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Cuyahoga County Reentry Court

Implemented in 2007 and funded through the Office of Criminal Justice Services, the Cuyahoga County Reentry and Reintegration Program (e.g. Reentry Court) has a specialized docket presided over by Judge Nancy Margaret Russo. The REEP provides intensive programming and supervision to eligible offenders by preparing case plans that center on the specific offender’s needs such as education, employment, housing, substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Individuals are identified at sentencing and evaluated by REEP, prior to transport to a state prison, or an individual can apply after becoming incarcerated and remaining in compliance with the judicial release requirements for time they are required to serve.

To be considered for the program, an individual can either (1) file a REEP application through the Court’s website, in the prison through case managers, or from the REEP Judge, Judge Nancy Margaret Russo; or (2) file a pro se Motion for Judicial Release or have a legal professional complete the Motion for Judicial Release. Applications are available here.

Eligibility Requirements are listed below: 
  • An individual must be eligible for judicial release as defined by O.R.C. 292920 v.  
  • Be sentenced in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court with a felony conviction  
  • Reside in Cuyahoga County upon release from prison 
  • Have no pending felony charges  
  • Are not currently incarcerated for a weapons-related offense  
  • Have no outstanding warrants other than minor traffic offenses  
  • Have no sex offense convictions  
  • Are not currently serving time on more than two concurrent cases from Cuyahoga County

Effective Leadership Academy

The Effective Leadership Academy (ELA) is a nonprofit organization in Warrensville Heights providing a variety of hands-on, engaging activities for students in middle and high school. ELA has partnered with the Office of Reentry to provide 75 youth within Cuyahoga County’s juvenile system with a transitional curriculum, which is designed to address their social, emotional and academic challenge.

The program is four months long and delivered to 5 cohorts of 15 students; students participate in the intense transition program for one hour weekly over 8 weeks. At the end of four and eight weeks, respectively, ELA will provide two individual coaching sessions to steer the young men and women participants toward short-term SMART goals, which will help them navigate their pathways away from future recidivism. All program participants have either been adjudicated or are currently on probation or parole.

Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries Chopping for Change

An innovative partnership between LMM, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and the Cuyahoga County Office of Re-Entry, the “Chopping for Change” program provides significant work experience and training for women in the criminal justice system and that empowers them to re-join the labor force. In addition to work experience and culinary training, participants arrive at LMM’s Richards Sering Center and receive supplemental services including counseling and case management designed to facilitate their re-entry experience and decrease recidivism.

North Star Neighborhood Reentry Resource Center (NRRC)

North Star is an innovative resource center that helps individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system navigate through barriers to become law abiding, contributing members of their families and their communities. NRRC is operated by Oriana House, Inc., and funded by the Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry. They provide a range of services include job readiness classes, employment services, computer training labs, GED classes, alcohol and drug substance abuse meetings, faith-based programming, vouchers for state IDs and birth certificates, free healthcare screenings and bi-monthly support for individuals needing child support modifications. For more information about North Star, visit

Open Door

Through a distinct partnership between the YMCA of Greater Cleveland, Cuyahoga County’s Office of Reentry Center for Families and Children, and Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, the Open Door Reentry Program launched in November of 2010. The Open Door Program, funded through Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry, is a collaborative effort that offers formerly incarcerated individuals comprehensive case management, transitional housing and the necessary wrap-around services in a safe housing unit. Residents live in an apartment (two men to a suite) in the CMHA Stokes Mall Housing facility. Admission is by referral only. Participants successfully completing the program will receive preferential permanent housing placement with CMHA.

To apply, applicants must be: 
  • Formerly incarcerated, homeless men who are 18 years or older 
  • Released from a correctional facility within the past 6 months  
  • Must be entering Cuyahoga County from a correctional institution or social/human service agency  
  • Individuals must not have a previous criminal history related to methamphetamine or other infractions determined by CMHA to make individuals ineligible for public housing 
  • Individual must have been working with an agency a minimum of three months prior to being referred  
  • Individual must be referred by their case manager and provided wrap-around services for the entirety of their residency at Open Door  
  • Individuals with a mental health diagnosis must be stabilized prior to admission to the program.
For more information, please contact Shamarah Thomas-Hutchins, MA, Recovery Housing Director at (216) 431-2018 or

Project Learn

Project Learn, operated by the Cuyahoga County Public Library System and Aspire Greater Cleveland, provides basic adult education for detainees at Cuyahoga County and Euclid Jails. Aspire Greater Cleveland provides adult basic education, a high school equivalency test preparation, and test administration. Their goals are to prepare participants to take and pass the GED exam, and to increase the math and reading skills of participants by at least one grade level during their time in detention.

Recovery Resources

Recovery Resources provides substance abuse and cognitive behavioral health at the Euclid Jail. RR uses screening tools to quickly identify individuals with treatment needs, and following screening clients can agree to receive treatment services after completing a diagnostic assessment. Enrolled clients will receive individualized treatment plans that establish goals and detailed recommended treatment for mental health and addiction issues at the appropriate level of care. Services are offered on a continuum of individual counseling at an Outpatient (OP) treatment level of care, or group counseling at an Intensive Outpatient (IOP). Enrollment is made for individuals incarcerated at the Euclid Jail.

Towards Employment

Towards Employment is a leader in workforce development and provides job readiness training for Cleveland residents, including individuals with criminal backgrounds. Residents with judicial histories can access their services, apprenticeships and job placement amenities to further individual career goals and improve career success. For more information about job seeker support services or businesses interested in recruiting new talent, visit

Veterans Court

The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Veterans Treatment Court seeks to rehabilitate veterans by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system and providing them with the tools to lead a more productive life. Under the Veterans Treatment Court, Judges have the discretion to transfer a veteran’s case to the Veterans Court, where the person’s participation can last anywhere from 12 to 18 months. Veterans charged with a felony resulting in probation or who are released from prison and subject to probation may be transferred to the Veterans Treatment Court. Veterans remain eligible regardless of the type of discharge, and those who are ineligible for VA benefits will receive comparable community services as other defendants currently on probation. To access the referral form, click here.

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