Senator Connor


SPRINGFIELD – Thanks to State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) and State Representative Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago), the framework for veterans and service members’ court, drug court, and mental health court will be updated and improved for the first time in years.

“It is vital that the problem-solving courts are made uniform and updated to follow best practices so that individuals have the best chance for success. Courts like drug court, which is very difficult to get into and even harder to finish successfully, try to break the cycle of untreated problems that can often lead to ever increasing installments in jail or prison,” said Connor. “Until we address the root cause in that cycle, it will always continue.”

Senate Bill 2565 addresses the drug court, mental health court, and the veterans and service members court by making the programs more uniform and encourages them to follow evidence-based data to ensure the best chances for breaking cycles.

The courts will also include additional harm-reduction services and allow a state’s attorney to file motions to vacate and expunge convictions and records to people who successfully complete these programs.

"Problem-solving courts are a critical and cost-effective tool to provide alternatives to incarceration in a way that holds people accountable while getting at the root causes of crime,” LaPointe said. “Through evidence-based practices, this bill ensures better outcomes for defendants with mental health and addiction needs in our drug, mental health, and veteran’s courts."

Senate Bill 2565 was passed successfully out of both houses Friday.