Wednesday, October 13, 2021

1:00 – 1:15 p.m.         

Welcome and Overview 

Hon. Janet Holmgren, 17th Judicial Circuit, President, ILAPSC Board of Directors
Scott Block, Statewide Behavioral Health Administrator, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts

1:15 – 3:00 p.m.         

General Session – CBD and THC. Meet your New Neighbors

Amy Miles, Director of Forensic Toxicology, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, UW School of Medicine and Public Health
Darrin Grondel, PhD, Vice President of Traffic Safety and Government Relations,

Since the provisions to the Farm Bill in 2018, THC, hemp and CBD rates of use are on the rise.  This session will provide current and up to date information regarding policies and regulations for THC, CBD and hemp.  The presenters will dispel myths about the current cannabis, CBD and hemp products and cover human performance effects.

3:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Break and Exhibits 

3:30 – 4:45 p.m.         

Breakout Sessions

#1 – The Role of the Prosecutor and Defense Attorney in Treatment Courts

– 1.25 Hours MCLE Professional Responsibility Professionalism Credits Approved

Helen Harberts, JD, NDCI Consultant

Prosecutors play an important role in treatment courts and take on responsibilities that differ from those found in traditional criminal courts while maintaining the duty to protect public safety. In a traditional court of law, the prosecutor is tasked with seeking justice by convicting those who have violated the law. In drug courts, prosecutors are expected to use a therapeutic approach, with a willingness to work with others on the drug court team and to support the mission and goals of problem-solving courts. Effective prosecutors for treatment courts are skilled in the core competencies of this unique role and are proactive team members in and outside of court.

Learning Objectives: 

  • The attendee will expand his/her understanding of how a prosecutor can work proactively on a treatment court team. 
  • The attendee will gain an understanding of the core competencies for a prosecutor participating in a treatment court. 
  • The attendee will understand the importance of employing a different paradigm, a therapeutic approach, in seeking justice through the treatment court program.

#2 – Treatment Providers Working Effectively with the Team

Steve Hanson, MSEd, LMHC, CASAC, Associate Commissioner, Courts and Criminal Justice, NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services

This presentation will focus on the role of the treatment provider on the drug court team. The discussion will include looking at various issues, including confidentiality, effective treatment approaches, the importance of MAT, potential conflicts, dealing with relapse, etc. The discussion will help treatment providers work effectively within the drug treatment court setting while providing the best care to their patients. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Understanding team roles including the responsibilities of the treatment provider.
  • To present best practices for treatment providers. 
  • A review of the importance of MAT in working with drug court participants

#3 – The Impact of Marijuana Use on Brain Development and Cognitive Responses

Brian Meyer, PhD, NDCI Consultant

Brain Development is generally completed by the time we reach early adulthood. Many factors can impact the brain’s ability to develop, including the medical and environmental conditions of the individual entirely. ACE’s Study sites at least thirteen different factors that can impact brain development, including drug use and exposure. Drugs work in two specific ways that affect the brain’s development and functioning. These include certain drug compounds that imitate the brain’s natural messaging system and overstimulation of the reward system in the brain. Depending on the type of drugs used, family history, environmental cues, and general physical and mental health of the individual, drugs can impact each person differently. The neurobiology of brain development will be introduced, and the impact of drugs on its development. This session will look at several drug use indicators that impact brain development, including heroin/opiates, methamphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol. Contact and communication with collaborative justice court participants will be explained in the context of the highly social human brain. The neuroscience of addiction, trauma, and recovery, specifically the neuroscience supporting targeted interpersonal recovery interventions that have been shown to shape brain change and enhance commitment to recovery, will be described. Insights and practical science-based strategies for engaging adults without activating a fight, flight, or freeze response will be emphasized to promote successful behavior change in collaborative justice court settings.

 Learning Objectives 

  • Understand the impact of drugs on the brain’s development. 
  • Identify some targeted drug use impacts on brain development. 
  • Learn about tools and responses that are effective treatment responses to address brain development deficits

#4 – Motivational Techniques for the Treatment Court Judge: Therapeutic Methods for Compressed Timeframes

Michael Clark, MSW, Director, Center for Strength-Based Strategies

This training session will offer 13 therapeutic techniques that judges can use with defendants who appear before their bench.  These techniques have been gathered from the Brief Family Therapy field to offer helpful techniques to the PS court judge or magistrate—all to be used in very short time frames of 2-3 minutes.  These will include techniques for treatment participants (A) who are experiencing trouble or regressing, (B) for those who are losing hope or are overwhelmed, and (C) several techniques for participants who have made recent progress. If you don’t have much time, make the best use of the time you have. 

