Mental Illness Court Alternative Program (MICAP)
Drug Court / MICAP Program Manager: Bernadine Howard, LCSW
The purpose of DuPage County Mental Illness Court Alternative Program (MICAP) is to redirect offenders who have a mental health diagnosis that was a contributing factor in the commission of the crime. MICAP provides a sentencing alternative with the focus on integrated treatment services diverting the offender from traditional prosecution.
Applicants who meet the criteria guidelines must be age 17 or above, a DuPage County resident, diagnosed with an Axis I major mental illness, and demonstrate a willingness to participate. Where appropriate, victim consent will be required. Applicants who have prior/current sex offenses, DUI charges and/or other crimes of violence will not be eligible for the MICAP program. For further clarification, please contact the MICAP Program Manager.
If the applicant meets the basic criteria, their attorney may file an application for MICAP. These forms are available in all criminal court rooms. The DuPage County State's Attorney's Office will review the application and criminal history and if approved, the applicant will be referred for Intake and Assessment. This interview will be conducted by a DuPage County Mental Health Clinician and the assigned Probation Officer. If the applicant is found eligible, an acceptance order is entered by the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office and the defense attorney.
MICAP is a 12-36 month program, based on the nature of the offense, treatment needs, and compliance. Treatment Plans can include meeting with psychiatrists, mental health clinicians, and probation officers. Other individualized treatments can include specific disorder treatment, counseling, employment coaching and/or benefit application assistance.
Successful completion of MICAP can result in reduced or dismissed criminal charges.
process begins when the defense attorney meets with the defendant to explain
MICAP expectations, and the defendant agrees to pursue entry into the
program. The defendant must file a
“MICAP Application” in court. This application prompts a criminal history
report, which is generated by the Probation Department. The criminal history provides the MICAP team
with information regarding all criminal offenses charged in juvenile and adult
court, including pending cases of the applicant. The case for which an
application is made will be temporarily re-assigned to courtroom 4001 for the
duration of the MICAP application process. The same day the MICAP application
order is entered, the applicant and defense attorney must report to the
Probation Department in the 18th Judicial Circuit and complete an application
packet. The applicant, along with
his/her attorney or family member, will meet with a staff member of the Probation
Department to ensure all necessary releases of information are signed and all
of the paperwork is completed. The application packet includes a “Request for
Consideration in MICAP”, “Ongoing Release of Confidential Information Form”,
and a “Preliminary Information Sheet”. Copies are provided to the Assistant
State’s Attorney and defense attorney.
The Assistant State’s
Attorney reviews the application materials (police reports, criminal history
and MICAP packet) to determine if the applicant meets the eligibility criteria.
If the Assistant State’s Attorney approves the case for screening, an e-mail is
sent to the team indicating that the defendant’s application may continue to intake
A court date will be
set, at which time the defense attorney will review with the applicant the
conditions and information contained in the “Intake and Screening Assessment
Order”. An appointment for the intake and screening will be scheduled with a
probation officer and mental health clinician.
The screening process
includes a clinical mental health assessment completed by the MICAP clinician
and the probation officer. The clinician
will diagnose any identified mental illness and make treatment recommendations,
which will be integrated into a treatment plan.
The probation officer then completes a criminal risk assessment, the
LSI-R, which identifies the defendant’s risk to re-offend and the areas which
place the applicant at risk for future criminal behavior. These risk areas are targeted
for services in the probation case plan. The applicant is required to provide a
urine screen at the time of the intake and screening. Once the assessment is
completed, a written report is sent to all members of the MICAP team. The content of the report is addressed at the
staffing prior to the applicant’s next court date. Treatment recommendations and case plans are
discussed and become a part of the “MICAP Plea Agreement and Contract”.
If, at the time of the
screening, the applicant is being treated by a private psychiatrist, a probation
officer, with a clinical license, will complete the assessment and verify
information obtained during the screening with the treating doctor, and include
the applicant’s diagnosis, current prescribed medications and compliance with
appointments and prescribed medications
to entry into the program, the defense attorney will review with the applicant
the “Consent to Participate in MICAP”, and the “Plea Agreement and Contract”.
Once all questions have been answered and both documents have been read and
signed, the judge will undertake appropriate plea proceedings, consistent with
the law, Supreme Court Rule 402 and PSC Standard 7.2(e). The applicant will be
advised of the treatment recommendations.
MICAP Consent to Participate
MICAP Plea Agreement and Contract
Intake and Screening Assessment for MICAP order (coming soon)
Thank you for your interest in the DuPage County Court MICAP Program. Please contact Bernadine Howard, Drug Court/MICAP Program Manager with any questions at 630-407-8448 or visit our MICAP Contacts page.