The Lake County Board and justice partners (19th Judicial Circuit, State's Attorney, Sheriff's Office, and others) are working together on programs that reduce crime, recidivism (habitual relapse into crime), family violence, and substance abuse, and overall enhance public safety for Lake County residents. The County Board's Strategic Plan identifies public safety as a strategic goal. The County is focusing on programs for non-violent offenders with a mental illness and those who suffer from substance abuse, and connecting them with the resources they need. One example is the Therapeutic Intensive Monitoring Drug Treatment Court, or TIM, which works to rehabilitate drug addicts, mentally ill and veteran offenders through a structured program. As a result, since the program began 359 offenders were accepted in the program and by June 15, 2015:
- 69% of the 58 graduates of the Therapeutic Intensive Monitoring Drug Treatment Court have remained arrest free for at least two years.
- 74% of the 50 graduates of the Therapeutic Intensive Monitoring Mental Health Court have remained arrest free for two years.
- 85% of the 34 graduates of the Therapeutic Intensive Monitoring Veterans Court have remained arrest free for two years.
The County has also put in place after-care and re-entry programs that provide treatment and intensive monitoring of offenders, and partnering with other social providers to integrate services such as housing, employment, life skills coaching, and social support.
Why should you care?
According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, the most rigorous and conservative scientific “meta-analyses” have all concluded that Drug Courts significantly reduce crime as much as 45 percent more than other sentencing options. Crime is socially and economically damaging to communities. Also, by reducing the number of people in the jail, it reduces costs to government and taxpayers.