The Thresholds Justice Program has worked collaboratively with partners in Cook County and the state to provide targeted services to persons with serious mental illnesses since its founding in 1997. This program serves more than 300 justice-involved individuals annually, through a range of discharge linkage, housing support, mental health services, and social, educational, and vocational services.
Our groundbreaking program provides key transitional services to people with serious mental illnesses and substance use conditions who are exiting the justice system. A key element of the Justice Program is its staff presence in the Cook County Jail (particularly Cermak Health Center) and the Mental Health Unit of Cook County Adult Probation. Our staff engage inmates in these facilities upon – or leading up to – discharge and provide support through the process of community reintegration. These supportive reintegration services address housing, medical, psychiatric, substance use, legal, employment, education and public benefit needs.
Results include clients reconnecting with family, moving into supportive housing, a decrease in mental health symptoms and substance use, and exiting the justice system. Statistics show that more than 50% of individuals released from corrections will be re-arrested within their first year in the community. With Thresholds’ services, the recidivism rate was only 4% in 2017.