photo from Illinois Association of Problem Solving Courts website

(photo from Illinois Association of Problem Solving Courts website)

This entire week, WCSJ/WJDK will be featuring a series of stories on the Grundy County Mental Health Court Program and how other services are available.

Grundy County Judge Lance Peterson said in order to be in the Mental Health  Court Program (Treatment Alternative Court), an individual pleads guilty to a felony, agrees to a prison sentence, but that case is dismissed if they pass all the criteria.

Peterson said the program started five years and is it grant funded through Adult Redeploy Illinois.

In order to make the program work, several local officials are involved including Peterson himself.

He also said a nurse is part of the team.

Peterson said an individual needs to have an Axis 1 diagnosis to be placed into the program, which takes time to see results.

In the past year, five people have graduated.

Earlier this year, Peterson said the state of Illinois added misdemeanor charges as part of the criteria. 

In the end, Peterson said it comes down to the person wanting to receive help.

Peterson said Grundy County was one of the earliest in the state to be granted a Mental Health Court Program and there are currently 24 in Illinois.

Later this week, we will discuss the long term goal of the program and how other mental health services are available in Grundy County.