Hon. Wende C. Cross
Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas
Hamilton County Courthouse
1000 Main Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Re-Entry Docket Specialist
Director - Hamilton County Office of Re-Entry
Courtroom Zoom Link:
A specialized Court committed to working with individuals to end the cycle of incarceration.
Our mission is to build a safer community and reduce recidivism in Hamilton County by helping individuals transition successfully from prison, rebuild their lives, and become productive contributors to their communities.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Court recently established a Judicial Release program known as the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Reentry Docket. This docket, also known as the Welcome Home Reentry Docket, is aimed at helping individuals successfully transition from prison to the community, while reducing recidivism and strengthening public safety. This specialty docket is designed for low-level, non-violent offenders who voluntarily ask for help transitioning from state prison back into the community.
This program is initiated in partnership with the Hamilton County Office of Reentry. The Office of Reentry coordinates with the Court, the probation department, and community partners to establish a Reentry plan, coordinate services, and provide data tracking. The Reentry case managers will create a continuum of care that is designed to promote better outcomes for the target population.
Returning citizens participating in the program and supervised by the probation department will progress as follows:
- Phase One: bi-weekly check-ins with the Judge and Reentry team.
- Phase Two: monthly check-ins with the Judge and Reentry team.
- Phase Three: 45-day check-in with the Judge and Reentry team.
Participants will be expected to meet weekly with the Reentry Docket Probation Officer and maintain scheduled visits with Reentry staff. Programming will also be offered once a month to provide in-person resources to participants.
How It Works
Inmates sentenced in Hamilton County who are eligible for judicial release from ODRC facilities will apply for early release to the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Reentry Docket. Eligible applicants will be interviewed by the Reentry Docket Judge and team. Final approval will be determined by the Reentry Docket Judge in collaboration with the applicant’s Sentencing Judge. Each application will be reviewed and processed by the Reentry Docket Specialist. Approved applicants will be notified by letter including the date of their virtual judicial release hearing.
If accepted into the program, participation is a mandatory condition of probation.
- Offender must be statutorily eligible for Judicial Release.
- All non-violent offenses are eligible except any contact sex offense.
- Applicant must intend to reside in Hamilton County, Ohio.
- Applicant must be serving a non-mandatory term of less than 2 years and serve a minimum of 30 days in ODRC before being eligible for screening.
- Applicant must have been sentenced in Hamilton County, Ohio.
- If the participant is homeless, must agree to living in shelter until other housing is available. Electronic monitoring will be used, if necessary.
- Male and Females will be accepted into the program.
- Participants with mental health and substance use history are eligible.
- Applicant cannot have 3 or more prison commitments.
- Incomplete application.
- Applicant is currently serving time on 3 or more cases.
- Applicant is ineligible if he or she is sentenced outside of Hamilton County, Ohio.
- Applicant was previously denied for Re-Entry Court Docket.
- Applicant cannot have any outside felony warrants, or capiases, other than minor traffic.
- Applicant has any pending/open municipal or felony cases in any Court.
- Serving mandatory sentence.