. From day one I could feel the compassion of the facilitator and the need for me to do something different. 10 weeks later I signed up again and was accepted into PWHL, I knew then that this was a new beginning for me. This time I was determined to hang in there and not allow anything or anyone to take me off focus.

I did just that and completed the Pathways program before my release. I learned things about myself that I never know, such as: how to deal with situations, triggers, warning signs, people, places, and things. I learned who I really was as a person outside of my addiction. I learned that I am a caring, loving, compassionate person with a heart of gold. This program called Pathways was a family – a family that I never had before.

Upon my release, I was a little scared, but I was more determined to change my life and develop into the amazing woman that I had learned I could be through the hands-on approach and outreach of the Pathways team. This time when I left the Franklin County Correctional Center, I left with a purpose in mind, that being to keep my head up and focus on the new life-style that I now wanted more than anything.  

I enrolled myself into an Alcohol and other Drug intensive outpatient program at The Columbus Health Department. This AOD program which is a total of 16 weeks has enhanced my determination and resilience for a new-life style for me and my unborn child. I have learned techniques and processes that can assist me in my sobriety, as well as empower my self-esteem and strengthen my self-perception. It is through the support of my Pathways team that I was able to accept the services I needed in order to improve my life. I graduate December 2016 and for the first time I can say I have accomplished something I am proud of.

I am very thankful to have Pathways team in my life and every step of this journey. I recommend anyone to get connected with this amazing program and give themselves a change at developing a better, stronger and healthier lifestyle. I am now in the process of regaining those things that I lost while in active addiction: Rebuilding a relationship with my 2 younger sons was once a dream, but has now become a reality with the support of the Pathways team. I feel so much better as a woman and a mother – one who refuses to allow addiction to control my life anymore.

Today is the beginning of a brand new me and I love who I am discovering one step at a time. Thank you to Commissioner Brown, Michael Daniels, Homeland Security & Justice Programs, CIT Officers and the awesome team of Pathways to Women’s Healthy Living. 

Dynamic, vibrant and motivated represents the strength of Miss Stella Jones

Dynamic, vibrant and motivated represents the strength of Miss Stella Jones

I have spent multiple years of going in and out of the county jail and struggling with my addiction to crack cocaine while trying to maintain my mental health illness.  I just didn’t know how to make good decisions and I kept returning back to that active addiction to crack. Each time it landed me homeless, non-medication compliant, and back in county jail with another charge, usually theft. I used to wonder what life was really like without the use of drugs. I just didn’t know. Although I suffer from the disease of addiction along with a mental health illness, I know I can live a healthy life-style drug and criminal activity free. Yes, that is what I wanted. I just didn’t know how to live that way. I never thought anyone cared enough for me to help show me the way until while severing out a sentence of 9 months and 16 days for theft, I took this group that was offered in our county jail.

While in the Franklin County jail, I signed up for this group called Pathways to Women’s Healthy Living through Homeland Security & Justice Programs. This group turned my life around and I knew I would be able to live a more productive life which I could be proud of. 

It was the teaching of self-esteem and personal touch from our facilitator that made the difference.  Sargent Beaudry who is the CIT officer at the jail was instrumental in helping me when things got tough.  She would check on me and make sure I was alright. I was able to ask question and get answers that I could understand. This made me feel like I was a contributing part of the process.  

For me I think that it was the personal touch of the Pathways team that picked me up with a cup of coffee from White Castle and a big bright smile that made me know I was safe and this time it was going to be different.  This time I can make it. 

I attend my group sessions through Southeast and I knit and crochet as well as make jewelry to pass the time. I am hopeful that I will be able to sell these items and continue to invest in myself so that I can invest in others.  I am writing a book called "Why You, Why Me, Why Anyone" by Stella Lynn.  This is only a reality because of the assistance and help of Pathways and CIT officers and team members.  Thank you for all that support and leadership in my life.

Today, I am hopeful for a brighter future and sharing my story with others.  That if I can do it so can you, believe in yourself and ask for some help.  Thank you to the Pathway team Jennifer Mancini, Shannon Beaudry, Ms. Caitlin, Ms. Dyana, and Ms. Patrice. And to Commissioner Brown and Michael Daniels for having the vision that has given me my life back.

CPD Officer Jennifer Mancini chosen CIT Officer of the Year by NAMI Franklin County

CPD Officer Jennifer Mancini chosen CIT Officer of the Year by NAMI Franklin County

Officer Jennifer Mancini (right) is not your average beat cop. She's an outspoken advocate for smart and thoughful justice. She has been honored as the 2016 CIT Officer of the Year by NAMI Franklin County. We spoke with her to get her unique perspective on CIT and the work of diversion and reintegration.

