The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) recently announced a joint effort to help deliver treatment services to mentally ill inmates. The two agencies have entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement that allows IDOC to use part of the Elgin Mental Health Center (EMHC) as an inpatient mental health treatment facility.
Currently, the EMHC serves as a forensic hospital, which serves patients who may have been found not guilty of crimes by reason of insanity or those who were unfit to stand trial. The new agreement will transform the Jenk and Dix units of the EMHC into a secure mental health facility. The goal is to improve the correctional outcomes of the mentally ill inmates, and improve safety for all inmates, IDOC staff, and the residents of Illinois.
The agreement is also expected to help fast-track a settlement in a years-old lawsuit of mental health care, Rasho vs. Baldwin, which had languished in the courts for seven years.