What is TASC?
WHAT WE DO
The Treatment Access Center (TASC) is the primary liaison between the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and the criminal justice system. We assess, refer to treatment and provide case management services to offenders as they move through both the criminal justice and treatment systems. TASC services are provided statewide to offenders coming through any Delaware court. Assessments are conducted and treatment recommendations are provided to the court and other criminal justice officials for use in disposition. Once a case is engaged, TASC ensures that treatment placement occurs in a timely basis. TASC then follows the client as he/she progresses through treatment and into recovery.
TASC participates in Superior Court Drug Court, Drug Diversion courts in the Superior Court and the Court of Common Pleas, TIP/WISH Court in the Court of Common Pleas, Mental Health Court in both Court of Common Pleas and Superior Court, RE-Entry Court in Superior Court, and Veterans Court in Superior Court. We also accept many referrals from non-specialized courts where any judicial officer orders the additional oversight and services from TASC.
In 1993, the Treatment Access Center (TASC) was established by the Treatment Access Committee to coordinate the provision of substance abuse evaluation and treatment by public and private providers to criminal defendants and youths adjudicated delinquent or pending such adjudication. Oversight responsibility for the Treatment Access Center is provided by the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Our services have expanded such that we serve sentenced clients as well as clients pending sentencing and clients in diversion programs.
TASC performs initial assessments on referrals and provides preliminary treatment recommendations to the Court and attorneys for use in disposition as well as for sentence modifications. Once a case is engaged, TASC ensures that treatment placement occurs in a timely fashion, and follows the client through treatment and recovery. The philosophy of TASC is based on the evidence-based practice that compulsory treatment is effective. This means that the resources of the criminal justice system are used to encourage the client to participate in and benefit from substance abuse treatment. Numerous studies show that:
- Reducing drug use by addicted clients reduces criminal activity, short and long term health care costs, and increases productivity;
- Punishment alone is not successful in reducing drug use or criminal activity of addicted clients;
- A continuum of treatment options must be in place. Initial treatment must be followed by relapse prevention, skills remediation, and social support;
- Effective treatment in coordination with sanctions and oversight by the criminal justice system can be more cost effective than a lengthy prison sentence where nothing is done to correct the client's substance abuse problem.
TASC's Mission Statement
To expand and improve treatment services for clients and advocate for leveraged treatment so that the criminal justice system, TASC, and treatment providers are utilized to maximize the benefits of treatment for clients.
Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities (TASC) was created nationally in 1972 under the Drug Abuse and Treatment Act. This program model was designed to break the addiction-crime cycle of non-violent, drug-involved clients by linking the legal sanctions of the criminal justice system with the therapeutic interventions of drug treatment programs.
In July 1992, the General Assembly of the State of Delaware enacted House Bill 588 which created a permanent Treatment Access Committee (TAC) of the Delaware Sentencing Accountability Commission. TAC was legislatively mandated to "Supervise the establishment of a Treatment Access Center (TASC) for substance abusing offenders...to coordinate the provision of substance abuse evaluation and treatment by public and private providers to criminal defendants and youths adjudicated delinquent or pending such adjudication" and "Supervise the expenditure of funds from the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation, Treatment, Education and Prevention Fund...by making grants to the Treatment Access Center, and other state and local public entities or agencies for substance abuse treatment, rehabilitation, education or prevention activities."
TASC adopted a working mission to "expand and improve treatment services for offenders and supervise the establishment of a mechanism to coordinate the provision of compulsory treatment so that the coercive powers of the criminal justice system are utilized to maximize the benefits of treatment for offenders".
As an operational entity, TASC:
- Assesses, refers to treatment and provides case management services to clients as they move through both the criminal justice and treatment systems;
- Provides case-based and aggregate information to policy makers;
- Establishes policies and procedures for urine monitoring;
- Provides client advocacy;
- Provides support to supervision and treatment providers to retain offenders in treatment by facilitating communication between the criminal justice and treatment systems and by utilizing the leverage of the criminal justice system to promote offender engagement in treatment.
For more information on TASC programs and drug courts.
Return to TASC .