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Sangamon County Problem Solving Courts

Problem Solving Courts, like Sangamon County Drug Court, is a highly structured judicial intervention program for those struggling to cope with a substance use disorder. By design, the program model brings together a collaborative, interdisciplinary team of professionals. The intent is to reduce drug use, prevent relapse and criminal recidivism. This is accomplished through risk and needs assessments, frequent judicial interaction, intensive supervision, frequent drug testing, graduated system of sanctions and incentives, treatment and various rehabilitation services. 

Referral Procedure:

  • Referrals can be submitted by various stakeholders although most often from defense counsel; self-referrals are also accepted. 
  • All referrals should be submitted to the Problem Solving Court Coordinator via Sangamon County Court Services.
  • Criminal history is reviewed for legal eligibility and legal screening conducted to determine risk needs.
  • Clinical assessments are conducted for further diagnoses of treatment needs.
  • Final recommendations are reviewed by the Problem Solving Court team to which referral has been made. 
  • If eligible, upon acceptance, individuals contracted into the program are entering ‘voluntarily’. Contracts and Consents are reviewed upon entry into a Problem Solving Court.

 Drug Court (Established 2010)

Mission Statement:  To enhance public safety in Sangamon County by reducing criminal behavior and substance abuse among participants through cost-effective collaborative services. 

Presiding Judge: Jennifer Ascher

Mental Health Recovery Court (Established 2015)

Presiding Judge: John ‘Mo’ Madonia

Veterans Treatment Court (Established 2018)

Presiding Judge: Raylene Grischow

Each Problem Solving Court team consists of various inter-disciplinary team members including but not limited to:

  • Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Sangamon County Public Defender’s Office
  • Sangamon County Court Services and Probation Department
  • Substance Use Disorder Treatment Providers (i.e. Gateway Foundation, a preferred provider)
  • Memorial Behavioral Health
  • Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator (Department of Veterans Administration, Illiana Healthcare System)
  • Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department
  • Springfield Police Department

Minimum Eligibility Criteria

  • Sentenced in Sangamon County
  • Resident of Sangamon County
  • No violent criminal history within the 5 years 
  • Identified DSM-IV mental health diagnoses and/or identified drug dependency (admits use)
  • Must demonstrate a willingness to participate
  • Adult, age 18 or older

For more information contact your attorney or the Sangamon County Problem Solving Court Coordinator. 

Problem Solving Court Coordinator Leslie Van Riper (217) 535-3185 (office) / (217) 753-6780 (main line)

Asst. State’s Attorney Meghan McCarthy (217) 753-6690 (office/main line)

Public Defender Craig Reiser (217) 753-6699 (office/main line)