Skip to Main Content

Details | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

What’s happening in the world of problem-solving courts?


By Bill Blundell, MPA, LCPC, Problem Solving Courts Manager for the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts

The Problem-Solving Court (PSC) Unit within the Probation Services Division of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) continues to provide technical assistance to PSCs across the state as well as continually improve their functions internally. The PSC Unit continues to provide in-person training to courts around the state, on a variety of topics, including Sanctions, Incentives and Therapeutic Adjustments, Team Member Roles and Dynamics, Ethics, and many more. The training has been well received, and more are scheduled for the start of 2024.

The PSC Unit, along with the Illinois Supreme Court Special Advisory Committee on Justice and Mental Health Planning (JMHP) worked hard to update the section of the Illinois Supreme Court PSC Standards covering the initial certification of courts. Previously, courts had to wait until they were fully certified to start their court operations. Through the work of JMHP and AOIC staff, this has been reworked so that emerging courts can begin operations under a “conditional certification” designation, while AOIC completes their review, with the help of JMHP.

The PSC Unit has recently finished up with a four-year federal grant, through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, at the end of September 2023. Many initiatives were completed during the four years. The aforementioned training was one of those initiatives as the grant allowed for assistance from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to create 17 training courses, 12 designed to be in-person, and 5 online. Other initiatives completed during this time were the creation of an updated self-assessment for courts to utilize to improve operations as well as various data improvements. We are happy to announce that with the end of one grant, the PSC Unit (with the help of our newly for Grants Unit) was able to secure another federal grant, again with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, to further initiatives for PSCs in the State of Illinois. This grant will allow for 5 sub-awards to be given to five separate project courts to enhance and improve their operations through increased use of peer recovery support services, improvements in diversity equity and inclusion, and data initiatives.