Knox County will use Adult Redeploy Illinois grant funding to enhance and expand its drug court program and further reduce the number of individuals sent to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). The drug court program will give drug offenders the services and support they need to break the cycle of addiction and become successful members of the community.
Knox County Drug Court was formed in January 2008. Since inception, it has offered an alternative to incarceration for adult drug offenders in Knox County. Participants are referred to the program through the county state’s attorney and public defender. Referrals are made for repeat offenders that have committed non-violent, drug-related crimes and display indicators that they would succeed with extended treatment.
The Knox County Drug Court is nearing capacity with five offenders receiving services. To provide the comprehensive supervision of additional participants, increased staff is needed in the court services division. The expanded program will increase drug court capacity to 21 individuals.
Knox County also is planning service enhancements for its drug court participants and other probationers to give them a better chance at successful rehabilitation. They include:
* Establishing a separate treatment group to address the needs that are unique to drug court participants.
* Initiating Thinking for Change, a program that reinforces life skills, sobriety, and overall personal growth, and is provided to all participants by the drug court probation officer.
* Strengthening Families training in cooperation with the local faith-based community.
* Workforce Development Center services to provide job training and increase employment readiness.
* Nutrition, health, and wellness and life skills instruction to participants and their families.
* A drug court attorney to help with legal issues that often pose as obstacles in the lives of participants.
* A program administrator to ensure seamless service delivery to all participants and act as a liaison between the drug court team and the Adult Redeploy Illinois Executive Board.
The overall goal of reducing commitments to IDOC requires a more comprehensive approach to treatment and supervision than has been available in the past for offenders in Knox County. The additional funding will allow for personnel to be added in various capacities at different points in the criminal justice system and for broader access to treatment and evidence-based programs designed to reduce recidivism.
Award: $250,000 (18 months – April 1, 2011-September 30, 2012)