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Media Coverage Archive

A sampling of print and broadcast coverage on TASC’s role in advancing health and justice:

Report: Involving the recovering reduces stigma in justice system
(Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, 3/20/22, available via subscription only)

People on the Move: Audrey Walker and Alicia Osborne, TASC, Inc.
(Crain’s Chicago Business, 3/14/22)

Surge in Chicago violence highlights teens in trouble and efforts to save them: ‘The stakes feel higher.’
(Chicago Tribune, 3/14/22)

This Cook County judge gives participants in RAP his cell number — if they complete addiction program
(Chicago Sun-Times, 1/28/22)

Significant Progress: Illinois State Police Public Safety Enforcement Group Partners With East St. Louis Stakeholders
(River Bender, 12/22/21) -- deflection pilot discussed

Rising demand, scrutiny of policing are both fueling growth in deflection
(Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, 12/20/21, available via subscription only) 

Op-Ed by Joel K. Johnson and Jac A. Charlier: To reduce drug crimes, send people to treatment instead of making arrests
(Chicago Sun-Times, 12/9/21)

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: Malik Nevels, TASC, Inc.
(Crain’s Chicago, October 25, 2021)

Mayor Lightfoot Releases 2022 Budget Proposal
(Mayor's Press Office, September 20, 2021)

TASC Smart Start Host Fill the Pack & Play: Baby Items Drive in Peoria
(Heart of Illinois ABC, September 3, 2021)

Do 911 calls ensure public safety? Experts reimagine crisis responses in UChicago event
(UChicago News, August 27, 2021)
Related: Summer of Social Impact: First-Response for Chicagoans Experiencing Addiction & Mental Health Crises, The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, July 27, 2021

Hunter hosts 17th annual family health and fitness fair
(The Chicago Crusader, August 20, 2021) - print only

New Campaign Aims To Help Formerly Incarcerated People Through Laws, Outreach
(Illinois Newsroom, July 22, 2021)

Heartland Alliance Launches Statewide Fully Free Campaign to Reform Criminal Legal System
(Cison PRWeb, June 23, 2021)

Financial woes doom West Loop drug treatment center for women. Site to be turned into housing, retail. So many beautiful stories came out of there.
(Chicago Tribune, May 28, 2021)

Report Available on Law Enforcement-led Diversion and First Responder Deflection Programs
(DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance, May 26, 2021)

Community Health Focus Hour
(The University of Chicago Medicine's Community Health Focus and WVON, May 15, 2021)

Community Spotlight: Recovery is not a short-term project
(Edwardsville Intelligencer and Alton Telegraph, May 12, 2021)

Cook County Sheriff’s Office unveils new resource center
(WGN 9,  May 5, 2021)

Organizations Working To Raise Awareness About Gambling Addiction In Illinois
(Illinois Newsroom, March 29, 2021)

Community Spotlight: Increased gambling opportunities bring increased risks
(Edwardsville Intelligencer and Alton Telegraph, March 19, 2021) 

Gambling Addiction Soars in Illinois
(WAND-TV, March 12, 2021)

New Law Opens Deflection Programs to Fire Protection Districts
(The Fire Call, Winter 2021) 

Transitions / New CEOs
(Chronicle of Philanthropy, February 26, 2021)

[TASC Statement Among] Reactions to Pritzker Signing Criminal Justice Reform Bill
(Capitol Fax, February 22, 2021)

Community Spotlight: People with addictions need treatment, not jail
(Edwardsville Intelligencer and Alton Telegraph, February 19, 2021)

TASC Names 1st African-American CEO: Joel K. Johnson
(The Patch, February 18, 2021) 

Deadliest year ever for fatal opioid overdoses in Cook County. ‘These are losses that could and should be prevented.’
(Chicago Tribune, December 9, 2020)

Cook County to fight opioid deaths by giving anti-overdose medication to police and other first responders
(Chicago Sun-Times, December 9, 2020)

Illinois Playbook
(Politico, November 11, 2020)

