Problem Solving Courts
     Hon. Janet Holmgren is the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile and Problem-solving Courts Division of the 17th Judicial Circuit which includes Winnebago and Boone counties.  She currently presides over the Winnebago County Adult Drug Court, the Winnebago County Therapeutic Intervention Program (TIP) Mental Health Court, and Youth Recovery Court, a juvenile mental health court that convenes in both Winnebago and Boone Counties.  Judge Holmgren also supervises the operations of the Winnebago County Veterans Court and Family Drug Court and presides over Boone County Juvenile Court.
     Judge Holmgren was appointed as an Associate Judge in 1995, elected Circuit Judge in 1998 and retained in 2004, 2010, and 2016. From 2007 to 2012, Judge Holmgren served as the Chief Judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit.
“Problem-solving Courts:  An Effective Response to Persons with Addiction, Mental Illness and Co-Occurring Disorders in the Justice System”
     Persons with addiction, mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues are greatly over-represented in the justice system.  On a daily basis, 17% of the people incarcerated in the Winnebago County jail have a mental illness diagnosis, in contrast to 5% of people in the general population.  The numbers of persons with alcohol and/or drug addiction in our jails and prisons are even more disproportionate when contrasted with addiction rates in the general population.  Research and experience have clearly demonstrated that the likelihood that a person will commit new crimes drops dramatically when treatment and court supervision are utilized as an alternative to incarceration for persons with addiction and/or mental health issues in the justice system and the outcomes for the individuals, their families and the community are much more positive and long-lasting.
     Problem-solving courts are court programs that combine a team of justice professionals with clinical professionals to provide intensive, wrap-around treatment and case management services coupled with intensive court supervision that target the criminogenic factors that lead to criminal behavior for persons in the justice system with behavioral health issues. 
     Winnebago County is a leader in the state for its 5 successful problem-solving court programs:  Adult Drug Court; the Therapeutic Intervention Program (TIP) Mental Health Court; Veterans Court; Family Drug Court and Youth Recovery Court.  Each problem-solving court targets a specific population and a specific behavioral health issue(s). 
     Judge Holmgren will explain the concepts of therapeutic justice, what a problem-solving court is and how the problem-solving courts in our community have contributed to increased public safety, cost savings and benefits and have increased the quality of life for the individual participants and our community.