What enticed you into law enforcement?
I grew up in New York and my father was a police officer. I remember being little and always asking him about what he did at work. Rarely would my dad talk about his job but he always said, “I help people.”  To me that was my personality always putting others before myself and always wanting to save someone or fix the problem. I believe I learned those traits from my paternal grandmother who lived downstairs from me my whole childhood. She was the most generous and caring person and put everyone’s needs before her own. Policing to me is not simply arresting criminals but it is making a difference in the lives you come across and the best example for me is how I treat everyone no matter the situation.

What about CIT speaks to you? Why is it important?
Being a member of CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) is a rewarding and challenging experience. I lived with a family member who for many years suffered with mental illness and I did not know that his diagnosis even existed. As I learned more about his illness and going through crisis in my own home on my own I knew this would be my calling, my passion as a police officer. I see the value in the training I received to become a member of the CIT Team through Columbus Police and now that I have had the opportunity to work with Pathways I have now gained another family and the work is so important to allow all the females and citizens to have support and live a healthy and productive life.
It is extremely important having CIT because many people have a diagnosis and individuals find themselves in a mental crisis and being a member allows me to communicate in a way that will get an individual the help he or she needs.

Why did you make the commitment to get involved with Pathways?
I was provided an extraordinary opportunity through LT. Jeffrey to have a temporary assignment working primarily with CIT for the division of police. Prior to that, I was aware of Pathway and willing offered to assist while I was in patrol status when I would be needed. Once I committed to the temp assignment I looked more into Pathways and decided to attend a group meeting with inmates to get more information. Immediately I knew this was an amazing program and Patrice Palmer could not have been more handpicked as the role of the facilitator.
Attending the meetings with the ladies in Jackson Pike allowed them to see a different side of a police officer. The majority had only experienced an officer while being arrested.  In group I have the ability to show a more personal side to show the ladies that every individual no matter what he or she does for a living have issues at times. In addition, getting to know the ladies makes it easier once she is released from jail to have already had a relationship with me so they feel comfortable with me guiding them in the beginning of their new healthy lifestyle.

How has the program changed the way you view/do your job?
Honestly, the program has not really changed the way I view and or do my job. I have always been humbled about being in law enforcement and as stated previously I had spent 23 years of my life living with a family member with mental illness. I have treated people with respect whether it was arresting them for a crime he or she committed or resolving issues on different types of police calls. Every person should be treated with dignity and respect and that has allowed me to be successful in policing.

What’s the best piece of advice you could give the ladies in the Pathways program?
Advice that I would and do give the ladies of Pathways is to know your worth and value. Find your strength and lean on the support of the team that is in front of you. These ladies at some point lost themselves and I believe this program restructures them in a new way of thinking. Another thing I tell the ladies is they are important and by seeing the work that goes into Pathways these women are realizing that people really, truly, and deeply care about them.
I know in my heart each person that is in the program has the dream and desire to live a healthy lifestyle but may not have all the tools to do this. This team of ours is so unique and we wrap ourselves around the women so they know we are always there for them no matter what. I want say thank you to Pathways for allowing me the honor and privilege to be on this journey.

Unique, innovative, and over-comer represents the courage of Miss Kimberly Mounts

Unique, innovative, and over-comer represents the courage of Miss Kimberly Mounts

Unique, innovative, and over-comer represents the courage of Miss Kimberly Mounts

I battled addiction to heroin for the past 11 years which was a direct result of my criminal activities.   My last arrest was August 2015.  While incarcerated I took a class called Pathways to women’s Healthy Living.  I met Ms. Patrice our facilitator from day one she planted a seed of hope that began to grow. I remember the flyer said that the class was for women who were tired of being in and out of jail.  That made me think of my present situation, my answer was yes I am tired; I was tired of chasing my addiction, being in and out of jail and tired of the life style all together.  For me this was my rock bottom.  While taking this class I learned about changing my thinking patterns and identifying my thinking errors.  I also learned way to build my self-esteem and love myself. It was a very empowering class.

