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TASC in the News | May-07-2020
Catching Up With COSSAP (5/1/20) Law enforcement and first responder diversion offers a connection to treatment and recovery for individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs). But before a system for referrals can be implemented within a community, the local availability and variety of treatmen...
TASC in the News | Apr-30-2020
Jac Charlier, executive director of TASC's Center for Health and Justice is featured inthe following article, shared courtesy ofNational Association of Social Workers.Social Work Advocates Magazine (April/May 2020 - digital edition)There are typically two options for law...
TASC in the News | Apr-29-2020
The Crime Report (4/28/2020) An op-ed co-authored by Jac Charlier, executive director ofTASC's Center for Health and Justice. The COVID-19 pandemic is re-shaping our lives, rapidly, and right before our eyes. While we cannot see the coronavirus without a microscope, its impact...
Related Issues | Apr-20-2020
ICJIA (4/16/20) The COVID-19 pandemic poses unique challenges for the criminal justice system. Despite statewide social distancing and stay-in-place orders, criminal justice practitioners and victim service providers must, to some extent, continue to directly interact with justice-involved...
TASC News | Mar-05-2020
(Chicago) – TASC has issued its inauguralHealth & Justice Legislative Scorecard, a tally of how Illinois state lawmakers voted on selected bills related to health and justice last year, especially for individuals and families impacted by contact with the criminal legal system.A...
TASC News | Feb-24-2020
(Chicago) – TASC Policy Director Laura Brookes presented testimony recently at the Joint Hearing on the State of Criminal Justice in Illinois, offering subject-matter input on essential elements of criminal justice policy as it affects people with substance use disorders.The subject-matter hearing...
TASC News | Jan-31-2020
(Chicago) – Applications arenow open for the Law Enforcement/First Responder Diversion and Referral Mentoring Initiative, which has been launched as a resource to support law enforcement and fire/EMS interested in starting or expanding diversion and/or referral programs for individuals with...
TASC News | Jan-28-2020
(Chicago) – The opioid crisis has accelerated local and national conversations about how communities can meet the demand for quality, evidence-based substance use treatment, and how to coordinate access to services. Indeed, as jurisdictions seek to expand criminal justice deflection and...
Related Issues | Jan-16-2020
Articlein Police Chief Magazine co-authored by Mundelein Police Chief Eric Guenther (TASC 2018 Leadership Award Honoree) and Commander Michael Richards. Police Chief Online (1/15/20) "While Mundelein, Illinois, Police Department officers...have always aimed to treat all people a...
TASC in the News | Jan-10-2020
Village of Mundelein | Mudelein, IL (1/2020) The U.S. Department of Justice and Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities (TASC) has selected the Mundelein Police Department as a Law Enforcement/First Responder Diversion National Mentor Site under the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA)...
TASC in the News | Jan-09-2020
Excerpted from: Sippican Week | Sippican, MA (1/8/20) Plymouth County Outreach, a program that fosters collaboration between law enforcement, medical professionals, and community coalitions, has been selected as a mentor site for Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities’ Law Enforcement/First...
Related Issues | Dec-19-2019
City of Chicago(12/19/2019) On December 19, Chicago MayorLori Lightfootadopted recommendations from the city’s Crisis Intervention Advisory Council (CIAC), of which TASC is a member, and NAMI Chicago; the recommendations serve as the city’s roadmap in expanding equit...
TASC News | Nov-15-2019
Dr. Amy Watson, CIT International board member (left) and TASC's Jac Charlier, co-founder of PTACC (Ponte Vedra, FL) – In a new, national initiative designed to speed up entry and widen access to community-based services for people living with mental health and substance use...
TASC News | Sep-30-2019
(Chicago) - The United States continues incarcerating more people (and more people per capita) than any other country in the world, even while the past several years have shown modest decreases in the country’s prison population. If decarceration continues at this pace, it will take 72 years—until...
TASC News | Aug-30-2019
(Washington, DC) – Facing strong opposition from thousands of individuals and organizations, including TASC, the federal governmentwithdrew in May its proposal to require disclosure of participation in a criminal justice diversion program on federal employment applications. The...
TASC in the News | Aug-13-2019
Council of State Governments | Stateline Midwest (August 2019) A relatively new idea in criminal justice, deflection is a “third way” for police to interact with offenders they encounter. Police officers often only have a binary choice, arrest or release. Deflection seeks to use alternative...
Related Issues | Jul-02-2019
Kane County Chronicle (7/1/19)Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain announced in anews release the beginning of AWay Out, aprogram that provides non-punitive support and treatment center connection to those suffering from drug addiction in Kane County.The program is under operation by...
