Clermont County Municipal Court Administrative Judge James Shriver is the recipient of the 2009 C.J. McLin Award, presented by the Ohio Justice Alliance for Community Corrections (OJACC).
The award is named after the late Ohio Representative C.J. McLin, Jr., who worked tirelessly in the General Assembly to improve community corrections through funding and legislative change. Judge Shriver was recognized for establishing and presiding over Ohio’s first OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired) Court.
He was nominated for the award, “as a result of his demonstrated commitment and leadership in the judicial field and his willingness to help and renew an interest in problem-solving courts.”
"I am honored and humbled to have been selected for this award," said Judge Shriver. OVI Court was established in June 2005 to deal with an increasing number of impaired drivers on county roadways; Judge Shriver has pioneered a problem solving court that goes far beyond the traditional handling of these types of cases. The OVI Court helps offenders work on the addictive behaviors behind their drunken driving arrests. "OVI Court has positively changed the lives of individuals," said Judge Shriver. Since it began, 134 people have entered the program and 81 have graduated. "I am proud to see how many of our graduates now maintain stable jobs and housing, while reconnecting with their families," he said. "Many are now actively involved in their children's lives and are positive role models." The program has only a 5.2 percent recidivism rate.
Through Judge Shriver's leadership, a team of prosecutors, defense counsel, treatment providers, law enforcement, and community supervision staff work together to help offenders turn their lives around.
The OVI Court has gained widespread acceptance in its approach and has served as a model program for many other counties.
In 2008, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers gave the program its Award of Excellence: OVI Court has also been named by the Supreme Court of Ohio Specialized Dockets Section as a best-practice court in Ohio.
In addition to his duties as a Clermont Municipal Court Judge, he is an active member of the Ohio Judicial Conference (where he serves on many key committees); he is First-Vice President of the Association of Municipal/County Court Judges of Ohio, and the chair of the Criminal Justice Committee of the Ohio State Bar Association. Judge Shriver was selected by the Ohio Criminal Law and Procedure Committee of the Ohio Judicial Conference to serve as the point judge during the legislation process that recently modified the OVI law in the State of Ohio.