I got out in May and was ok for the first couple of months.  Then I found myself back with the wrong people, before I knew it I was back in active addiction, and the cycle of disparity began.  This time my addiction was worse than it had ever been before, my life spiraled downhill so quickly.  I was sleeping outside and doing things in order to feed my addiction, things that I had never done before. I felt so much guilt and shame to the point of no longer valuing my life, for me at that point death was my only option. I actually thought and planned out my own demise, but then I got a phone call from my facilitator of Pathway’s Ms. Patrice, she left me a message that spoke life to my darkness.  It was that message of hope that gave me the courage to call her back.  Her voice was a soothing response to my chaos and debilitating cycle of addiction and world wind of destruction.  The next day Ms. Patrice, CIT Officer Jennifer Mancini, and Dyana from Southeast showed up at my door and my journey of recovery began.   I was ashamed and felt underserving of such care or love, but they held on to me and I felt important.

It was the extended care and outreach of services that I began to stand on the foundation that Pathway’s had laid for me.   Ms. Patrice and Jennifer reached out to me and through our communicating they shared the importance of living a healthy life and making positive productive choices.  After getting sober and my mind cleared I felt a purpose in my life for the first time.  I moved into a sober living environment at Jessie’s World and began taking the steps to change the course of my life with a brighter future on the horizon. Rebounding from relapse is a difficult place to be but through the support from Commissioner’s Brown office, words of encouragement from Michael Daniels, Pathway staff, and CIT Officers who showed me so much love, support, and concern made it easier for me to stick with the process and weather the storms from the life style of addiction.

Coming from someone without a family this support made all the difference and helped me develop the strength to press forward for my recovery. Today I have been back to the county jail but this time as a visitor to share my story with the ladies and encourage them that a new life is achievable.  I am working on my GED and then will enroll in Columbus State Community College to follow my dream of becoming a youth drug counselor to assist young girls and empower them to take a different path in hopes that they will never go into the dark places that I have been in my life. This is my way of giving back for the services and out stretched care I received through Pathways. I now have one of my children back in my life and working towards another one.  I have made several healthy friendships and have learned to love the new me in sobriety and find out who I am sober. Today I know how to laugh, smile, and enjoy life without the use of drugs.  I have found the confidence in a life style of sobriety which I once thought was never achievable for me.  In my new journey of life I continue to grow every day by using the tools I was given in that class so many months ago.  Today I am blessed and have found happiness beyond measure in my new self.

Saving Cody's Life

Saving Cody's Life

On June 20, 2016 at approximately 0509 hours Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Murphy was dispatched to the Community Gardens trailer park on the well-being check of a Cody McCoy. The caller was Cody’s mother, Elizabeth McCoy. Elizabeth stated that Cody had sent her a text message that concerned her due to his mental health history and prior admissions to OSU Harding Hospital. While en route to the trailer park, Deputy Murphy heard the Communications Center air a possible suicidal male sitting on the Lambert Road bridge over I-71. Radio advised they had received several calls on the male. Because the proximity of the trailer park was only a few miles from the bridge, Deputy Murphy checked Lambert Road first suspecting that the suicidal male may be Cody. He was right.

He found Cody sitting on top of the bridge abutment with his back to I-71. Deputy Murphy began engaging Cody in conversation. Cody stated that his life was a mess, wasn’t worth living and that he hasn’t been able to see his daughter and referenced the fact that it was Father's Day. It was apparent as Cody continued to speak that he was contemplating suicide by jumping off the bridge. As Cody continued talking he began looking down as if sobbing. Deputy Murphy realized this as an opportunity to grab and pull him off the bridge abutment to safety. Cody was transported to OSU for a mental health evaluation. Cody’s car was found parked in the vicinity. An inventory impound of the vehicle revealed multiple suicide notes addressed to family members and friends. The quick actions of CIT-trained Deputy Murphy no doubt saved Cody’s life that morning. Instead of dying or going to jail, Cody received the treatment and support he needed to begin putting his life back on track.

Creative Wellness - Blankets for the Homeless

Creative Wellness - Blankets for the Homeless

In the Franklin County jail’s Creative Wellness program, inmates that are participating in AOD and anger management spend 1 day a week using recycled materials to make blankets for the homeless population in Franklin county. The creative wellness program is unique because not only are inmates using recycled materials from the jail that are normally thrown out to make blankets, they are currently working with Arts & College Preparatory Academy high school students.

The inmates write of their experience: “Creative Wellness lets me relieve stress in a healthy way in a normally hostile environment. It’s very therapeutic to be able to make blankets and pillows, not only helping myself but helping others as well. By showing people outside of the jail that not every inmate is a savage or bad person it gives hope for a better society in the near future. This creative and caring program changes lives.”