McHenry County Drug & Mental Health Courts Gain Certification

A press release from the McHenry County Circuit Court:

22nd Judicial Circuit Specialty Courts First to Receive Certification in the State

(Woodstock, IL) Recently the Circuit Court of the 22nd Judicial Circuit was notified by Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts that the McHenry County Drug Court and Mental Health Court was approved for certification, thereby becoming the first operational courts to receive certification in the State of Illinois.

The seal of the 22nd Circuit Court.

In 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted the Problem-Solving Courts (PSC) Standards for all of the Circuit Courts in Illinois.

The purpose of these statewide Standards is to set forth the minimum requirements for the planning, establishment, certification, operation and evaluation of all problem solving courts in Illinois.

These Standards are intended to assure that scarce public resources are used in ways that assure the greatest positive return on the investment.

The Standards are based on evidence-based practices, now well established by a substantial body of research, as well as on promising accepted practices that are correlated with positive, cost effective outcomes and enhanced public safety.

While the Standards are developed for the purpose of ensuring consistent and uniform evidence-based practices in PSC, they also allow local PSC to innovate and tailor their programs to respond to local needs and utilize local resources.

Nicholas Hayes, McHenry County Specialty Courts Probation Office said,

“I have witnessed countless individuals pull themselves out of the despair of drug addiction and untreated mental illness.

“With the assistance of our programs, these individuals seized on an opportunity to make positive life changes, repaired broken family relationships, and reentered the workforce.

“I’m honored to learn that our Specialty Courts have been recognized and are among the first to receive certification in the State of Illinois.”

The 22nd Judicial Circuit’s PSCs are not designed for the incidental user or for someone with slight depression; rather they are designed to work with criminal defendants who are at high risk to commit new offenses and have a high need for treatment services.

Both the Drug Court and Mental Health Court are specifically designed to identify individuals who suffer from addiction or mental illness and commit crimes.

These individuals are then diverted from the traditional criminal justice system and are provided access to residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment and probation services.

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