Podcast: A Conversation with Illinois’ Problem-Solving Courts: Featuring Judge Holmgren and Matt Kinder

In this episode of Justice Speaks, JSI continues their series of interviews with State Drug Court Coordinators. JSI speaks with Judge Janet Holmgren, the president of the Illinois Association of Problem-Solving Courts, and Matt Kinder, one of the association’s conference coordinators.

Judge Janet Holmgren

Judge Janet Holmgren, with a remarkable 16-year tenure in the judicial system, has been a steadfast advocate for transformative justice. Beginning her journey as a presiding judge in the juvenile abuse and neglect courtroom, she championed rehabilitation and remediation for those facing untreated or under-treated substance abuse and mental health concerns. In 2007, Judge Holmgren assumed a pivotal role in the adult Mental Health Court, marking a significant shift in her career towards a dedicated Treatment Court rotation, further solidifying her commitment to holistic justice. 

She assumed the role of President of the Illinois Association of Problem-Solving Courts (ILAPSC) in 2019. As president, Judge Holmgren leads efforts to advance court programs tailored for individuals grappling with mental health issues, drug addiction, and other special needs. Her extensive experience as the presiding judge of problem-solving courts for the 17th Judicial Circuit in Winnebago and Boone counties underscores her expertise in this domain. With a focus on education, assistance, training, and professional development, the association promotes problem-solving courts across Illinois, including drug and mental health courts, veterans court, and DUI court.

Matt Kinder

rings a wealth of experience to the realm of Problem-Solving Courts. His journey began while working at an agency dedicated to adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses, where he encountered many individuals involved in Judge Holmgren’s pioneering mental health court. This experience ignited his passion for the intersection of mental health and justice.

Transitioning to the Illinois Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health and Justice, Matt spearheaded collaborative efforts with Problem-Solving Courts across the state. In this role, he provided tailored training and coordinated annual conferences, facilitating vital knowledge exchange and skill development among stakeholders in the justice system. His dedication and expertise positioned him as a trusted resource within the Problem-Solving Court community.

A Conversation with Illinois’ Problem-Solving Courts: Featuring Judge Holmgren and Matt Kinder

by Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #60