TASC's eNews is a compilation of recent stories or reports published in our TASC blog or in the media.
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TASC and Addiction Policy Forum Receive NIH HEAL Grant
(July 25, 2019)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced that it will award multiple grants to form the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) to support research on quality addiction treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) in criminal justice settings nationwide. Under the administrative leadership of Principal Investigator Dr. Faye Taxman of George Mason University, TASC and the Addiction Policy Forum (APF) will lead the team charged with stakeholder engagement and research dissemination. JCOIN is part of the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis.
NIH HEAL Grant logo
TASC Weighs in on Pretrial Reform in Illinois
(July 1, 2019)
Jail is a place where some people with substance use and mental health disorders get treatment, but it is unjust to hold people behind bars simply to increase their likelihood of access to such services. This was the central point made by TASC to the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices, which is preparing a report with recommendations regarding the administration of pretrial justice in Illinois. "People in jails in prisons who need substance use treatment should certainly have access to it, but should not be held there as a way to facilitate it," said TASC in its testimony. The commission's final report will be released in December
Youth, Parents Lauded at Client Achievement Celebration     
(June 27, 2019)
A celebration of the Juvenile Justice Collaborative (JJC) took place at TASC's Clinton Street office on June 21. "Look at all the people gathered here to celebrate you, because you are somebody. You are a shining star," said Rodney Walker, director of Youth and Family Services for TASC, speaking to teens who recently completed participation in JJC services. Convened by the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, the JJC helps minimize adolescents' further involvement in the justice system by facilitating their access to comprehensive support services.
JJC Achievement Celebration
TASC Clinical Supervisor Breanna Hollie-Hiatt leads presentation of achievement certificates.
Addressing Violence through a Community-Centered Approach   
(June 25, 2019)
A care coordination approach for justice-involved youth and their families has successfully reduced further youth involvement in the justice system during the first year after program completion. In the Juvenile Justice Collaborative (JJC), convened by Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, TASC care coordinators work with youth and their families to determine which services will be best for them. Youth are then placed in services with the appropriate community-based provider(s) for services.
TASC Receives National Recognition for Specialized Case Management and Family Services 
(June 12, 2019)
Recognized for providing solutions in response to addiction, TASC was honored at the Addiction Policy Forum's Illinois Innovations Now! banquet at the Lincoln Library in Springfield on June 11. Addiction Policy Forum (APF) is a prominent, nationwide organization focused on addressing addiction and providing support for families and communities. APF recognized eight Illinois innovations, including awards to TASC for Specialized Case Management services across Illinois, as well as the Family Recovery and Reunification Program (FRRP), which is offered in Cook, Madison, and St. Clair Counties in partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Additionally, the Illinois Department of Corrections' Moms and Babies program, in which TASC is a partner, received an award for its nursery program at the Decatur Correctional Center.
APF Illinois Innovations to Address Addiction
Transforming the Justice System: TASC among Contributing Experts at American University Symposium
(May 30, 2019)
TASC is working with the American University School of Public Affairs (SPA) and its Justice Programs Office on initiatives to transform the justice system, including furthering recommendations generated at a recent symposium convened by SPA. TASC Chief Counsel Michele Worobiec was among the experts invited to participate in the symposium, which included a cross section of representatives from police departments, courts, and corrections as well as SPA staff, faculty, and students. The resulting May 2019 report--Transforming the U.S. Justice System: Rejecting the Status Quo, Speeding the Pace of Reform--includes recommendations to transform the system into one that is more just and fair. 
TASC in the News 
Report: Re-Entry Housing Issues in Illinois: The Current Situation, Challenges, and Possible Solutions
(Metropolitan Planning Council | Illinois Justice Project, July 31, 2019)
[T]he Illinois Justice Project and the Metropolitan Planning Council launched an in-depth,
three-year effort to address a major, unresolved problem facing public officials: how to find stable living conditions for the tens of thousands of individuals who depart state prisons and jails each year. Re-Entry Housing Issues in Illinois: The Current Situation, Challenges, and Possible Solutions is the result of that work. We've met with leaders from over 60 organizations including the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the Illinois Department of Corrections, and others who interact daily with individuals leaving incarceration. [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)
[Guyana's] first drug treatment court, aimed at providing alternative sentencing and reducing the rate of incarceration for [people with non-violent drug offenses], is expected to be established before the end of the year. This was disclosed yesterday morning at the opening ceremony of a Drug Treatment Court Training workshop....The workshop, which was coordinated by the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (NANA), under the Ministry of Public Security, in collaboration with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), an agency of the Organisation of American States (OAS), and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC), was attended by various stakeholders, including law enforcement officials and members of the judiciary.

Diaper bank packs 10,000 diapers for babies
(Peoria Journal Star, June 18, 2019)
Volunteers wrapped and catalogued 10,000 diapers Tuesday to help more than 200 local babies at the Peoria County Bright Futures building....The diaper bank was founded back in 2015 after [founder Lee Ann] Porter recognized the continual struggle of buying diapers for many families... At Tuesday's diaper wrapping event there were five agencies dividing up the 10,000 diapers to take back to their organizations. There are five partner agencies currently working with Loving Bottoms in the Peoria area: Peoria County Bright Futures, IGrow, Early Head Start, Treatment Alternative for Safe Communities (TASC), and Tazewell County Health Department.

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)
Deflection, sometimes called pre-arrest diversion, is a game-changing intervention that is rapidly emerging in communities battling the opioid epidemic, longstanding cocaine use, and now the growing methamphetamine crisis. As a practice, it involves three primary stakeholder groups - law enforcement/first responders, treatment professionals (drug treatment, mental health, housing, and other service providers), and community partners. These three systems come together to collaborate on rapidly connecting people with substance use disorders and mental illness to treatment, supports and services. Over 750 communities across the country are already engaging in some form of pre-arrest diversion or deflection program. [Jac A. Charlier, MPA, is executive director of the TASC Center for Health and Justice.]

Boone County Adult Drug Court celebrates graduation
(The Rockford Register Star, May 21, 2019)
The Boone County Adult Drug Court Program will celebrate its fifth graduation ceremony May 24 at the Boone County Courthouse....The program provides for increased judicial supervision and accountability of the participants while providing immediate access to substance use treatment. The Boone County Drug Court is a collaborative effort between the 17th Circuit Court, Boone County Probation Department, Boone County State's Attorney's Office, Boone County Public Defender's Office, as well as...providers like Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, Rosecrance and Remedies Renewing Lives.

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx Announces Members of Mental Health Advisory Board
(The Chicago Citizen, May 15, 2019)
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Cook County State's Attorney Kimberly Foxx recently announced the members of the first ever Cook County State's Attorney's Office Mental Health Advisory Board. Formed in January of 2019, the advisory board is working to help the State's Attorney's Office develop strategies around the intersections and relationships between mental health, substance use, and the criminal justice system....Members of the Mental Health Advisory Board include TASC Director of Policy Laura Brookes and TASC President Pam Rodriguez.
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