Press Releases

Oriana House Program Receives State Award

For Immediate Release: October 18, 2011
Contact: Christina Deibel or Linda Weyandt, (330) 535-8116

Oriana House is celebrating state-wide recognition for its Special Housing Adjustment Residential Program (SHARP) that serves the needs of offenders diagnosed with severe mental illness. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) presented SHARP with the Clifford Skeen Award for Halfway Houses. The award was presented during the Ohio Justice Alliance for Community Corrections (OJACC) annual conference in Columbus last week.

SHARP was established in 1997 to serve the needs of male offenders diagnosed with severe mental illness. SHARP offers life skills groups that target specialized needs such as medication compliance, hygiene, and nutrition.

SHARP is located at 55 East Glenwood Avenue in Akron. The program is accredited by the American Correctional Association and is licensed by ODRC and the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. The 14-bed halfway house provided services to 65 men in 2010.

“Summit County residents are fortunate to have numerous, quality resources for mental health services; and Oriana House is committed to treating this population of offenders with the primary goal to ensure the offender returns to the community as a law abiding, functioning member who is financially self-sufficient with stable housing and gainful employment,” said Oriana House Executive Vice President Bernard Rochford.

The Clifford Skeen Award was initiated as part of former Governor George Voinovich’s administration to demonstrate commitment to community corrections as a viable alternative to incarceration. The award is given in honor of the late, eight-term Ohio Representative, Clifford Skeen, who sponsored the Community Correction Act passed by the Ohio Legislature in July 1979. The purpose of this act was to reduce the number of non-dangerous offenders being sent to state prisons. During Representative Skeen’s legislative career, he was active in community corrections. He sponsored funding for additional halfway houses throughout Ohio and was instrumental in obtaining increased funding for other community corrections initiatives.

Oriana House is a private, non-profit, community corrections and chemical dependency treatment agency with programs located in Summit, Cuyahoga, and Seneca counties.

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