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Drug Court team attends national conference

Published: Saturday, July 27, 2013 7:00 a.m. CST
Caption
Pictured during the Grundy County Drug Court team’s visit with Rep. Adam Kinzinger are, from left, Circuit Judge Robert Marsaglia; LuAnn Ishmael, Drug Court coordinator; Mitch Conwell, assistant case manager; State’s Attorney Jason Helland; Kinzinger; Chad Hrechko, sheriff’s department; J.D. Flood, public defender; and Kellie Kennedy, therapist.

The Grundy County Drug Court team attended the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ annual training conference.

Held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, D.C., it ran from July 14-17.

Topics discussed at the conference included information on the latest technologies on chemical testing; sustainability and funding; co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorders; how to use incentives and sanctions more effectively; and how to provide effective treatment, case management and supervision to reduce recidivism.

In Drug Court, one size truly does not fit all, Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland noted.

The Grundy County Drug Court team concluded the conference by visiting Congressman Adam Kinzinger at the Longworth House Office Building, in order to ensure that drug courts remain a public policy priority.

The drug court movement began because people who have drug addictions did not change their behavior (refraining from drug use) after completing the traditional criminal remedy of incarceration.

The number of offenders increased and the cost to taxpayers to house inmates also increased. Drug courts provide offenders a structured program of treatment, counseling, mandatory drug testing, judicial monitoring, immediate sanctions and incentives, and overall support from the drug court team to help offenders re-enter the community as healthy, productive citizens.

Funding for the Grundy County Drug Court is provided by the Grundy County Board, as well as fines collected from offenders and fees collected from the Drug Court participants.

The Grundy County Drug Court started in late 2007 and has returned a number of former offenders to the roles of responsible parents, taxpayers, and productive members of our community.

The mission of the Drug Court movement is to break the cycle of addiction, which drives the criminal behavior of non-violent drug users, and integrate the offenders back into society as taxpaying, productive members of the community.

The Grundy County Drug Court is committed to helping those individuals who have a substance abuse problem and restoring them to be productive and law abiding citizens.

For more information, please visit http://www.grundyco.org/departments/states-attorney/item/crime-prevention

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