Related Issues | Jun-25-2019
Fox News (6/21/19)As the addiction epidemic across the country continues to break records, police departments are rethinking their approach to how they interact with people with substance abuse disorder. Instead of arresting them, they are urging them to get treatment and helping them get into...
Related Issues | Jun-11-2019
Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative (PTACC) (6/9/19)Pre-arrest diversion programs have been operating since the 1970s, but not until recently has researchstarted to examine the potential benefits of these programs. Most of the current work in this area has largely focused on singl...
TASC News | Apr-16-2019
Excerpt from April 15, 2019, Chicago Tribuneeditorial, in which TASC President Pam Rodriguez is cited: “Plenty of options have been tried to curb the illegal use of opioids….One promising step deserves note. A new law took effect this year to promote efforts by law enforcement agencies to...
TASC News | Mar-18-2019
(Chicago) – In state fiscal year 2018, TASC reached more than 44,000 people in justice, corrections, child welfare, and health systems across Illinois. Nearly 14,000 adults and youth received in-depth services to help them achieve health and well-being in the community. Additionally, over 30,000...
TASC News | Mar-07-2019
(Chicago) – Individuals referred to substance use treatment by the justice system (such as courts, probation, parole) are significantly more likely to complete treatment when they receive TASC specialized case management. Among adult criminal justice clients in Illinois, treatment...
TASC News | Feb-18-2019
(Chicago)—Jac Charlier,executive director of TASC’sCenter for Health and Justice (CHJ), and Ben Ekelund, director of CHJ, have co-authored an issue brief for the National Drug Court Resource Center to support law enforcement officers in responding to people with substance...
Related Issues | Feb-12-2019
Excerpt from the 2019 National Drug Control Strategy (January 31, 2019, page 11)Recently, some pioneering police departments began diverting individuals addicted to drugs directly to treatment in lieu of arrest. Many communities are adopting pre-arrest diversion programs and other law enforcement...
TASC News | Feb-01-2019
(Chicago) – Women represent thefastest-growing segment of the incarcerated population in the United States. Nationally, from 1980 to 2016, their number increased by more than 700 percent—doubling the rate of growth among men. In that same time period, incarceration rates of women in...
TASC News | Dec-13-2018
(Chicago) –TASC’s 2018 Leadership Award recipients—action-driven change agents forging new pathways within their professions—humbly echoed similar themes as they accepted their awards at the agency’s annual luncheon in Chicago on December 12:Thank you, but this is just the beginning....
TASC News | Nov-27-2018
(Grayslake, IL) – A new bipartisan law that authorizes local police departments and community partners to develop local strategies to fight the Illinois opioid crisis has the overwhelming backing of Illinois voters, according to a recent poll. On August 22, 2018, Governor Rauner signed...
TASC News | Oct-10-2018
(Chicago) — New state funding is available to law enforcement working to divert people away from arrest and jail and into drug treatment programs. With $500,000 available, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) is now accepting grant proposals to support deflection initiatives...
TASC News | Aug-31-2018
(Chicago)–TASC’s work in Illinois is helping to inform international strategies to save lives and divert people with substance use disorders away from the justice system and into community-based treatment. On August 20, TASC hosted visiting dignitaries from the U.S. Department of...
TASC News | Aug-24-2018
(Chicago) —Illinois lawmakers weighed in on the significance ofSenate Bill 3023, signedon Wednesdayby GovernorBruce Rauner.The first state legislation to authorize a comprehensive array of pre-arrest diversion program approaches, it supports law enforcement...
TASC News | Aug-22-2018
(Springfield)– Illinois Governor Bruce Raunersigned groundbreaking legislation on Wednesday that authorizeslocal law enforcement leaders and community partners to create local programs that “deflect”individuals who have substance use problems away from the justice system...
TASC News | Jul-18-2018
(Chicago) — ThePolice, Treatment, and Community Collaborative (PTACC), of which the Center for Health and Justice at TASC is a founding member, has launched a website to support colleagues across the country facing multiple public health and public safety challenges in their...
TASC News | Jun-25-2018
(Chicago) — To promote an international society free of drug abuse, June 26 is designated by the United Nations General Assembly as theInternational Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.As an active partner with national and international bodies committed to reducing substanc...
TASC News | May-03-2018
(Chicago) – TASC and its Center for Health and Justice –@TASC-CHJ on Twitter– will participate in a May 3 twitter chat hosted by thePretrial Justice Institute to discuss the role of behavioral health in pretrial justice.From 1-2 PM Central time (2-3 PM Eastern), participants will...
