We develop Drug Courts – smart and effective partnerships that provide holistic treatment with the foundation of accountability through the judicial system. Our team of experienced Drug Court professionals will help create a model unique to each community’s needs and resources.


Our Mission

Lives Back is a non-profit committed to restoring communities from the ravages of the heroin epidemic by bringing life back to individuals and families. We will combat the opiate epidemic by educating and equipping communities to understand and treat substance abuse as a brain disease.


Drug Courts provide the necessary tools to hold individuals accountable, while also providing numerous and individualized resources.  According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, “Drug Courts are the most effective justice intervention for treating drug-addicted people. Drug Courts reduce drug use. Drug Courts reduce crime. Drug Courts save money. Drug Courts restore lives. Drug Courts save children and reunite families….To truly break the cycle of drugs and crime in America, we must put a Drug Court within reach of every American in need.”
Learn More!

Media. Judge VanDerKarr on ABC 6 WSYX WTTE

Watch our founder, Judge Scott D. VanDerKarr, in action as he was featured on ABC 6 WSYX WTTE. This piece documents the effectiveness and need in our communities for Drug Courts. Judge VanDerKarr discusses why Drug Courts work and answers common criticism.


Our team of experts will walk a jurisdiction through the upstart process in 4-6 months

Lives Back’s experienced team will provide an initial community data composite complete with SWOT (Internal strengths & weaknesses, external opportunities & threats). We identify community partners (parent groups and 12 step meetings), Medical Assisted Therapy (M.A.T.), AOD treatment agencies, mental health providers, and housing agencies.


We provide intensive coaching to key players in the courts and community. Coaching is provided onsite and is available for remote follow-up as needed. We provide guidance on how to host community stakeholder meetings in order to leverage the most effective recovery partnerships.  We will not only be present but will be available to lead preliminary drug courts if appropriate.


Our experienced team helps you develop a model that fits your community. Each community has its own culture of both drug addiction and drug recovery. We believe in best practices and will help each jurisdiction use those to create a program that fits their defendants and the resources their community is able to provide. We will help the Drug Court create a simple database to track outcomes and MOU templates with partners.


Utilizing our personal experience launching Drug Courts, we will also provide guidance on obtaining funding through a variety of means: grants, foundations, state and county funds, and individual donations. Additionally, Lives Back will offer a $10,000 matching grant for a drug court program director, drug testing kits, or transportation (bus passes).


Scott D. VanDerKarr

Founder & President


Heather Mohrman

Chief Operating Officer

Shanequah Gaiter-Fraiser

Team Lead

Mandi Pierson

Justice Team Member

Stacey Pratt

Justice Team Member

Bela Koe- Krompecher

Justice Team Member

Partner With Us!

If you would like to make a donation and partner with us at Lives Back, please click the link below. Thank you!

Contact Us!

For more information on Lives Back, or, to take the first steps in creating your own Drug Court,

please contact Heather Mohrman – CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER.

 Phone: 614-706-6125
Email: heather@livesback.org

Address: 580 S. High Street, Suite 250, Columbus, OH 43215

“Honoring the memory of Matthew J. Froehle and the thousands like him who lost their lives in the opiate epidemic.          May we learn and change from these great losses and begin to prevent and treat this disease.”