The Cook County Mental Health Court program has been shown to reduce participants’ subsequent felony arrests and convictions by 76%, while also saving taxpayers approximately $2 million annually by reducing participants’ days in custody.
Illinois is unique in that every criminal courtroom in the state can serve as a drug court. Defendants who meet eligibility criteria may petition for a TASC assessment and may be placed into drug treatment as part of their probation. These services are described in TASC’s statewide Adult Court and Probation Services.
Beyond these services, there are problem-solving courts, or specialty courts, focus specifically on offenses related to drug use, mental illness, prostitution, and other special needs. In these courtrooms, judges preside over cases where defendants have underlying conditions or circumstances that must be considered and addressed in order to reduce the likelihood of recidivism.
In addition to numerous Drug Courts across Illinois, TASC has helped develop and plays a role in numerous other specialty courts. For example, the Mental Health Court in Cook County works with felony defendants who need treatment for both substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illness. TASC also provides services for Domestic Violence Courts, Prostitution/Sex Workers Courts, and Veterans Courts in various jurisdictions in Illinois.
Eligibility for participation in problem-solving courts is determined by each jurisdiction.
TASC’s role in problem-solving courts may vary by jurisdiction. In general, TASC is part of the specialty court team, which includes the judge, probation, attorneys, and community-based service providers all working together to ensure clients' success and accountability. In most specialty courts, as with our traditional Adult Court and Probation Services, TASC provides clinical assessment, client advocacy, and case management services.
Most specialty courts across Illinois are funded by the local county. Several specialty courts, including those operating in Cook County, receive a mix of local, state, and federal funding.
Champaign, Coles, and Rock Island counties: Shundra Parker
Cook County: Alicia Osborne
Kankakee County: Karen Notko
Madison and St. Clair counties: Julie Chambers
Winnebago County: Bridget Kiely