TASC News | Apr-19-2018
(Grayslake, IL) – An Illinois Senate panel has approved a bipartisan plan that authorizes local police departments and community partners to develop local strategies to fight the Illinois opioid crisis.The Senate Human Services Committee on April 10 voted 8-0 to advance legislation, Senate Bill...
TASC News | Feb-14-2018
(Chicago) –The first-ever National Pre-Arrest Diversion Conference will take place March 4-7, 2018, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.As a special guest speaker, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD will describe the Substance Abuse an...
TASC News | Dec-16-2017
(Chicago) – Nearly 300 guests attended TASC’s 2017 Leadership Awards Luncheon in Chicago on December 14 to honorJessica Hulsey Nickel and Howard A. Peters III,respected champions of health and justice reforms. Speakers shared inspiring tributes and echoed the importance of uplifting...
TASC News | Dec-12-2017
(Chicago) — The Addiction Policy Forum, of which TASC is a national partner, has announcedseveral new initiatives to help families in the United States struggling with opioid addiction and other substance use disorders. The programs put in motion key elements of the...
TASC News | Oct-27-2017
(Chicago) – Drug overdoses killed more than 64,000 people in the United States in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s an average of 175 people per day. On October 26, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency, “directing al...
TASC News | Oct-20-2017
The newdata reportissued by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is a bold and refreshing step toward transparency in government and criminal justice reform. For the lead prosecutor of a major county to offer such a wealth of useful and important information is practically unheard of...
TASC News | Oct-18-2017
Below is an excerpt fromTASC’s semi-annual News & Views. The current issue includes articles on pre-arrest, prosecutorial, and jail release interventions for people who have substance use and mental health conditions. (Chicago) — A recent criminal justice trend is gaining traction. It...
TASC News | Aug-15-2017
(Chicago) – The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) have come together to promote an initiative to create robust alternative-to-arrest diversion programs for state, county, and local law enforcement agencies across the...
TASC News | May-19-2017
(Chicago) –TASC submitted comments for the May 19 briefing of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on Collateral Consequences: The Crossroads of Punishment, Redemption, and the Effects on Communities.The briefing focused on the barriers to successful community reentry forformerly...
TASC News | Apr-26-2017
(Chicago) – A new survey of Illinois state’s attorneys illustrates the scope and variety of prosecutorial diversion initiatives operating in jurisdictions across the state.The intent of such programs often is to redirect individuals away from the criminal justice system and into community-based...
TASC News | Mar-02-2017
(Alexandria, VA) – Criminal justice, behavioral health, and public policy experts from across the country convened on March 1-2for the first-ever national summit focused on strategies to deflect people with drug problems and/or low-level offenses away from the justice system before they ente...
TASC News | Jan-27-2017
(Chicago) – Themajority of people who enter the justice system have a substance use or mental health condition, or both. In many cases, deflection and diversion to appropriate services can happen at the very front end of the system, even before arrest.TASC and its Center for Health and...
TASC News | Dec-09-2016
(Chicago) – The Center for Health and Justice at TASC has produced two short videos designed to support law enforcement in connecting addicted individuals to treatment in the community. The videos can be viewed on the Center for Health and Justice website. When people are addicted to drugs, thei...
TASC News | Oct-07-2016
(Chicago) – Recent Medicaid policy reforms present new opportunities to improve community-based healthcare access for people under justice and corrections supervision. Access to care is critical to reducing recidivism, given high rates of substance use, mental illness, and chronic medical...
TASC News | Sep-22-2016
(Chicago) – Highlighting the value of evidence-based alternatives to incarceration for people with substance use disorders, TASC hosted a three-day visit last week of representatives from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the U.S. State Department, the Organization of...
TASC News | Sep-21-2016
(Chicago) – In the United States, the majority of people who come into the criminal justice system have a substance use problem, which is a treatable health condition. As a response to non-violent offenses related to drug use and addiction, there are many alternatives to incarceration that are mor...
TASC News | Aug-08-2016
[On Monday, August 8 from 1:45-3:15 PM EDT (12:45-2:15 PM Central), the National Forum on Criminal Justice livestreamed a panel discussion on Strategiesfor Combating the Opioid Epidemic. TASC President Pam Rodriguez was among the speakers.]The Addiction Policy Forum and the National Criminal...
TASC News | Jul-01-2016
(Chicago) – On June 30, the White House launched the Data-Driven Justice Initiative with a bipartisan coalition of 67 city, county, and state governments who have committed to using data-driven strategies to divert low-level offenders with mental illness out of the criminal justice system....
