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Pathways: Treatment for Non-Violent Offenders Through Specialized Courts

Justin Stump (left) and Caleb Weiss, DO (right)

Faculty in the UICOMP Department of Psychiatry are providing clinical services to rehabilitate, rather than incarcerate. Through a collaboration with Tazewell County which began in 2023, faculty psychiatrists provide services as part of Tazewell County’s Drug Court and Adult Mental Health Court. These courts are specialized, problem-solving courts for non-violent offenders. Drug court offers increased judicial supervision and accountability of participants while providing access to substance abuse treatment. Mental health court offers case management strategies in partnership with community-based treatment providers that include individualized treatment plans.

Tazewell County’s specialty courts have been in operation since 2011 and serve participants who are at a high risk for criminal recidivism, says Justin Stump, chief probation officer. “Specialty Courts such as Drug and Mental Health Courts have been found to be cost effective when dealing with these difficult populations,” says Stump. “With Tazewell County’s treatment courts, we combine intense supervision and rigorous treatment to hold participants accountable while improving their lives. Many of our participants enter the program homeless, substances addicted while dealing with debilitating mental illness, and upon graduation, participants are sober, have full-time jobs, homes, positive relationships with family members, and compliant with their mental health treatment.”

This article is part of the Summer 2024 issue of Pathways magazine.