Guiding force behind Nicasa to step down

Updated 11/9/2010 12:56 PM

Judy Fried, credited with turning Round Lake-based Nicasa into a major player in the world of substance abuse treatment, will retire from the organization Jan. 31 after 33 years.

Fried joined the group in 1977 and was named executive director four years later.


She is credited with leading the drive that grew the organization into a multifaceted behavioral health group with programs for youth, adults and families.

In 1998, Fried started Nicasa's "Parent Project" that specializes in family counseling services and is a model for similar programs in 25 states.

She also introduced programs for jail inmates, court-ordered DUI evaluations and on-site programs for large corporations.

Fried is formerly of Lincolnshire and now divides her time between Arizona and Utah, where she continues her involvement in community activities.

Program honored

The Lake County Probation Department's "Thinking For A Change" program was recently honored by the Illinois Probation and Court Services Association.

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Chief Judge Victoria Rossetti announced the program received the group's Institute for Legal and Policy Studies Innovative Leadership Award for 2010.

The program seeks to instruct probationers that thinking controls behavior and people who learn to control their thinking can change their behavior.

Since 2002, 1,142 probationers have entered the program and 72 percent successfully completed the studies.

A 2008 survey found 62.5 percent of probationers with a high risk to reoffend who went through the program completed their probationary terms without further violations of the law, while only 25.8 percent of high-risk probationers who did not take the program terminated successfully.

Heard in the hallway

Sixty-seven percent of Lake County residents called for jury duty last year were being called to service for the first time.