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Woodstock, Illinois

McHenry County Adult Treatment Court


The McHenry County Treatment Court is designed to serve criminal defendants suffering from a substance use or mental health disorder and are currently involved in the justice system of McHenry County. In lieu of traditional punishment, the program diverts defendants with diagnosed mental health and/or substance use disorders away from the justice system by offering an alternative court program.

Admission and Target Population

The program’s target population is high-risk/high need individuals with an active nonviolent felony offense and a primary diagnosis of substance use disorder. Individuals who are pregnant or addicted to heroin are labeled as priority. With priority status, the individual is placed at the top of the referral list.

The program uses the Illinois Adult Risk Assessment (ARA) System to evaluate program applicants, which measures static and dynamic risk factors and identifies the criminogenic needs of each participant. The ARA is an objective, quantifiable instrument that provides a consistent and valid method of predicting current risk to reoffend. It is also a reliable means of measuring behavior change over time, patterns of behavior, lifestyle, and personality features. Using an interview guide, the ARA provides opportunity for a semistructured interview to gain information for the applicant, supplemented with official records and/or collateral sources to provide a final risk level that reflects an applicant’s potential risk to reoffend.

Additional screening and assessment tools include ORAS, RANT, and GAIN (short and long screen).

In addition, participants are given a biopsychosocial assessment, an important document that sets up the rationale for all the work to follow in the clinical setting. The biopsychosocial assessment looks at demographic data sets; current symptom checklist (e.g., cognitive functions, dangerous behaviors, immediate threat to personal safety, indicators of personality disorder); developmental, emotional, psychiatric, socioeconomic, family, medical, and substance use history; strengths; and barriers to recovery.

Program Structure

The McHenry County Treatment Court is a 12-to-24-month, five-phase program aimed at intervening in drug/alcohol dependence and criminal behavior through intense supervision and participation in treatment and recovery services. Initially, participants are required to appear biweekly at court sessions. As a participant successfully completes the phases, court attendance, reporting, and treatment requirements are adjusted to reflect the participant’s progress. When a participant successfully fulfills the terms of the program and completes program phases, they can complete an application for commencement. Legal agreements made pending completion of the program are then reviewed.

To address criminal thinking, the program uses Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT). MRT is a cognitive behavioral counseling program that combines education, group and individual counseling, and structured exercises designed to foster moral development in treatment-resistant clients.

Additional treatment modalities include the Matrix Model, Seeking Safety, and anger management. The program also has access to other treatment services, mental health services, and a psychologist for additional services. The program uses individualized treatment plans, gender-specific groups, resources for specialized needs, and collaborative case management across probation, law enforcement, and treatment.

Quick Facts

Established: 2008
Location: Woodstock, Illinois
Court type: Suburban
Primary track: Adult drug court
Other tracks: Mental health, veterans, DWI

Other Strengths

- Priority referral system for at risk-populations
- Multiple risk and need tools
- Supervision/intervention based on risk and need of individual
- Social worker assigned to program
- Gender-specific groups
- Collaborative case planning