The Madison County courts have received a $250,000 grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority.

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis announced the award via press release Wednesday morning.

The grant is an Adult Redeploy Illinois award created by the Crime Reduction Act in order to fund the start or expansion of community-based service programs with the goal of reducing the number of non-violent offenders sent into the state's prison system.

Callis notes in the release that the award "is a boon to Madison County and will be put to good use within our alternative court system."

Madison County plans to channel the grant into its own Adult Redeploy Illinois Madison County program.

Callis said in the release that special attention will be directed at the Veterans Court, an alternative court program led by Madison County Circuit Judge Charles Romani that works with veterans who have non-violent run-ins with the justice system.

The grant will enable the re-hiring of a laid-off probation officer and extend services in the veterans court as well as the county's Mental Health Court and Drug Court programs.

The multi-discipline program will see a partnership among the Madison County State's Attorney's Office, Probation and Courts Services Department, Public Defender's Office, Circuit Clerk's Office, Madison County Veterans' Assistance Commission, Chestnut Health Systems, TASC, Inc., and Jewell Psychological Services.

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