One of the ways that the Madison County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office works to combat the serious problem of drug use is by aiding those facing criminal drug charges in their rehabilitation through the Madison County, Illinois Assessment and Treatment Alternative Court (MC-ATAC). This program replaces criminal prosecution and a sentence with court supervision and intensive substance use treatment provided by Chestnut Health Systems, Granite City, Illinois. The goal is to reduce recidivism and divert non-violent drug users away from a criminal record and toward treatment that will both rid them of substance use problems and provide them with career counseling.
When a defendant enrolls and completes the program, prosecutors will drop the criminal charges. In exchange, the participants must allow a comprehensive assessment of their substance use while attending mandatory treatment and undergoing random urinalyses for a period of time. They will attend group therapy and individual counseling sessions with counselors. They must report regularly for progress reviews.
The success of the MC-ATAC program has been overwhelming. Not only has it helped hundreds of individuals in their recovery and rehabilitation, but it has also taken the burden off the legal system that has seen a drastic rise in the number of drug-related crimes, as well as reducing the number of drug-related crimes in Madison County, Illinois.