On the second floor of the Hamilton County Courthouse, behind an ordinary door marked Room 240, something strange happens on Thursdays at 2 p.m. Compared to other courtrooms, it’s over the rainbow and through the looking glass—a buy-the-world-a-Coke, Strawberry Fields utopia where offenders get hugs from the judge and applause from prosecutors, police and visitors.

“You’ve been doing great,” Municipal Judge Melissa Powers tells a guy in a golf shirt and khakis who went from boozer to businessman. “We’re all quite pleased.”