Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $568,748)
DuPage County, Illinois, comprises the state’s 18th Judicial Circuit. With a population of just under one million people, it is the second largest county in the state and has a separate post-adjudication Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court. Similar to many agencies, we have been directly impacted by the increasing scourge of opioid dependence, participants experiencing mental health issues and an increase in isolative and destructive behavior exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goals are to increase both programs capacities, reduce the rate of opioid overdose deaths, and create opportunities for community members to engage our participants in the recovery process while continuing to offer and expand the evidence-based practices, including medication-assisted treatment, already in place.
Although located in the densely populated collar counties surrounding Cook County, it is not uncommon for many of our service providers to be housed outside of our geographic boundaries. As a result, many participants are housed in in-patient or recovery homes outside the county creating barriers for service delivery. We will address this by creating and funding Recovery Community Centers strategically located in our neighborhoods which will provide neutral, non-adversarial locations for program participants to meet with recovery coaches, peer mentors, and Problem Solving Court staff to engage in meaningful interventions designed to meet program goals and objectives. Historically, driving under the influence cases were excluded from Problem Solving Court participation. With strong judicial leadership and support this has recently changed and we expect to increase the number of Drug Court participants from 80 to 120 and Veterans Court from 30 to 60 over the next four years. With this challenge comes the opportunity to make lasting changes in the lives of our clients. Our target population will consist of non-violent Drug Court participants and Veterans Treatment Courts, Type B participants. We will adhere to the 10 best practice standards for Adult Drug Courts as identified by the NADCP as found on pages 11-15 of the Program Narrative. Data will be collected throughout the grant period. We will hire a contractual position to create, collect and analyze available data. We have partnered with the county's Information Technology Department to create Geographic Information Systems mapping designed to optimize our ability to match service delivery to participants based on their location, access to services, economic barriers and other socio-economic factors. Additionally, the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts has recently embarked on an initiative to collect approximately 750 data points detailing demographic, eligibility, services provided, progress and outcome data that will be made available to all Illinois Problem Solving Courts.