Welcome to the Illinois Association of Problem-Solving Courts!
Message from the President
The Board of Directors hopes that everyone who attended our conference in Normal last month found it beneficial. We received many positive remarks and also received your suggestions to make the conference better. We will use all of your feedback to continue to improve the conference.
Attendance at the conference continues to grow and reached 524. Of that number: 99 were attorneys; 33 coordinators; 50 judges; 144 probation and law enforcement; 113 treatment; 27 presenters and; 58 others which included educators, exhibitors, and sponsors. There were 68 Illinois counties represented.
Due to the generosity and support of NADCP, we were able to host many nationally known speakers. We realize, however, that this year's conference was more drug court oriented. We plan to better balance drug, mental health and veterans issues next year.
The Board has already started work on next year's conference which will be at the same venue. Early registration and pre-conference activities will start on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, with the conference starting Thursday morning, October 12, 2017, and finishing Friday, October 13, 2017, around noon.
Newly elected to the Board are Ali Abid of the Appleseed Fund for Justice, Cook County; Darrell Hite, Senior U.S. Probation Officer, Peoria; Judge Mark Shaner, 2nd Judicial Circuit, Lawrence County; and Michael Torchia, Probation and Court Services Director, Sangamon County. In our quest to establish professional and geographical diversity on the Board, we are looking to add an attorney from a State's Attorney's office and a law enforcement officer who works in a Problem-Solving Court. Please keep this in mind after the call for nominations in the spring.
The Board re-elected the current officers who are Craig Cooper, TASC Director of Operations Outside Cook County, Madison County, as Vice-President; Michael Roman, Kane County Court Services, as Treasurer; and Judge Ericka Sanders, 4th Judicial Circuit, Monroe County, as Secretary.
Thank you for your interest in our association and on behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish you a happy, safe and prosperous new year.
Jeffrey B. Ford, President
Illinois Problem-Solving Courts Association
Approved Problem Solving Court Standards & Certification Process
These Standards, the Certification Process including Application and the Amended Supreme Court Rule were approved by the Supreme Court in its November term. All Problem Solving Courts (adult courts as labeled in the Standards) will have to be certified by the Supreme Court by 1/1/17.
PSC Standards Click here
PSC Certification Process Click here
PSC Certification Application Click here
Amended Supreme Court Rule Click here
Letter to membership:
I am writing to inform you of a recent amendment placed on House Bill 218. There has been discussion among some ILAPSC Board members that we should express an opinion as to the amendment defining a DUI with regard to cannabis usage.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with DUI law, there are six different ways to define the offense. Two are objective, being (a)(1) a person who is .08 or above and while driving or in actual physical control of any vehicle and (a)(6) being a person who has any amount of a drug, substance or compound in that person's breath, blood or urine which are listed in the Cannabis Control Act, Illinois Controlled Substance Act or Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.
House Bill 218 deletes the Cannabis Control Act from paragraph (a)(6) and adds paragraph (a)(7). Paragraph (a)(7) states as follows:
"The person has, within 2 hours of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle, a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration in the person's whole blood or other bodily substance as defined in paragraph 6 of subsection (a) of Section 11-501.2 of this Code. Subject to all other requirements and provisions under this Section, this paragraph (7) (6) does not apply to the lawful consumption of cannabis by a qualifying patient licensed under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act who is in possession of a valid registry card issued under that Act, unless that person is impaired by the use of cannabis."
11-501.2 (c)(6) in House Bill 1 states:
"Tetrahydrocannabinol concentration means either 15 nanograms or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of whole blood or 25 nanograms or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of other bodily substance."
The problem with this language in most people's minds is that the objective test of the nanograms required is 11-501(c)(7) as defined in 11-501.2 (c)(6) is not consistent with scientific principles.
Colorado and Washington have provided the most research on the issue. In a special issue of the Journal of Analytical Toxicology 2014; 38: 575-581 an article entitledAnalysis of ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Cases in Colorado from January 2011 to February 2014" authored by Sara Urfer, Jaimie Morton, Vanessa Beall, Jeanna Feldmann and Justin Gunesch of ChemaTox Laboratory, Inc., Forensic Toxicology Section, noted at p. 575.
"THC is known to impair driving. THC impairs cognition, psychomotor function, and driving performance in a dose-related manner. Highly automated driving tasks, such as road tracking control, are the most affected by THC impairment. THC has also been shown to impair performance on standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs). Slight driving impairment has been seen at THC serum concentrations between 2 and 5 ng/mL, and impairment becomes most notable at THC serum concentrations between 5 and 10 ng/mL." (Footnotes omitted)
Colorado and Washington, to my knowledge, use 5 nanograms as the objective standard for a person to be DUI. Illinois wants to make that cutoff for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol to 25 nanograms.
My personal belief is that the ILAPSC should weigh-in on matters affecting our Problem-Solving Courts, their survival and best practices to help the participants. We should not weigh in on legislation such as House Bill 218. However, the ILAPSC does have a responsibility to let you, the membership know of pending legislation that we become aware of that may be of concern to you.
Jeffrey B. Ford, President
Illinois Problem-Solving Courts Association
To promote Problem-Solving Courts in Illinois by providing education, assistance, training, and development through collaboration of behavioral health and justice systems.
Want to know more about specialty courts?
The Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of ILAPSC represent counties from throughout the State of Illinois. They serve in a variety of positions in their respective Courts including members of the judiciary, attorneys, probation officers, substance abuse and mental health professionals and members of other agencies and associations including NAMI and TASC.
Perhaps you would benefit from visiting one of several of our specialty courts throughout Illinois. We would be more than happy to help. Contact any board member for assistance in planning or implementing your specialty court.