Ohio Justice Alliance for Community Corrections

Loading Events

« All Events

Annual Conference

October 12 @ 8:30 am - October 13 @ 12:00 pm



The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Annual Conference
The Ohio Justice Alliance for Community Corrections (OJACC) is pleased to present its 36th annual conference, “Work Well, Be Well,” to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel North in Columbus, Ohio, on October 12th and 13th, 2023.
$ 250.00

2023 OJACC Conference Registration 

OJACC Achievement Awards Nomination Form 2023


The Ohio Justice Alliance for Community Corrections (OJACC) is pleased to present its 36th annual conference, “Work Well, Be Well,” to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel North in Columbus, Ohio, on October 12th and 13th, 2023.

The general session Thursday morning will feature Dr. Alexandra Walker from the Alliance for Community and Justice Innovations. She will address “Staying Engaged During Challenging Times,” answering the question, how do we stay focused on the important work we do and those we serve and stay resiliently optimistic? She will also provide a workshop on “From Data Deserts
to Data Floods: De-Mystifying Fidelity” to help us simplify the process of fidelity.

Thursday afternoon, back by popular demand, Karen Vadino will present “The Art of Living Well.” This new session addresses needed resources that will sustain your well-being which is what resiliency is all about.

Friday morning’s general session will feature Former ODRC Director Reginald Wilkinson, Ph.D. who will remind us of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed as a field to help ensure that we do lose sight of where we’ve been and what
it took to get us to where we are today.

In the closing general session, Jennifer Bogner, Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, will present “Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury and Prevalence in Persons Involved in the Criminal Justice System.” She will also provide information on improving the ability of persons with TBI to benefit from interventions and services.
This session will provide a better understanding of working with participants affected by TBIs so they can improve their ability to engage in programs to improve the ability to function in the community, leading to reduced recidivism.

You will also find many workshops intended to provide tools to improve the work of community corrections.

The OJACC Achievement Awards and the ODRC Clifford Skeen Awards presentations will be held during the luncheon to recognize excellence in community corrections.

Credits are being applied for in the area of Changing Offender Behavior (COB), CLE, RCH, and Counselor/Social Work.

Please make plans to attend this highly informative conference.

THURSDAY, October 12, 2023

7:30 a.m.— 4:45 p.m. Registration
7:30 a.m.— 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m.—10:00 a.m. Opening Session
10:00 a.m.—10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m.—11:45 a.m. Morning Workshops
11:45 a.m.—Noon Break
Noon — 1:30 p.m. Lunch, OJACC Achievement and ODRC, Annual Clifford Skeen Awards
1:30 p.m. —1:45 p.m. Break
1:45 p.m. — 2:45 p.m. General Session
2:45 p.m. — 3:00 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m.— 4:30 p.m. Afternoon Workshops

FRIDAY, October 13, 2023

8:00 a.m.— Noon Registration (for new registrants)
7:30 a.m.— 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m.— 10:00 a.m. General Session
10:00 a.m.—10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m.—Noon General Session

Featured Speakers

Thursday Opening Session
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Resilient Optimism: Staying Engaged During Challenging Times (COB)

Dr. Alexandra Walker, Alliance for Community and Justice Innovation

Embracing a career in human services is not for the faint of heart. Even the most passionate, committed, and capable professionals can become hardened, cynical, and ultimately burn out. In a field where change is hard, and success feels short-lived, hope and passion can be in short  supply. So how do we stay focused on the important work that we do and those we serve and stay resiliently optimistic? Join Dr. Alexandra Walker as she shares how to build hope and ignite passion by embracing what it means to fail forward in our work.

Thursday Afternoon General Session
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Resiliency: The Art of Living Well

Karen Vadino, MSW, LPCC, OCPC, Trainer and Consultant

Resiliency is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Experiencing difficulties is unavoidable. Figuring out how to make your way to the needed resources that will sustain your well-being is what resiliency is all about. We will examine how our relationships, thoughts, and feelings  play a significant role in how we respond to life events.

Friday Morning General Session
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Connecting the Dots (COB)

Dr. Reginald Wilkinson, Connecting the Dots, LLC

In this session, Dr. Wilkinson will remind us of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are headed as a field. It is important to remember where we have been and the arduous journey to move the field toward understanding and embracing evidence-based practices to help ensure that we do not lose sight of what it took to get us to where we are today. Understanding this can help us continue to progress in our quest to reduce recidivism and improve lives.

Friday Closing Session
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury and Prevalence in Persons Involved in the Criminal Justice System (COB)

Dr. Jennifer Bogner, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

This presentation will define traumatic brain injury, describe its effects, and present incidence and prevalence statistics relative to the general population and the criminal justice population. The provision of cognitive accommodations can improve the ability to engage in programs to improve the ability to function in the community, leading to reduced recidivism.


