Core Value: Accountability

Just as youth must accept responsibility for their actions and the harm caused by juvenile delinquency, communities also have obligations to youth to safeguard their welfare, support them when in need and help them to become healthy adults. The juvenile justice system must foster youth accountability while reflecting society’s collective responsibility to our youth and must be accountable for the outcomes it produces.

Youth must have constructive, meaningful opportunities to understand the harm anti-social behavior and crime cause in their communities, to be accountable for that harm and to repair that harm in ways which foster long-term connections to their communities.

  • Effective interventions utilize a cognitive-behavioral approach to help youth understand how their behaviors affect others, to take responsibility for their own decisions and to help them adopt healthy, pro-social ways of thinking and behaving in communities.
  • Restorative justice practices are critical to engage crime victims and communities hold youth accountable and begin to repair the harm caused by juvenile crime.

Communities must take active roles in and be accountable for articulating and meeting the needs of youth and families.

  • Community members and leaders must hold themselves accountable for the successful outcomes of all youth, including those involved in the juvenile justice system.
  • Parents, community members and community leaders must collaborate to create and maintain effective local governance structures which inform development of fair and effective local policy, practice and programming.
  • Local stakeholders must gather, analyze and use data to guide their policy, practice and programming decisions and must adjust those approaches to ensure positive outcomes for youth and families.
  • Local stakeholders must share accurate local data – in a timely manner – with state systems and stakeholders to inform and guide state-level policy, practice and program development.

An effective juvenile justice system measures the outcomes of the youth, families and communities it serves, shared these outcomes with state and local stakeholders and is accountable for adjusting policy, practice and programs to produce positive outcomes for youth, families and communities.

  • Systems and stakeholders must establish and communicate clear, youth-focused performance goals and must measure the progress of individual youth and youth in the aggregate toward these goals.
  • Illinois’ juvenile justice systems must operate with transparency and in collaboration with other child-serving agencies, organizations and advocates.
  • Child-serving agencies and entities must provide accurate, timely and complete data regarding the youth committed to its care and the outcomes achieved to state and local stakeholders and decision-makers must use this data to guide policy decisions, program development and resource allocation.