TASC History

Known originally as “Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime,” the TASC model came about in 1972 when the federal government launched several pilot programs across the United States to respond to an increase in addiction-driven crime. TASC programs helped relieve the burden on the courts by diverting people with nonviolent offenses into supervised drug treatment in the community.

Currently there are numerous TASC programs across the United States, all based on the core concept of connecting the court system to community-based treatment and related services. TASC programs operate independently of each other and are loosely connected via the National TASC membership association. 

TASC, Inc. of Illinois, founded in 1976 by Melody M. Heaps. It is the largest and most comprehensive TASC program in the country. Over four decades, we have facilitated access to community-based treatment and recovery for tens of thousands of men, women, and youth. 

Today, under the leadership of President and CEO Pamela F. Rodriguez, TASC, Inc. of Illinois is the most comprehensive of its kind in the country. TASC reaches more than 50,000 people annually, including in-depth services for more than 15,000 adults and youth in justice, health, and child welfare systems.

TASC President Pamela F. Rodriguez (left) and President Emeritus Melody M. Heaps (right) discuss the origins of TASC, the generational impact of drugs and criminal justice policies on communities, and today’s significant opportunities to change the tides of mass incarceration and recidivism as improved health care access is realized.