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    The Kane County State’s Attorney’s office has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for its new pre-arrest diversion program.

    The grant will allow the office to expand pre-arrest diversion to additional Kane County police agencies. The program, launched in October, is currently operating through the Elgin Police Department and the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.

    “I am thrilled and thankful for this award from the Justice Department. It will allow us to hire the necessary staff and provide the necessary training needed for this program to be successful across Kane County,” said Martha Paschke, who heads the Kane pre-arrest diversion program. “For it to work, we must be able to connect with participants to build trusting relationships. This will allow us to ensure they receive the necessary wraparound services that ultimately will improve public safety and reduce the number of people entering the criminal legal system.”

    Pre-arrest diversion provides support and services to individuals who struggle with mental health issues, substance use disorder and poverty, with a goal of self-sufficiency instead of the criminal court system and jail.

    This is the third grant awarded to the Kane SAO for the pre-arrest diversion program. It previously was awarded a $152,000 grant from the state of Illinois, and is waiting for the U.S. Senate to finalize appropriation of a $350,000 grant secured by U.S. Rep Lauren Underwood.

    “We have learned that jail is not the answer in every criminal case. If someone commits a crime because of mental health issues, substance use disorder or a lack of resources, jailing them likely leads to further criminal activity,” Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie L. Mosser said. “If we get to the root of the problem, and help people find resources and treatment, these people are less likely to commit another offense. This is an important program that has the chance to change lives and make our community safer. My thanks and congratulations to Martha Paschke for her hard work in securing these grants and in establishing this important program. Thank you also to leaders in our community like Congresswoman Lauren Underwood for being a champion for change with us.”

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