Madison County court programming is serving as an effective framework to be emulated statewide and nationally thanks to a long-standing partnership with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Jeremy Jewell, PhD, and his published research now appearing on IllinoisCourts.gov.
For nearly two decades, Jewell, a professor of psychology in the SIUE School of Education, Health and Human Behavior, has shared his expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy, clinical child psychology, juvenile delinquency, risk assessment, and program evaluation with the Madison County Probation and Court Services Department.
Through this active partnership, Jewell has offered research-driven service to Madison County by creating and implementing programs aimed at helping probation clients improve their ability to manage anger and increase compassion for others. Other endeavors have included the measurement of program effectiveness in the Adult Drug Court and Veteran’s Court.
Jewell’s published analyses and outcomes from this work have now been shared online by the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, as academically-sound resources for individuals and courts nationwide.
“Dr. Jewell has been instrumental in the implementation of evidence-based practices throughout the Madison County Probation and Court Services Department,” noted Department Director Jackie Wiesehan. “Our goal is to provide effective programming to our clients that will change criminal behavior and reduce recidivism. Dr. Jewell has been able to evaluate what we do to ensure our actions are effective. The Department has been awarded numerous federal and state grants with Dr. Jewell’s assistance. Because of the research he provides, we have been able to expand both our Drug Court and Veteran’s Court to better serve those in need of drug treatment in our community.”
“My collaborative role has expanded over time,” Jewell explained. “For the last 10 years, we have expanded the implementation of our Compassion Approach to Learning Meditation (CALM) program for detained youth to five days a week. I’ve also helped assess and improve the effectiveness of the Adult Drug Court and am now working with the Veteran’s Court.”
“Our programs aim to improve anger management and increase compassion, so that clients will be less likely to commit crimes in the future,” he added. “The court-involved population, especially juveniles as well as substance abusing adults, is interesting to me because although they have all committed crimes, they also usually have been victims of abuse and trauma themselves.
“So, while they may have broken the law, they’ve also been victims and deserve good treatment. Programs that help these individuals also benefit others by decreasing future crime in our community.”
According to Madison County Juvenile Detention Center Program Coordinator Scott Elliff, Jewell’s programs have provided rewarding, enriching and educational experiences for area youth, center staff and the SIUE undergraduate students who he mentors and involves in program implementation.
“We can’t thank Dr. Jewell enough for providing our facility with such an array of beneficial programs, including individual client counseling, outcome measures, psychological assessments and staff trainings,” Elliff said. “He freely offers his time and resources to improve the quality and therapeutic effectiveness of the services we provide.”
“The CALM program, in particular,” he added, “continues to afford our youth effective methods to manage stress, anxiety and anger while detained, as well as coping skills to take with them wherever they may go. Regarding individual counseling, it is encouraging to see how his graduate students easily develop rapport and express concern for their respective clients in the Juvenile Detention Center. Center youth look forward to and benefit from these sessions.”
The sharing of published research on the Illinois Courts website is highly valuable for users.
“We are trying to understand which trends that occur in national research studies might also occur locally,” Jewell explained. “For example, we know that drug court is an effective program nationally, but we have also confirmed its effectiveness in Madison County. In addition, we are trying to understand if there is anything happening locally that may be different than national trends. For example, our research on Madison County drug court clients found that those who are older and have more serious charges are more likely to graduate from drug court, which is different than other studies from across the U.S.”
To view Jewell’s research and other court-involved publications, visit probation.illinoiscourts.gov/data/illinois-publications.
Photo: (L-R) SIUE’s Dr. Jeremy Jewell, Madison County Juvenile Detention Center Superintendent Jon Volkmar, Probation and Court Services Department Director Jackie Wiesehan, Probation and Court Services Chief Managing Officer Craig Cooper and Juvenile Detention Center Program Coordinator Scott Elliff.