Problem-solving courts are now circuit-wide

Released On 01/22/2019

The Circuit Court of Cook County opened an Adult Drug Treatment Court today at the Rolling Meadows courthouse, ensuring that problem-solving courts are available to nonviolent felony defendants throughout the entire system.

The new Drug Court will operate with the assistance of a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The money will fund services to help participants obtain health insurance, receive treatment and clinical case-management services, and find recovery housing. Funding from the grant will support efforts in both the Rolling Meadows and Skokie courthouses. In 2017, the court received a similar SAMHSA grant for drug courts in Maywood, Bridgeview and Markham.

Defendants must voluntarily enter Drug Court by pleading guilty to the charge and accepting a two-year term of intensive probation that includes mandatory drug tests. Defendants receive a treatment plan and initially meet once a week with their probation officer and twice a month with the judge. They also receive assistance to seek housing, education and employment.

When Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans became chief judge in 2001, there were three problem-solving courts. Now there are 20. The most common charges are drug possession and retail theft.

“By providing access to treatment, we embrace compassion and put participants in a position to succeed so that they may return to their communities restored and confident,” Chief Judge Evans said. “They can remember the talents and skills they possess so that they can contribute to their families and communities.”

“Participants who successfully complete this program will not only change themselves, but they change their perception of how the justice system can work with them to improve lives. This federal grant will allow us to help defendants find a future of sobriety through a long-term, effective treatment plan,” Chief Judge Evans said.

Circuit Judge Jill C. Marisie, Presiding Judge of the 3rd Municipal District at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse, said: “We are using therapeutic resolutions, treating the addiction or disease that drives the nonviolent criminal behavior. At the same time, we hold the defendant responsible and accountable for two years through frequent drug tests, monitored medication, counseling, judicial hearings and probation visits. Ultimately, our goal is to connect them to opportunities that help them return to school or find a job.”

Judge Marisie also presides over the Mental Health Court and Veterans Court in Rolling Meadows. Associate Judge Joseph Cataldo and Associate Judge Marc Martin will share the duties of presiding over the new Drug Court on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

The Circuit Court of Cook County now has a Drug Court, Mental Health Court and Veterans Court at the Leighton Criminal Court Building and the suburban courthouses in Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Maywood, Bridgeview and Markham. The following chart shows all of the problem-solving courts with the date each opened:

Adult Drug Treatment Courts


Rehabilitation Alternative Probation Program – Leighton Criminal Court Building

April 1998

Access to Community-Based Treatment – Leighton Criminal Court Building

July 2013

Skokie Adult Drug Treatment Court

August 2017

Rolling Meadows Adult Drug Treatment Court

January 2019

Maywood Adult Drug Treatment Court

April 1998

Bridgeview Adult Drug Treatment Court

November 2010

Markham Adult Drug Treatment Court

April 1998

Adult Mental Health Courts


Men’s Mental Health Court – Leighton Criminal Court Building

April 2004

Women’s Mental Health Court – Leighton Criminal Court Building

April 2004

Skokie Mental Health Court

August 2010

Rolling Meadows Mental Health Court

March 2011

Maywood Mental Health Court

September 2009

Bridgeview Mental Health Court

January 2017

Markham Mental Health Court

May 2011

Veterans Courts


Veterans Court – Leighton Criminal Court Building

January 2009

Skokie Veterans Court

August 2010

Rolling Meadows Veterans Court

March 2011

Maywood Veterans Court

September 2009

Bridgeview Veterans Court

November 2010

Markham Veterans Court


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