Community Spotlight: How stressful times can reveal our strengths
(The Edwardsville Intelligencer, November 6, 2020)

Illinois lawmakers, advocates discuss ideas for prison reform
(WGEM, October 13, 2020)

State Senate committee takes on prison reform
(Capitol News Illinois, October 13, 2020)

Community Spotlight: Change is upon us; but we can choose how we react
(The Edwardsville Intelligencer, October 9, 2020) 

Community Spotlight: National Recovery Month -- Celebrating Connections
Column by Joe Jackson, TASC Administrator
(Edwardsville Intelligencer and Alton Telegraph, August 30, 2020)

Sesame Street webinar tackles addiction struggle for parents, families
(WTOV9 | Fox, August 25, 2020)

Ambitious Mental Health Training For Cops
(The Philadelphia Citizen, August 10, 2020)

Recovering from COVID-19 means investing in mental health care
Op-ed by Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
(The McDonough County Voice, July 10, 2020)

Sesame Workshop Launches New Webinar Series on Substance Use and Parental Addiction to Help Providers Support Children and Families
(PR Newswire, July 7, 2020)

EDITORIAL: Don't defund the police, rethink policing
(Chicago Sun-Times | Editorial Board, June 9, 2020)

Flipping the Script on Law Enforcement Encounters
(Social Work Advocates Magazine, April 29, 2020)

The COVID-19 Struggle In Chicago's Cook County Jail
(NPR, April 13, 2020)

Chief Justice of Trinidad and Tobago Speaks at Case and Care (video)
(TV6 News | Caribbean Communications Network, January 28, 2020)

Mundelein Police Department Selected as National Mentor Site for Opioid Abuse Training
(Village of Mundelein, January 2020 - link updated 2/4/20)

Plymouth County (MA) Outreach selected to participate in mentoring initiative
(Wicked Local Marion, January 10, 2020)

Plymouth County (MA) Outreach to mentor communities that want to set up drug diversion, treatment programs
(The Enterprise, January 13, 2020)

Lt. Gov. Stratton, 4 State Lawmakers Get Criminal Justice Awards
(Chicago Patch, December 18, 2019)

Sen. Mattie Hunter Receives TASC Legislative Champion Award
(Illinois Senate Democrats, December 18, 2019)

Rep. Tom Demmer Receives Award for Support of Substance Abuse Treatment Initiatives, Jail Diversion Programs
(, December 17, 2019)

Worsening Behavioral Health Workforce Shortage Poses Persistent Threat to Providers
(Behavioral Health Business, November 18, 2019)

A Drug That Reverses Opioid Overdoses Has Become Easier To Access
(CBS Chicago, October 21, 2019) 

Connect Home (video)
(Comcast Newsmakers, September 30, 2019) 

Formerly a hellish, brutal lockup, Cook County jail now known for mental health care
(The Colorado Springs Gazette, September 14, 2019) 

Midwestern Legislative Conference Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee: Is a 'third way' of policing--deflection--emerging? 
(Council of State Governments | Stateline Midwest, August 2019) 

Report: Re-Entry Housing Issues in Illinois: The Current Situation, Challenges, and Possible Solutions
(Metropolitan Planning Council | Illinois Justice Project, July 31, 2019)
[TASC's programming and services are featured on pages six and 20 of the report.]

First drug treatment court to be set up before year end
(Stabroek News | Guyana, July 31, 2019)

Diaper bank packs 10,000 diapers for babies
(Peoria Journal Star, June 18, 2019)

Op-Ed: Jac A. Charlier, Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.) and Leslie A. Balonick: Improving the lives of people with addiction - alternatives to arrest
(The Hill, June 4, 2019)

Boone County Adult Drug Court celebrates graduation
(The Rockford Register Star, May 21, 2019)

Jacksonville city officials work to combat opioid epidemic
(WNCT | North Carolina, May 9, 2019)

Child welfare experts weigh in on DCFS decision in Crystal Lake case
(Fox 32 Good Day Chicago, April 29, 2019)
   See Related: Pam Rodriguez quoted in Chicago Tribune, April 26, 2019

