Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County Supports Connections from Jail to Drug Treatment

(Waukegan, IL) – The Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County has awarded a second year of funding to TASC to help individuals get into substance use and mental health treatment after leaving the Lake County Jail.

The program, initiated in 2015 as a partnership among TASC, Lake County officials, and community-based service providers, helps ensure access to treatment for individuals charged with non-violent offenses. Working inside the jail, TASC’s care coordinator conducts clinical assessments and connects eligible program participants with appropriate community-based treatment providers.

During the weeks immediately following release from jail, individuals are at increased risk for overdose. Additionally, risks are elevated for costly hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and detoxification episodes. By connecting people to appropriate care in the community, this program reduces those risks and costs, and helps individuals begin the path to recovery, health, and self-sufficiency.

The initiative complements other efforts in Lake County to reach individuals with substance use and mental health issues, including drug courts, mental health courts, and training for first responders on the signs and symptoms of mental illness.

“Whether we’re reaching people in jail, in courts, or in the community, our goal is to help individuals get into treatment and on the path to recovery,” said Karen Notko, administrator for TASC services in Lake County.

This initiative is a partnership between TASC, the Lake County Jail, Adult Court Services, Assistant State’s Attorney, Behavioral Treatment Court Collaborative, Health Department, and Public Defender’s Office, as well as Nicasa, PADS, and many other treatment providers and community groups. It is funded by the Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County.

TASC is a statewide, nonprofit organization that serves and advocates for people involved in criminal justice and child welfare systems who have mental health and substance use disorders.

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