Learning objectives:

  • The participant will be able to restate two techniques that can introduce an alternate perception to a problem situation that allows the juvenile court youth/parent more hope and movement.
  • The participant will be able to identify a technique that allows autonomy and emphasizes personal choice and control.
  • The participant will be able to explain the concept of “pre-session change” and be able to discuss how that could contribute to the goals of treatment court operations.

#5 – Essential Elements and Growing Trends in Today’s Veterans Treatment Courts

Hon. Robert Russell, City Court Judge, Buffalo, New York

At last count, there were over 425 Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) in the nation! As these courts continue to expand, the essential elements and core principles that bring about VTC participants’ successful outcomes should be periodically revisited and examined by the VTC’s multidisciplinary team. This plenary identifies the core principles of successful VTCs as well as explores growing trends and promising practices that VTCs are implementing in different jurisdictions across the country.  

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the essential elements of all VTCs.
  • Describe best practice standards that contribute to programmatic success.
  • Review evolving and growing trends that are taking the VTC model to the “next level”.

 #6 – Illinois Problem-Solving Courts Standards, Projects and Certification 2021 Update

Justice Kathryn Zenoff, Justice, Second Appellate District of Illinois
Nick Lurz, Problem-Solving Courts Manager, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts

The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) oversees multiple facets of problem-solving courts such as certification, recertification, and data collection.  AOIC has had several projects underway since being awarded a Bureau of Justice Assistance grant in 2019 and has worked on the Illinois Problem-Solving Court Initiative with this grant funding.  A new statewide data collection system will begin operation in 2022 impacting all Illinois problem-solving courts.  Data collection will provide an essential tool to help identify trends and promising practices. Training for problem-solving courts is also an ongoing project for collaboration with the National Center for State Courts and part of the Bureau of Justice Assistance grant awarded to AOIC. Legislative initiatives relating to mental health and co-occurring disorders and the work of the Illinois Mental Health Task Force will also be discussed.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

8:00 – 9:45 a.m.         

General Session – Fostering Trauma-Informed Practices in Your Courtroom

Hon. Marcia Hirsch, Presiding Judge, Problem-Solving Courts, Queens, NY

Trauma-informed courts acknowledge the prevalence of trauma among justice-involved people as well as the risk for vicarious trauma among professionals working in these settings. This session will cover key concepts on the importance of adopting a trauma-informed approach and will provide practical information on how to implement trauma-informed practices. Screening and assessment for trauma, staff training and developing policies that support a trauma-informed approach will be addressed.

 Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of adopting a trauma-informed approach by all team members. 
  • Define the key components of a trauma-informed court.
  • Identify strategies and steps for implementing a trauma-informed approach in your drug treatment court.

9:45 – 10:15 a.m.

Break and Exhibits 

10:15 – 12:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

#1 – So We Are Not Supposed to Use Jail? Alternatives to Incarceration

Helen Harberts, JD, NDCI Consultant
Shannon Carey, PhD, NDCI Consultant

By definition, drug courts are a nod to the inherent harms of incarceration and its overall ineffectiveness in addressing the health needs of drug-using offenders. Jail sanctions, however, remain a common drug court practice, used to hold participants accountable for certain incidences of noncompliance. This presentation will take a fresh look at this practice and ask: “is it time for change?” The session will also describe a different approach to responding to participant behavior and will cover a variety of options for effective responses that don’t involve jail. Common questions will be addressed such as – What if we believe the participant is going to overdose? What if we’re waiting for a treatment bed? What if the participant is homeless and we don’t want him on the street? What if the participant has threatened the integrity of the program? And what if the participant is dangerous? 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the potential impacts of incarceration. 
  • Learn some different approaches to changing participant behavior.
  • Gain knowledge of a variety of effective responses to participant behavior that can result in longer lasting behavior change

#2 – Mental Health Courts in the 21st Century: What the Research Demonstrates

Lisa Callahan, PhD, Policy Research Associates

Mental Health Courts (MHCs) have been in existence for 30 years, yet no national standards or best practices have been developed to date. Unlike drug treatment courts, mental health courts have received little federal support in the form of grants. Some states provide “on par” support for all treatment courts, and in those states, MHCs flourish. Mental health courts are substantially different from other types of treatment courts in terms of their target population, eligibility criteria, implementation, defining “success,” and primary focus on individualized treatment. There is a substantial body of research that demonstrates the effectiveness of mental health courts in stemming recidivism among defendants with mental illness and/or co-occurring disorder, and in more quickly connecting the participants to more suitable community-based treatment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe two research-supported program outcomes for MHC participants. 
  • Describe how lack of federal funding has contributed to defining what MHCs are. 
  • Discuss whether or not national best practice standards are possible for MHCs.

