Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

Illinois Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health and Justice

BJA Program(s): Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
State(s): IL

Jurisdiction(s): State of Illinois

Grantee Agency: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
Subgrantee Agency: Winnebago County

Grant Amount/Year(s): FY 2012/$260,000; FY 2013/$212,000; FY 2014/$439,410; FY 2016/$219,705

About the Program:

Feature Story:
Learn more about the efforts of the Illinois Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health and Justice in our feature story.

The Illinois Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health and Justice promotes, coordinates, and provides training to communities looking to implement best practices, jail diversion programs, and problem-solving courts for offenders suffering from a mental illness and/or a substance use disorder.

The Center of Excellence provides training on over 60 topics which are customized for each county or community to meet their needs. The Center of Excellence also fosters collaborations with and among state agencies to extend its impact through the state, providing training and technical assistance to a number of stakeholders who may not otherwise have been reached. The result is improved services in those communities and heightened knowledge by stakeholders regarding mental health and substance use disorders.

Ultimately, the goal of these efforts is as follows:

  • Reduce the use of jail and prison sentences for individuals with behavioral health disorders;
  • Reduce recidivism of individuals who have already served a jail or prison sentence;
  • Reduce costs to communities and taxpayers;
  • Improve the quality of life for justice-involved individuals with behavioral health disorders.

To learn more, read our feature story on the Illinois Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health and Justice.

Program Successes/Effect on the Community:

As the Center of Excellence staff provides training and technical assistance, they connect with courts, counties, and everyone else who shares the same goals, and assists in meeting their challenges by disseminating information on best practices.

Because of the technical expertise and the collaborative work by the Center of Excellence, entities in Illinois have been able to expedite the implementation of Adult Redeploy Illinois projects, the Illinois Supreme Court Problem-Solving Court mandated state standards, and improve the quality of programs provided.

Since opening, the Center of Excellence has provided training to persons from all 102 Illinois counties, meaning more than 10,000 people have attended Center of Excellence trainings. From October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017, the Center of Excellence provided 52 trainings or technical assistance events, engaged over 2,180 attendees, had 334 requests for training, had 170 contacts for information, and provided over 600 people with more than 4,900 hours of continuing education credits.

Courts use knowledge and evidence-based practices gained from Center of Excellence trainings to divert persons with behavioral health disorders from jail and prison.

Learn More:
To learn more about the program, please contact:
Michelle Rock
Executive Director
Illinois Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health
Phone: 815-395-2140

Also see the following site(s):


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