Thursday Morning Workshops
10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

(A-1) From Data Deserts to Data Floods: De-Mystifying Fidelity (CQI Track) (COB)

Dr. Alexandra Walker, Alliance for Community and Justice Innovation

Whether your organization is limited in the amount of available data (data desert) or so overwhelmed with data that most of it remains unused (data flood), most organizations struggle to effectively use data to make decisions and inform processes. While we are all striving for fidelity, how do you get there when resources are limited, and it is tough to know where to start? Fidelity is a process of measuring how our programs and services are being delivered so that we know whether they are being implemented and performed. Too often, we make assumptions about whether things are working, if they are being delivered as intended, and what changes are necessary to get better outcomes. In this session, we will discuss the three components of fidelity: time, density, and quality. We will explore how to keep the data process simple so that you can have real-time information about what you are doing and the impact it is having.

(A-2) Forging Partnerships with Corrections to Impact Impaired Driving (COB)

Judge Kate Huffman, Second District Court of Appeals
Teresa Russell, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department
Dr. Kara Marciani, Eastway Behavioral Healthcare

This presentation will focus on thevarious opportunities for criminal justice stakeholders to partner with corrections staff in order to address the critical needs of individuals subject to pretrial confinement or serving a sentence, particularly those completing a mandatory jail sentence for an OVI offense. The faculty will discuss means of connecting partners from corrections, the court, and
treatment to strategically provide opportunities to address treatment, MAT, peer support, and jailbased treatment readiness and relapse prevention to assist those in a jail environment to motivate clients along the stages of change, manage the stress of incarceration and to provide programming to address recovery.


(A-3) Improving Reentry with Integrated Peer Recovery Support (COB)

Kieran Hurley, Thrive Peer Recovery Services

Reentry from incarceration to the community continues to be an important focus to improve behavioral health, physical health, and criminal justice outcomes for those who serve time in incarcerated settings. Ohio and local communities have increased opportunities for diversion from state prison incarceration for populations with criminogenic risk, including placements at CBCFs where programming and dosage that address
criminogenic factors can be tailored to the needs of the population.

Through continued efforts to utilize ORAS assessments and evidence-based curriculums, Ohio has seen improvement in the correlation of dosage to recidivism. Additionally, the integration of individuals with lived experience shows promise in increasing early engagement in programming and assisting and supporting individuals during the reentry planning process.

This partnership with Oriana, Inc. provides an embedded Certified Peer Recovery Supporter at the McDonnell Center CBCF to engage with participants as a peer with lived experience of recovery and reentry from incarceration. The project seeks to improvereentry planning, connection to treatment and social services in the community, and ultimately reduce recidivism of the CBCF population.

This presentation will speak to the early lesson learned andaddress the ongoing challenges and successes of the program to date.


(A-4) Equipping Individuals Who Are Incarcerated with Conflict Resolution Skills (COB)

Tiara Morrow & Danielle Cosgrove, Cleveland Mediation Center

This interactive workshop will share the implementation of a six-hour conflict resolution training at a local Community Based Corrections Facility.

The facilitators will engage participants in parts of the training which will cover active listening, conflict styles, de-escalation, Istatements, and problemsolving. The workshop will also share the outcomes from the training, including the outcomes for the participants, along with the outcomes benefitting the corrections facility.


(A-5) Evidence-Based Supervision (Juvenile Track; Also relevant for Adult) (COB)

Kara Moore, Delaware County Juvenile Court

This session will give probation officers a quick guide format to using evidence-based practices. By using this program, officers can easily guide case planning to objectives and match the right tools to the specific risk and needs of the offender. We will discuss what to do with the tools we have been trained in, reflect on our own fears and reservations about them, and talk about the leadership’s role in creating change in their departments.

Thursday Afternoon Workshops
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


(B-1) Power Struggles and Anger: Models and Techniques for Preventing Escalation (COB)

Dr. Randy Shively, Alvis Inc.

This presentation highlights ways for staff to successfully avoid confrontation/power struggles with clients. Topics discussed are managing attitudes, relieving stress, and understanding professionalism as a prevention tool. Non-verbal communication (tone of voice, body positioning, facial expression) is key when working with extreme anger and can be a valuable area for self -insight to have success in deescalating clients. Staff will have an opportunity to assess their own patterns of anger and how to be aware of their own triggers and areas of need. A few models for de-escalating clients will be given. A few aggressive scenarios will be discussed. This is a must training for staff who need extra tools when working with angry clients who pose a potential safety risk.


