Adult Drug Court
The Will County Drug Court was the first of four problem-solving courts established by State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow in Will County. For two years, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office participated in a $30,000 planning grant, through the United States Department of Justice, to establish a Drug Court Program in Will County. The drug court team researched the increase of criminal behavior as it relates to drug use, and studied existing programs to develop a local project.
Under the direction of the Will County State’s Attorney, the Will County Drug Court convened in the spring of 2000 through a $50,000 grant from the State of Illinois and a $500,000 comprehensive grant awarded from the United States Department of Justice. State’s Attorney Glasgow then applied for and successfully received federal grants in 2006, 2011, 2016 and 2019. The most recent federal grant is to increase capacity and services to those suffering from the ravages of opioid addiction.
The drug court movement began with the changing of a few minds at the grassroots level. People began to realize the existing approach to the drug using criminal — incarceration and more incarceration — wasn’t working.
The number of accused drug offenders kept increasing and there were simply not enough jails and prisons to hold them. On the other hand, drug courts provide these same offenders a structured program of treatment, counseling, mandatory drug testing, judicial monitoring, immediate sanctions and incentives and overall support from the court team to help offenders re-enter into the community healthy productive citizens. Drug Courts have proven that they can reduce the rate of recidivism and are by far the most effective tool in protecting society from the ravages of drug abuse.
Drug Court is a voluntary program, but participation is subject to meeting eligibility criteria and being staffed and approved for admission into the program by the team. Will County Drug Court has been built on an extensive history of collaboration among key stakeholders, including the 12th Judicial Circuit Court, Will County, the Will County State’s Attorney, the Will County Public Defender, the Will County Sheriff, the Will County Adult Court Services Department, Center for Correctional Concerns, treatment providers and the community.
Drugs & Crime
It is clear that there is a link between criminal behavior as it relates to drug use, and drug related offenses such as, possession of a controlled substance, theft, forgery, identity theft, burglary and others.
The criminal justice system has the unique ability to influence a person shortly after a significant triggering event such as an arrest. Statistics show that by offering the offender counseling, drug treatment, career guidance, support and close supervision recidivism rates drop drastically.
It costs approximately $3,000 to put a person through drug court. Taxpayers pay about $21,600/ year for Illinois Department of Corrections. For every dollar invested in drug court, many more are saved by corrections. Additionally, when the imprisoned person returns to the streets, they are forever marked. It is difficult to obtain a job and likely they will return to drugs and criminal activity to feed their drug habit. The result is a revolving door syndrome in which offenders cycle in and out of the system.
On the other hand, the person who finishes drug court is given a chance to return to society as a productive citizen, with increased educational and job opportunities. Instead of becoming a drain on society, the successful participant becomes a contributor. Not only do offenders benefit, but public safety is strengthened through the accountability and monitoring that occurs.
The mission of the Will County Drug Court is to break the cycle of addiction, in order to promote public safety, reduce recidivism, and enhance the quality of life for the community and the individual.