#3 – Adapting Drug Court Best Practice Standards in Rural Jurisdictions

Norma Jaeger, PhD, Consultant

Research continues to demonstrate how adherence to the foundational ten key components of drug court and application of research based best practices results in the most effective outcomes for participants in drug courts. This session will examine these key components and the published Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards through the lens of rural jurisdictions.  It will identify key standards and potential approaches to their implementation in rural drug courts.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will understand the role of the ten key components in rural drug court operations.
  • Participants will learn how to apply key adult drug court best practice standards in the rural drug court’s operations.

#4 – Professional Self Care and Compassion Fatigue

– 1.75 Hours MCLE Professional Responsibility Mental Health and Substance Abuse Credits Approved

Doris Perdomo-Johnson, LMFT, Family Therapist, University of Miami

This session recognizes that working in certain professions or job situations can bring high levels of stress. In some cases, these stressors can lead to burnout, vicarious trauma, or compassion fatigue. In this workshop, we will clear up these terms to be used and referenced appropriately. We will discuss the importance of actively being involved in self-care and how a workplace or work team can build resiliency.

#5 – Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): How to Identify and How to Provide Treatment

Meghan Geiss, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Veterans Affairs

In this session, the speaker will discuss the epidemiology of TBI and the clinical and psychosocial characteristics of injured service members and veterans with TBI. The speakers will describe the VA’s Polytrauma System of Care and the collaborative efforts of the DoD and VA to identify, assess and treat TBI survivors, as well as the research and clinical and care coordination initiatives to provide lifelong care and support for this population.

Learning Objectives:  

  • Recognize TBI diagnoses and management. 
  • Review the VA TBI/Polytrauma system of care. 
  • Identify cognitive efforts of TBI and symptoms that overlap with mental health issues. 

#6 – Understanding Criminal Thinking

Michael Chaple, PhD, Columbia University School of Psychiatry
Joseph Madonia, LCSW, NYU Graduate School of Social Work

Criminal thinking is defined as patterns of thought that perpetuate criminal behavior. Criminal thinking is an important component of antisocial cognition, which is one of the “big four” criminogenic risk factors associated with the likelihood that someone will re-offend. This webinar will introduce participants to the concept of criminal thinking as a means of describing, understanding, assessing and changing criminal behavior. Understanding the nature of criminal cognition and how it differs from non-criminal thinking and decision making provides critical insight for criminal justice practitioners as they design programming intended to reduce recidivism among individuals in custody or under supervision. As such, this webinar will introduce participants to emerging cognitive behavioral interventions for criminal thinking, which are proving feasible and effective with offenders in the United States and abroad. This includes an emphasis on two commonly employed approaches that are designed to address criminal thinking by improving social skills development and problem-solving skills (Thinking for Change) and increasing moral reasoning (Moral Reconation Therapy [MRT]) in order to decrease recividism.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Define criminal thinking, 
  • Describe common criminal thinking errors that support and maintain a criminal lifestyle, 
  • Explain the three components of criminal decision-making, and 
  • Understand the various strategies for addressing criminal thinking with justice-involved individuals. 

12:00 – 12:15 p.m.       

Illinois Association of Problem-Solving Courts Annual Business Meeting 

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.


1:00 – 2:45 p.m.

General Session – Racial Justice, Mental Health and Criminal Justice Reform

– 1.75 Hours LSW/LCSW Cultural Diversity Credits Approved

Sarah Vinson, MD, Board Certified in Child and Adolescent, Adult and Forensic Psychiatry

The demographics of those in the criminal justice system speak volumes. Both those with mental illness and Black, Brown and Indigenous people are over-represented. The criminal justice system has consistently produced racially inequitable outcomes and disproportionately incarcerated those with mental illness. Any reforms that fail to acknowledge and account for this reality risk perpetuating – or even worsening – the system’s current inequities. 

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Break and Exhibits 

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

#1 – Welcome to the Matrix – Roles, Responsibilities and Expertise to Strengthen The Treatment Court Team

– 1.25 Hours MCLE Professional Responsibility Professionalism Credits Approved

Vanessa Price, Director, National Drug Court Institute

This session will discuss the various treatment court models, looking at concepts of team development, communication, interaction, and role expertise. The session will also discuss ways to handle team issues, such as transition and conflict management to ensure collaborative team outcomes that improve participant engagement and success. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify elements of effective communication which support team development.
  • Identify areas where action is required to become a more effective team
  • Discuss new perspectives of integrating role expertise to improve client interaction. 
  • Identify effective ways for team members to collaborate and support client service delivery and outcomes.

