Wednesday, June 10, 2009

McHenry County Forced To Set Up Drug Court

Up until now, McHenry County has been able to avoid having to set up a drug court. It's the only surrounding county without a drug court. All of that is about to change. Last week an amendment to the Drug Court Treatment Act was passed by the Illinois legislature requiring every county to have a drug court. Before last week, drug court was an option. If Governor Pat Quinn signs the legislation, McHenry County will have no choice but to follow the lead of all the other counties in the area. As a matter of fact, all of the other surrounding counties have had a drug court for at least five years. McHenry officials have been complaining that they have been unable to set up a drug court because they do not have enough judges. Current state law adds fees and costs to anyone pleading guilty to a crime or convicted of a crime that are supposed to be used for this purpose. McHenry County has been taking those fees and costs and using them for a mental health court. It is uncontroverted that drug court saves money in the long term. It's cheaper to send someone to drug treatment than it is to house them in prison.

If the legislation is signed by the governor, McHenry County will have until January 1, 2010 to set up the court. McHenry officials are reporting that they are working at getting it done on time.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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