Problem-Solving Court Supervision by the Adult Probation Department

Problem-Solving Court Supervision by the Adult Probation Department includes several different program types that target specific behavioral health needs or special populations. The Adult Probation Department participates in all 20 of the Circuit Court’s Problem-Solving Court programs, including drug treatment courts, mental health courts, and veterans’ treatment courts. These programs offer structured approaches to the supervision process and include hands-on involvement from a dedicated team of court personnel and treatment providers. All PSC follow certification standards from the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts and use best practices and evidence-based practices in their operations.

PSC are considered evidence-based practices by and are one of the most extensively researched programs in the justice system.

Eligibility for Problem Solving Courts

Eligibility for each type of PSC is based on specific criteria that are screened for by the State’s Attorney’s Office after felony charges have been filed. Individuals who have previous convictions for certain violent offenses are ineligible for PSC programming. Probation officers in these programs complete eligibility assessments for individuals flagged by the State’s Attorney’s Office. These assessments may include completion of the department’s risk and needs assessment, a social history review, and an initial drug test. Individuals who are found eligible must plead guilty to be admitted to the program. 

In limited circumstances, the judge may allow an individual to enter the program during the pretrial period without a guilty plea. Individuals who enter a PSC as pretrial defendants are subject to the same eligibility requirements, rules, and regulations as sentenced individuals.

PSC Supervision Strategy

Probation supervision in these programs follows a phased approach, where more intensive oversight from the court and the probation team happens in earlier phases. As individuals progress through their treatment plans they advance to less restrictive phases. When conditions are met, individuals will graduate and transition out of the PSC program. Maintaining compliance and working towards the recommendations set in their individual treatment plan may result in the use of incentives. Non-compliance with the treatment plan or conditions of program may result in a sanction issued by the court.

Successful completion of the term of probation may allow the conviction to be vacated and the case to be expunged.

    Problem Solving Court Conditions

    Conditions of PSC supervision include:

    • Completing substance use treatment, including residential and outpatient
    • Regular drug testing, scheduled and random
    • Regular reporting to a probation officer
    • Regular appearance in court for status hearings
    • Completing community service
    • Attending self-help or support group meetings (e.g., AA, NA)

    Supports for PSC Clients

    Supports available for PSC clients include:

    • Access to subsidized behavioral health treatment
    • A clinical case manager to coordinate treatment
    • Continuation of Veteran’s Assistance benefits, if eligible