The Illinois Problem-Solving Courts (PSCs) continue to expand through the state of Illinois in 2023. In 2023, all existing PSCs in Illinois obtained certification through the Illinois Supreme Court. In all, 117 PSCs have been certified, with more emerging courts submitting applications for initial certification. This year, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) plans to introduce “conditional certification” for new courts applying for certification. After approval from the Special Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Justice and Mental Health Planning (JMHP) and formal approval from the Illinois Supreme Court, new courts may begin operations under a conditional status as AOIC conducts a full review. As it stands now, courts must wait to be fully certified to begin operations. This “conditional” status gives new courts a chance to put their policy and procedures into action and allow participants an opportunity to begin treatment and navigate the criminal justice system.
Along with the aforementioned “conditional certification” AOIC and JMHP will be looking to revise the Illinois Problem-Solving Court (PSC) Standards. With an update to the Illinois Treatment Court Statute in June of 2022 and the ever changing landscape of treatment courts, the PSC Standards are due for another revision. The Standards, created in 2015, were last revised in 2019.
In November 2022, the AOIC PSC Unit hosted their first training in the 2nd Circuit. Through grant funds received from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), AOIC developed and implemented a curricula of 17 different training courses (12 designed for in person training and 5 developed for online training) to provide to all PSCs throughout the state of Illinois. In September and October 2022 there were 3 separate Train the Trainer events held to prepare faculty to present these trainings to PSCs who request training or are required to complete training as part of their certification or recertification process. The faculty consists of judges, states attorneys, public defenders, probation officers, PSC coordinators, treatment providers and law enforcement officers. In 2023, AOIC plans to provide more training, train more faculty and potentially develop more courses to add to the curriculum.
The courses are as follows:
- Introduction and Definition
- Planning and Administration
- Team Members and Team Dynamics
- Referral, Assessment, and Entry
- Case Supervision, Treatment, and Case Plans
- Drug Testing
- Sanctions, Incentives, and TA
- Certification and Recertification
- Technology in the PSC
- Mental Illness
- Substance Use Disorders and MAT
- Co-Occurring Disorders
- Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care
- Secondary Trauma
More in depth course descriptions and training requests can be found at the following website https://www.probation.illinoiscourts.gov/psc/psc-trainee
You may also contact Bill Blundell (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.