#2 – Risk, Need and Responsivity

Norma Jaeger, PhD, Consultant

Outcome research showing the effectiveness of drug court participation relies upon the correct matching of participants to programming that is suited to their level of risk, their assessed needs and considerations of responsivity factors.  Targeting drug court operations to participant risk level and organizing the drug court into appropriate phases will ensure the best possible outcomes.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will understand how Risk, Need, and Responsivity factors impact drug court outcomes.
  • Participants will understand the importance of assessing risk and needs and planning for both general and specific responsivity approaches.
  • Participants will understand the critical role of matching participant needs to drug court phases in order to provide appropriate and effective programming.

#3 – Mentor-Mentee Relationship Fundamentals 

Patrick Welch, PhD, Veterans Advocate and Educator

A mentor’s influence can be critical to the veteran mentee’s success while in the Veterans Treatment Court. This session provides an overview of that role and uses case studies to help depict the ideal relationship-building between mentor and mentee.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the eight most fundamental tenets of relationship building.
  • Review case scenarios in which best practices of relationship-building are discussed.
  • Review and examine critical skills that will enhance the mentor-mentee rapport.

#4 – Justice-Involved Women in Drug Courts

Colleen Gibbons, JD, Deputy Director for Upstate Office, Center for Court Innovation
Monica Christofferson, JD, Senior Program Manager, Center for Court Innovation

This presentation will cover the unique factors to consider for women and their involvement with drug courts. This session will cover the demographics of justice-involved women and the trends in the number of incarcerated and drug court involved women. Additionally, this session will dive into the unique issues presented with women drug court participations including research on SUD and mental health for women, intimate partner violence, primary caregiver status, child abuse and neglect and agency involvement, and how each of these topics play a role in drug court’s response to treatment, retention, and graduation for women participants.  

#5 – Using Your Problem-Solving Court to Lead Change: Lessons Learned from the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness

Michelle O’Brien, JD, Principal Court Management Consultant, National Center for State Courts
Patricia Tobias, Principal Court Management Consultant, National Center for State Courts
Scott Block, Statewide Behavioral Health Administrator, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts

The prevalence of behavioral health disorders is greatly impacting the U.S., our states, and our communities and has a disproportionate effect on our courts and justice system. State courts are too often the primary point of intersection between the community and those with behavioral health issues. Local jails and detention centers are the largest providers of mental health services in the country. Problem-solving courts were developed to help courts deal with the impact of behavioral health disorders and are a crucial piece in addressing this crisis. However, problem-solving courts are only one piece of the solution. What is the role of the problem-solving court in this larger picture? How can a problem-solving court be a leader in improving court and community responses for persons with behavioral health needs?

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the role of a problem-solving court in the larger picture of mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Learn how your problem-solving court can be a leader in improving the court and community response to mental illness.
  • Examine lessons learned and resources from the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness.

#6 – Recover Yourself

MartinJon, Owner, MartinJon

All of us eventually experience being triggered. This isn’t bad but it happens. No matter how good we are at our jobs being triggered, especially when we are in contact with others, may grossly affect our performance. This workshop has been built primarily to address this issue. Designed to help guide professionals who have a handle on their jobs and lives to a deeper understanding of triggers and how to address them in real time. We address how perceptions, and stories we tell ourselves effect our actions. Even if we would not endorse these actions or thoughts under slightly different circumstances, they often lead the way when we are triggered. We will also confront Awareness Avoidance and how, when triggered we revert to a salient mindset. Doing this allows our conscience mind to go offline while we may escalate, retreat, or appease. Helping participants identify and learn their triggers protects them from burnout, fatigue, and executing their job in a way they would never intend.

Friday, October 15, 2021

7:00 – 8:00 a.m.


8:00 – 9:45 a.m.

General Session – Evidence-Based Practices 

Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC, On the Mark Consulting

In this general session you will learn evidenced based approaches to substance use disorders treatment, including: Feedback Informed Treatment; the use of motivational incentives; behavioral couples’ therapy; community reinforcement approach; drug courts; 12 step facilitation; the Matrix Model; trauma informed CBT. Emphasis will be placed upon reasons some clinicians are more effective utilizing evidence-based practices than others and the benefits of mastering multiple approaches.

Learning Objectives:

  • Articulate their understanding of multiple evidence- based practices.
  • Integrate evidence-based approaches into their work.
  • Recognize the benefits of mastering multiple evidence-based practices.

