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Day Reporting Center Treatment Model

Gateway’s Cook County Experience

From 2009 to 2014 Gateway operated an integrated substance abuse and mental health treatment program for offenders sentenced to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office Day Reporting Center (DRC). The Gateway – DRC was a licensed outpatient treatment program operated on the campus of the Sheriff’s Department of Reentry and Diversion. Through a contract with the Sheriff’s Office, Gateway provided intensive day treatment programming for offenders with substance abuse and/or mental health needs. The program had a capacity of 200 – 250 inmates, and provided daily group and individual counseling services for both pre-trial and sentenced offenders. The average length of stay was between 3 and 6 months, based on individual need and sentencing criteria.

Fast Fact
Prisoners who spend 90-150 days in treatment have much lower recidivism rates.


What distinguished this program from many others was its successful integration of mental health treatment professionals within the context of the substance abuse treatment programming. Although most participants had a primary diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence, many were also suffering from co-occurring mental health issues. Initial treatment plans were developed from a comprehensive battery of substance abuse and mental health assessments that were performed at intake. Individual goals and objectives were developed for each participant based on their assessed risks and needs–both psychosocial and criminogenic. The interventions employed in the daily programming were then adapted according to the specific individualized needs of the participants. The staff was a blended group of certified substance abuse counselors, and licensed mental health professionals. The structured DRC programming included: substance abuse counseling groups, cognitive restructuring interventions, anger management groups, vocational readiness training and co-occurring disorder groups, which were supplemented with individual therapy as treatment needs dictate. Young adult offenders who had not yet graduated high school who were sentenced to the program were also required to participate in educational programming through a virtual high school or the GED program.

Electronic Monitoring & Supervision

Participants in the DRC program were considered “inmates” of the Cook Co. Jail, despite the fact that they were allowed to return to approved home sites each evening. This required intense supervision to ensure accountability for their time outside the program hours; thus all participants of the DRC program were on Electronic Monitoring (EM). Each participant’s movement was restricted to program participation, or approved work and/or education sites. Any movement violations result in immediate notification to field agents, who administered consequences as applicable—up to, and including, revocation of EM status and a return to incarceration in the jail.

This integration of substance abuse and mental health treatment services in concert with intensive community supervision provided a cost-effective alternative to incarceration for low-level and medium-level offenders. From this experience base, Gateway is well-equipped to design a day reporting center to meet the needs of any jurisdiction.

For more information about Gateway’s Day Reporting Center, contact us.