(B-2) ORAS 2.0 (COB)

Myrinda Schweitzer Smith, Ph.D., and Chris D’Amato, University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute; Dionne Addison, ODRC

Classifying justice-involved individuals’ risk of recidivism is one of the first steps in making evidencebased decisions related to the placement, treatment, and supervision of justice-involved individuals. Ohio uses a fourth-generation risk assessment, the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS), a classification tool that provides risk information related to general recidivism. Predicting risk for violent recidivism is an important goal to protect public safety and enhance the identification of justiceinvolved individuals’ risks and criminogenic needs. In response to this need, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) collaborated with the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute to develop an ORAS 2.0. Using a sample of over 400,000 justice-involved individuals, two main goals were accomplished. First, the current ORAS tools were revalidated by evaluating their accuracy in predicting general, violent, and non-violent recidivism. Second, ORAS Violence Predicting trailer tools were formed by examining factors that are theoretically and clinically relevant to predicting violent recidivism. The results of this project included a re-validation of the ORAS tools, updating the ORAS tools to improve validity and the formation of violencepredicting tools. Implications ofthese results will be discussed.


(B-3) It’s a Whole New Ball Game: Motivational Interviewing for Justice-Involved Individuals/ Intensive Practice Session (COB)

Jacob Popp, Jessica Dennis, Ashley Autry, Troy Miglets:ODRC

This interactive event will open with a brief overview of the development of Ohio Parole’s Motivational Interviewing Training Track. Participants will receive brief periods of instruction followed by opportunities to work with a coach on responding to realistic statements made by justice-involved individuals. Throughout the training, a coach will work with participants to build competency in applying Open Questions, Affirmation, Reflection, and Summaries (OARS) in the spirit of MI. A trainer will play the role of a justice-involved individual to simulate real-world practice. Participants receive real-time feedback while responding to realistic statements. Ohio Parole Officers who have successfully completed these events have described it as an engaging and energetic training in a comfortable atmosphere loaded with opportunities to participate. Exercises approximate batting practices. Participants leave energized and equipped with new strategies for behavior change.


(B-4) Using Plan, Do, Study, Act to Enhance EBP Implementation (CQI Track)(COB)

Amanda Howard, LeVerne Williams, Micheal Dent, Oriana House, Inc.

When implementing EvidenceBased Practices (EBPs), drift often occurs – whether due to staff turnover, complacency, or a host of other reasons. This presentation will examine how collaboration between leadership and CQI decreases drift and realigns EBP implementation. This example of collaboration will break down the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle and examine how developing a partnership that includes supervisors and CQI takes the implementation of EBPS to the next level. During this workshop, there will be an interactive activity to learn and practice the PDSA cycle.


(B-5) OhioRise in the Juvenile Justice System (Juvenile Track)

Amanda Resler and Kelly Smith, Ohio Medicaid

OhioRISE is a specialized Medicaid-managed care program for children and youth with complex behavioral health needs (mental health/substance use disorder) and multisystem needs. These children and youth are often involved in multiple systems such as juvenile justice, child protection, developmental disabilities, education, mental health and addiction, and others. OhioRISE was developed to address these issues. This workshop will address the structure and progress of the program.


Conference Location

Crowne Plaza Columbus North
6500 Doubletree Avenue
Columbus, OH 43229

Registration Fee

Full conference registration cost is $250 for non-members and $225 for OJACC members. Agency membership includes discounted conference registration ($225) for up to 5 staff from the agency. If you are unsure whether your membership is current, please contact dittmergr@gmail.com Checks should be made payable to the:

Ohio Justice Alliance for Community Corrections and mailed to OJACC, P.O. Box 79, New Albany, OH 43054

Cancellations made after September 25, 2023, or no shows to the conference are subject to the full registration fee. You may substitute another person by contacting Gayle Dittmer at (740) 420-6444 or dittmergr@gmail.com

Registration fee covers participation in the education sessions, continuing education credits, conference materials, continental breakfasts, breaks, and lunch on Thursday.

Continuing Education Credits

CEUS have been applied for the following:
• Recognized Clock Hours (RCHs)
• Counselor/Social Worker Board
• Continuing Legal Education
• Hours that qualify for ODRC “Changing Offender Behavior” (COB) requirements are  signified by the initials “COB” next to the workshop title.

Attendees must attend the entire conference to receive full CEUs/CLEs.

Certificate of Attendance:

Participants will be given a “Certificate of Continuing Professional Education” form at registration. At the end of each session, participants will be provided with an attendance validation code. Record the codes and return the yellow copy of the form to the registration desk before leaving the conference.

Hotel Reservations
All hotel reservations must be made directly with the Crowne Plaza Columbus North Hotel by calling 614-885-1885. State you are with the OJACC Conference to obtain the $109 rate. The group code for reservations is OJ6. The reservation cut-off date is September 20, 2023. The hotel will accept reservations until the cut-off date or until the room block is filled, whichever comes first.


October 12 @ 8:30 am
October 13 @ 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Gayle Dittmer
(740) 420-6444


Crowne Plaza Hotel
6500 Doubletree Ave
Columbus, OH 43229 United States
+ Google Map
(614) 885-1885
View Venue Website