November 27, 2013
Justice Sharon L. Kennedy Speaks at 20th Annual Ohio Association of Pretrial Services Agencies Conference

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy was the featured speaker at the Ohio Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (OAPSA) during its annual training event on November 21. The OAPSA organization supports pretrial services including release and diversion in Ohio. Justice Kennedy addressed the group during its gala anniversary dinner.

“For more than 50 years, pretrial services officers have willingly put themselves at risk everyday to protect the public and aid the judiciary in making well informed pretrial release decisions and improving our system of justice,” Justice Kennedy told the group.

Justice Kennedy said that because of their service the judiciary is able to have a high level of equality and fairness in the justice system.

“While the individuals who make the decision between liberty and detention are the judiciary,” Justice Kennedy said, “it is all of you and the services that you provide that aid in the decision process and protect the community through supervision.”

Seeing that the need for pretrial services officers will continue to grow in Ohio, Justice Kennedy told the group that they have the ability to change lives.

“While you may not feel it or see it, the people you serve have long-term positive life changes,” Justice Kennedy said. “Offenders who begin early substance abuse treatment, educational programs to obtain their GED or employment training, and receive an encouraging word from you have a far greater chance of making it when their case is closed.”

OAPSA was celebrating its 20th anniversary during the training event.

Justice Kennedy is serving her first term on the Supreme Court of Ohio. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy served on the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division from 1999 to 2012. Justice Kennedy served as the administrative judge there from 2005 until December 2012. Justice Kennedy began her career in the justice system as a police officer in Hamilton, Ohio. She received her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

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