Editorial: The opioid crisis in Illinois: How to combat drug overdoses
(Chicago Tribune, April 15, 2019)

A 'Quiet Revolution' Gains Momentum
(Clergy for a New Drug Policy, March 26, 2019)

Deflecting Opioid Sufferers From the Justice System 'Can Save Lives,' Experts Say
(The Crime Report, February 26, 2019)

How ‘Deflection’ By Police Can Help Fight Opioid Addiction 
(WBEZ, January 22, 2019)

Can We Help Opioid Abusers Without Jailing Them?
(The Crime Report, January 7, 2019)

Editorial: How suburban police departments are wising up about drug abuse 
(Chicago Sun-Times, January 6, 2019)

Local law enforcement officers prepare for crisis center, courthouse 
(The Daily News - Jacksonville, NC, January 1, 2019)

City Manager to Receive Justice Leadership Award
(Sauk Valley News, December 11, 2018)

'He was still a human being': A little girl's heartbreaking response to the heroin epidemic 
(WUSA 9, November 26, 2018) -- Video

Screening Inmates For Mental Illness To Keep Them From Returning To Jail
(Here and Now on NPR, from WBUR, September 4, 2018)

Indiana Hosts Opioid Event to Help Public Safety, Public Health Officials Collaborate
(WFYI Indianapolis, August 14, 2018)

West Orange (NJ) Takes Innovative Approach to Battling Opioid Addiction
(TAP into West Orange, July 28, 2018)

New task force aims to halve female prison population
(The Bloomington Pantagraph, July 18, 2018)

Jamaica among Caribbean judicial and health officials on visit to US
(Jamaica Observer, June 12, 2018)

U.S. County Jails Step Up Mental Health Screening to Keep Inmates from Coming Back
(Side Effects Public Media, June 4, 2018) 

Instead of more policing, a model to provide more services
(The Chicago Reporter, May 24, 2018) 

Donation equips Lake County first responders with naloxone
(Lake County Journal, March 8, 2018) 

Law Enforcement Needn't Serve Alone on the Front Lines of the Opioid Crisis
(The Police Chief, March 7, 2018) -- Online Article 

Pre-Arrest Diversion: The Long Overdue Collaboration Between Police and Treatment  
(The Police Chief, March 1, 2018)

Public skeptical about Medicaid work requirement rationale
(Modern Healthcare, March 1, 2018) 

Life After Prison Special Report 
(WAND-TV, February 28, 2018)

Why Lake County is teaching [people in jail] to use naloxone
(Daily Herald, December 8, 2017)

IACP Quick Take: Why the fight against the opioid crisis can't stop with naloxone
(, October 22, 2017)

Screening tool digs deeper into opioid risk assessment
(Addiction Professional, September 26, 2017)

Group meets in Carterville to discuss solutions to opioid addiction
(The Southern, September 14, 2017)

Joliet students hear about dangers of substance [use]
(The Herald News, September 6, 2017)

International Association of Chiefs of Police and TASC Announce National Initiative to Combat our Nation's Opioid Epidemic and Mainstream Diversion Programs
(, August 21, 2017)

llinois Program Offers a Room for That First Night Out of Jail
(Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2017, available in print edition or via subscription)

IACP, TASC create initiative to combat opioid epidemic
(, August 16, 2017)

IACP, TASC To Promote Drug, Mental Health Diversion
(The Crime Report, August 13, 2017, available via subscription)

New program gives Cook County Jail ex-inmates fresh start
(Chicago Tribune, July 26, 2017)

Center Aims to Provide 'Softer Landing' for Some Released Inmates
(WTTW Chicago Tonight, July 26, 2017)

U of C, Dart launch new effort to help those just out of jail
(Crain's Chicago Business, July 26, 2017)

UChicago Health Lab and community partners open center for individuals exiting jail
(UChicago News, July 26, 2017)

New Center to Help Newly Released Cook County Jail Inmates
(U.S. News & World Report | Associated Press, July 25, 2017)