Among graduates of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Drug School Diversion Program, 89% have no new drug arrests within one year.
State’s Attorney’s Drug School Diversion Program
In Illinois, drug intervention and education programs established and administered by the State's Attorney's Office of a particular county as alternatives to traditional prosecution are alternately known as “drug school” or the State’s Attorney’s Drug School Diversion Program.
For individuals in Cook or St. Clair counties who have first-time and low-level offenses, the program may be an option to avoid convictions and instead participate in classes on the consequences of both substance use and justice involvement. Cases are identified at preliminary hearing. If individuals are eligible for the program and agree to its rules, they may waive their rights to preliminary hearings and be given a three-month continuance.
To succeed in the program, participants must attend a minimum of 10 hours of education classes, and comply with program rules. If all requirements are met, participants’ cases are nolled (not continued) by the prosecution and, if nolled, participants are eligible to apply for expungement immediately.
To be eligible for this program, individuals must:
be adults 17 years of age or older
have simple PCS, cannabis, or drug paraphernalia charges (misdemeanor or felony)
have no histories of drug dealing, violence, or felony convictions
be charged in either Cook County or St. Clair County, Illinois
TASC registers participants for classes, maintains a database of participant registration, coordinates the reporting and sharing of relevant information, and provides reports to the State’s Attorney’s Offices to verify individuals’ participation. In St. Clair County, we also conduct drug education classes with drug school diversion clients.
Cook County: State’s Attorney’s Office
St. Clair County: St. Clair County 708 Board and the State's Attorney's Office
Cook County: Anthony Harden
St. Clair County: Julie Chambers