Press Releases

Oriana House and Staff Receive State Awards

For Immediate Release: October 17, 2008
Contact: Christina Deibel or Linda Weyandt (330) 535-8116

Oriana House is celebrating statewide recognition of its Halfway House Program in addition to having one of its executives honored for her contributions to the improvement of community corrections in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) presented Oriana House with the Clifford Skeen Award for Halfway Houses, and the Ohio Justice Alliance for Community Corrections (OJACC) presented Oriana House Executive Vice President Anne Connell-Freund with the Dr. Simon Dinitz Award. The awards were presented during OJACC's annual conference earlier this month.

ODRC selected Oriana House's Halfway House program from 23 throughout the state and commended Oriana House staff for being innovative leaders in developing research based programming and for their commitment to providing the highest quality of service to its clients.

"We are honored to receive this recognition in tribute of Clifford Skeen. I had great respect for Mr. Skeen, and I think he would be impressed with our programs," said Oriana House President and CEO James Lawrence.

Oriana House's Halfway House program provides a direct sentencing option for misdemeanor, felony, and traffic offenders, and is also used as a transition program for some offenders who are near the end of their prison or jail sentence. Offenders in the Halfway House program are monitored and have more supervision as they are integrated back into the community through Oriana House's case management services. The length of the program is determined by the offender's progress while in the program. All clients go through a risk/needs assessment, and chemical dependency treatment is available when necessary.

Oriana House operates five Halfway House programs in Akron and one in Cleveland. The Halfway House facilities are accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA), and are licensed by ODRC and the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS).

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 from the Akron area, 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 headquartered in Akron, with facilities in Summit, Cuyahoga, and Seneca counties.

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