TASC News | Jun-15-2016
(Waukegan, IL) – The Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County has awarded a second year of funding to TASC to help individuals get into substance use and mental health treatment after leaving the Lake County Jail.The program, initiated in 2015 as a partnership among TASC, Lake County...
TASC News | May-25-2016
(Chicago) – Modern Healthcarehas published an article on best practices for Medicaid enrollment at jail intake, notingapproaches which TASC has helped implement in Cook County and is sharing with other jurisdictions around the country. Harris Meyerwrites: Like inmates...
TASC News | May-18-2016
(Chicago) – A recent poll of Illinois voters indicates strong support for criminal justice reform. More than two thirds (70 percent) agree that state prisons are overcrowded and require reform for people with non-violent offenses, and four in five (83 percent) support sending fewer individuals wit...
TASC News | May-13-2016
(Chicago) – Several criminal justice diversion programs in Illinois were showcased at the recent annual conference of National TASC, an association of programs that connect justice systems to community-based treatment. TASC, Inc. of Illinois served as the host organization for the national...
TASC News | Apr-06-2016
(Chicago) – April 2016 marks the third anniversary of Cook County’s groundbreaking jail-based Medicaid application project, through which people detained at the jail have received assistance in applying for health coverage.Some15,000 detainees have gained Medicaid coverage since 2013,...
TASC News | Feb-18-2016
At local, state, and federal levels, TASC supports public policies that reduce incarceration and create healthier communities. Our policy priorities are to:1. Shrink the justice systemby diverting eligible people away from prosecution and incarceration and into community-based services, as...
TASC News | Oct-16-2015
(Chicago) – The University of Chicago announced the winners of the Urban Labs 2015 Innovation Challenge grants on October 12, including a $1M grant to TASC, the Heartland Alliance, and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to support people with mental illness as they are released from the Cook...
TASC in the News | Oct-01-2015
The Police Chief Magazine (9/2015) In this article, TASC'sJac Charlier writes about models to divert people from arrest to treatment. While on patrol, police officers routinely encounter people who have substance use disorders (SUDs). In the United States, adults who were arrested in...
TASC News | Mar-05-2015
(Springfield) – TASC President Pam Rodriguez has been appointed to Governor Bruce Rauner’s Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. Established by the Governor’s executive order in February, the new Commission will examine all aspects of Illinois’ criminal justice...
TASC News | Feb-11-2015
(Pamela Rodriguez OP-ED) GovernorBruce Rauner signed an executive order on Wednesday to establish the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. Given that Illinois’ prison population has grown by 700 percent in the past 40 years, the commission will make...
TASC News | Oct-21-2014
In a guest opinion-editorialfor the Daily Herald, TASC President Pamela Rodriguezdiscusses the timely and promising opportunities for criminal justice reform in Illinois. The General Assembly’s new Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee, chaired by State Rep. Michael J. Zalewski...
TASC News | Sep-17-2014
(Chicago) – Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-3) and author and Walgreens executive Steve Pemberton will receive TASC’s 2014 Leadership Awards at the agency’s annual luncheon on December 10. “By their leadership and examples, Senator Hunter and Mr. Pemberton show us what public servic...
TASC News | Jul-10-2014
(Chicago) – TASC President Pamela F. Rodriguez and President Emeritus Melody M. Heaps are featured in the 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, released July 9by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Rodriguez, TASC’s president and CEO since 2009, and Heaps,...
TASC News | Jan-13-2014
(Washington, DC) –A new survey of criminal justice diversion programs across the U.S. reveals that law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts are increasingly diverting certain people with non-violent charges away from courts and incarceration and into smarter, more science-based, and more...
TASC News | Nov-26-2013
(Chicago) – White House Drug Policy DirectorR. Gil Kerlikowskeand Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy were among the high-level policy and law enforcement leaders who met in Chicago recently for a seminal task force meeting to discuss the science of substance use disorders and...
TASC News | Feb-02-2011
(Chicago, IL) – February 2, 2011The Chicago Sun-Times has published an editorial following the release of the final report by the Illinois Disproportionate Justice Impact Study Commission. (See story.)The editorial concludes, “The state can make improvements… by increasing funding for...
TASC News | Apr-08-2008
(Springfield, IL) – Drug treatment advocates and state lawmakers today unveiled legislation at a press conference in Springfield to tackle the unyielding escalation of minorities sentenced to Illinois prisons. Representatives from Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, Inc. (TASC) and State...