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(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...
(Washington, DC) – Facing strong opposition from thousands of individuals and organizations, including TASC, the federal government withdrew in May its proposal to require disclosure of participation in a criminal justice diversion program on federal employment applications. The...
Kane County Chronicle (7/1/19)Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain announced in a news release the beginning of A Way Out, a program that provides non-punitive support and treatment center connection to those suffering from drug addiction in Kane County.The program is under operation by...
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...
Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative (PTACC) (6/9/19)Pre-arrest diversion programs have been operating since the 1970s, but not until recently has research started to examine the potential benefits of these programs. Most of the current work in this area has largely focused on singl...
Excerpt from April 15, 2019, Chicago Tribune editorial, 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...
(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...
(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...
(Chicago) — Jac Charlier, executive director of TASC’s Center 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...
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...
(Chicago) – Women represent the fastest-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...
(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....
(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...
(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...
(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...
(Chicago) — Illinois lawmakers weighed in on the significance of Senate Bill 3023, signed on Wednesday by Governor Bruce Rauner. The first state legislation to authorize a comprehensive array of pre-arrest diversion program approaches, it supports law enforcement...
(Springfield) – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed groundbreaking legislation on Wednesday that authorizes local law enforcement leaders and community partners to create local programs that “deflect” individuals who have substance use problems away from the justice system...
(Chicago) — The Police, 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...
(Chicago) — To promote an international society free of drug abuse, June 26 is designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. As an active partner with national and international bodies committed to reducing substanc...
(Chicago) – TASC and its Center for Health and Justice – @TASC-CHJ on Twitter – will participate in a May 3 twitter chat hosted by the Pretrial Justice Institute to discuss the role of behavioral health in pretrial justice.From 1-2 PM Central time (2-3 PM Eastern), participants will...
(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...
(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...
(Chicago) – Nearly 300 guests attended TASC’s 2017 Leadership Awards Luncheon in Chicago on December 14 to honor Jessica Hulsey Nickel and Howard A. Peters III, respected champions of health and justice reforms. Speakers shared inspiring tributes and echoed the importance of uplifting...
(Chicago) — The Addiction Policy Forum, of which TASC is a national partner, has announced several 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...
(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...
The new data report issued 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...
Below is an excerpt from TASC’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...
(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...
(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 for formerly...
(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...
(Alexandria, VA) – Criminal justice, behavioral health, and public policy experts from across the country convened on March 1-2 for 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...
(Chicago) – The majority 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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
[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 Strategies for Combating the Opioid Epidemic. TASC President Pam Rodriguez was among the speakers.]The Addiction Policy Forum and the National Criminal...
(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....
(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...
(Chicago) – Modern Healthcare has published an article on best practices for Medicaid enrollment at jail intake, noting approaches which TASC has helped implement in Cook County and is sharing with other jurisdictions around the country. Harris Meyer writes: Like inmates...
(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...
(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...
(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. Some 15,000 detainees have gained Medicaid coverage since 2013,...
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 system by diverting eligible people away from prosecution and incarceration and into community-based services, as...
(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...
(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...
(Pamela Rodriguez OP-ED) Governor Bruce 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...
In a guest opinion-editorial for the Daily Herald, TASC President Pamela Rodriguez discusses 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...
(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...
(Chicago) –  TASC President Pamela F. Rodriguez and President Emeritus Melody M. Heaps are featured in the 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, released July 9 by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Rodriguez, TASC’s president and CEO since 2009, and Heaps,...
(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...
(Chicago) – White House Drug Policy Director R. Gil Kerlikowske and 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...
(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...
(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...