Last week, Kane County State’s Attorney, Joe McMahon, reported that Kane County Prosecutors have seen a rise in the number of criminal cases filed in Kane County in the first six months of this year compared to last year. McMahon reports that felony filings are up 15.7% compared to the same period last year. The increase in criminal cases in Kane County is happening with misdemeanor and traffic cases as well. In the first six months of 2017, 1,247 new felony cases were filed. During the same period last year, 1,078 cases were filed. Aurora, the largest city in Kane County, has seen a drop in the number of new felony cases. Most criminal cases in Kane County come from Aurora. The Village of Carpentersville has seen a rise in the number of Retail Theft cases. Carpentersville police attribute this to the opening of a new Walmart in Carpentersville. Elgin, the second largest city in Kane County, has seen a rise in violent crimes. McMahon is concerned with the increase in the number of criminal cases filed in Kane County since the number of criminal cases filed increased in 2016 as well.
In 2016, McMahon talked about the inability of authorities to make a dent in the number of Domestic Battery, or Domestic Violence cases filed in Kane County. In 2016, McMahon reported that of the almost 5,700 misdemeanor cases filed in Kane County in 2015, 1,219 involved Domestic Battery, or Domestic Violence charges. 200 Aggravated Domestic Battery felony charges were filed in Kane County in 2015. In the same 2016 discussion, McMahon talked about the impact that the heroin problem is having on Kane County. McMahon echoed his concerns about the heroin problem in Kane County last week when he announced an increase in the number of criminal cases filed in Kane County. Last week, McMahon stated that drug-related cases, “continue to be a serious problem.”
This morning, the Chicago Tribune is reporting about efforts that police departments throughout the State of Illinois are taking in an attempt to get drug users into drug treatment. Many local police agencies are trying to implement a program started by the police in Glocester Massachusetts a few years ago. The programs are commonly referred to as “Safe Passage.” If people walk into a police station and give up their drugs and ask for help, instead of placing them under arrest, the police will dispose of the drugs without filing criminal charges and will place them in drug rehab programs. More and more police agencies in Illinois are trying to do something like this with varying results. Authorities in Dixon Illinois report great success with their program. Dixon police report that 170 people have been placed into rehab with this program. More than half of the people placed in drug rehab have successfully completed their drug treatment. Dixon police report a 39% decrease in the number of misdemeanor and felony criminal cases filed.
Meanwhile, in Elgin, a town that has a population 7 times larger than that of Dixon, only had 3 people who asked to get into drug rehab. None of those people have actually been placed in rehab.
Lake County authorities have instituted a program called “A Way Out” in which the local police agencies in Lake County work together to place drug users in rehab. The program started about a year ago and a dozen people have been placed in rehab through this program.
Efforts by local police agencies to attack the drug problem through drug treatment rather than criminal prosecution is in its early stages. These efforts are a way to tackle the drug problem through a different means. Whether or not these efforts will be successful or not remains to be seen. But more and more police agencies are instituting different programs to try to steer drug users into drug treatment rather than criminal court. Early results suggest that drug users who go through drug treatment in this way, do better than drug users who go through drug treatment under court order. The hope is that these efforts will do a better job of treating the root causes of drug crimes rather than steering people into the criminal justice system.
Chicago criminal defense lawyer, James Dimeas, has been handling drug crimes throughout Cook County, DuPage County, and Kane County for 25 years. Criminal defense lawyer, James Dimeas, is in an award-winning criminal defense lawyer. He has been named a “Best DUI Attorney” and a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago” by Expertise. The National Trial Lawyers have named James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer.” If you are facing drug charges in Cook County, DuPage County, or Kane County, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation. Mr. Dimeas can always be reached at 847-807-7405.