9:45 – 10:15 a.m.

Break and Exhibits 

10:15 – 11:30 a.m.

Problem-Solving Court Graduate Panel

Moderator – Hon. Jeffrey Ford, Ret. Champaign County Problem-Solving Court
Gregg Ash, Champaign County Drug Court  
Angela Gudermuth, Jefferson County Drug Court 
Rachel Sipin, Kendall County Drug Court
Tori Tischer, Kane County Drug Court
Stephen Wells, Kankakee County Veterans Court
Christopher Wright, Fayette County Mental Health Court

11:30 – 1:00 p.m.


1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

#1 – Applying the Principles of Criminogenic Risk and Need in Your Veterans Treatment Court

Scott Tirocchi, M.A., M.S., L.P.C., Major, U.S. Army (Retired), Director, Justice for Vets. A division of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals

Failure to recognize and address the issues that put a justice-involved veteran or service member at risk for continued criminal behavior can result in the person returning to the criminal justice system again and again. This session will focus on identifying the most significant risk factors for criminal justice involvement and actions that can be implemented to reduce a veteran participant’s likelihood of further criminal justice involvement. 

Learning Objectives

  • Describe criminogenic risk factors and the actions that can be implemented to address dynamic needs.
  • Identify screening and assessment tools commonly implemented to assist in decision-making for the justice-involved veteran population.
  • Identify overall trends in treatment that effectively addresses this unique population.

#2 – Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Emerging Adults

Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC, On the Mark Counseling

Emerging Adults (18-to-25-year old’s) are often the most difficult to engage in substance use disorders treatment. In addition, they often have the highest relapse and recidivism rates. In this presentation you will learn: the unique features of emerging adulthood; reasons emerging adults are difficult to engage in substance use disorders treatment; How to engage emerging adults in substance use treatment; establishing an egalitarian therapeutic relationship with emerging adults; Helping Emerging adults achieve the developmental milestones of adulthood; and family work with emerging adults.

Learning Objectives:

  • Articulate the unique features of emerging adulthood.
  • Engage emerging adults into substance use disorders treatment.
  • Help emerging adults seeking recovery achieve the developmental milestones of adulthood.

#3 – Better Mental Health 

Rose Hamann, NAMI McHenry County

This is my personal story of recovery. I will discuss stigma, loss, blame, forgiving, acceptance, recovery and attitude. Participants will learn that there is help and hope in going forward despite being afraid of your feelings.

#4 – Implementing a Peer Mentoring Program

Heath Hayes, MA, MHR, Senior Director, Communications and Strategic Engagement, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Tony Stelter, Director of Recovery Supports, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

This presentation will provide statistics on the success of specialty courts in Oklahoma, best practices and how peer support fits in, an overview of what a Peer Recovery Support Specialist is, competencies, and how to implement peer support into Specialty Courts.

Learning Objectives:

  • An understanding of Specialty Court Best Practices and how Peer Recovery Support enhances those best practices.
  • Knowledge of the Peer Recovery Support Specialist Role and Core Competencies
  • How to implement Peer Recovery Support into a program

#5 – Procedural Justice and Drug Courts

– 1.25 Hours MCLE Professional Responsibility Professionalism Credits Approved

Monica Christofferson, JD, Senior Program Manager, Center for Court Innovation
Caitlin Flood, JD, Senior Program Manager, Center for Court Innovation

Research on procedural justice has shown that when defendants and other court users perceive the court process to be fair, they are more likely to comply with court orders and follow the law in the future—regardless of whether they receive a favorable outcome. The Center for Court Innovation works to promote procedural justice in the U.S. and internationally. This session will walk participants through the key components of procedural justice, the application of procedural justice to treatment courts, and the benefits of operationalizing procedural justice to help move towards a more people-centered criminal legal system. This session will include current research on procedural justice and how those research findings are applicable to the implementation and enhancement of the drug court best practice standards. 

#6 – The Role of the Drug Recognition Expert

Adam Carson, Lake in the Hills Police Department

During this session, the DRE 12-step process, along with a brief history of the program, will be explained and how a DRE can be utilized other than in a DUI action/arrest will be discussed.  The definition of a drug and the seven different drug categories that a DRE uses to identify impairment will be defined.

Once trained and certified, DREs become highly effective officers skilled in the detection and identification of persons impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. DREs are trained to conduct a systematic and standardized 12-step evaluation consisting of physical, mental and medical components. Because of the complexity and technical aspects of the DRE training, not all law enforcement officers may be suited for the training.