April 11, 2008 IJJC Meeting



Gary Leofanti, Acting Chair

Patricia Connell, Wayne Straza, Rodney Ahitow, Rev. Charles Collins, George Hill, Pam Rodriguez, Kurt Freidenhaur


Karrie Rueter, Debra Adams, Miguel Millett, Julie Stremlau, Barb Shipp, Mary Mucciante, Mary O’Brien

Others in Attendance

Eileen Subak, Denis Murstein, Angela Green, John Payne

I. Call to order

Meeting called to order at 10:06 AM.

II  Roll Call

Quorum declared present.

III.  Approval of Minutes

Wayne Straza motioned and Rev. Collins approved. MINUTES APPROVED

IV. OJJDP Federal Grants Applications

Copy of application request.

V. Juvenile Justice/Mental Health Update

Karrie Rueter asked Denis Murstein to apprise the Commission on the most recent status of the Juvenile Justice Mental Health initiative. In a previous meeting, the Commission agreed to allocate $300,000 of resources, contingent upon DHS involvement to focus providing services to Non Medicaid eligible clients.

Denis Murstein has met with the Governors office and DHS Fiscal to discuss the plan to fund the Non-Medicaid Eligible clients. The $300,000 is to cover the Non Medicaid people. The Governors office and DHS fiscal believe the money is available for July 1. The State would provide a portion of the money and they could begin offering services. They will be able to offer the full services on 22 sites throughout the state. Karrie Rueter added that the details need to be worked out. The eCornerstone system will need to be adjusted to be able to do accept this new information. There is information needed to prepare for this, even though a lot of that information has already been determined. The finalization of what is required will determine when this can actually take place. It might be August to get the system up and running and it may not be that soon. There was a second piece to this plan that included allocation of $25,000 to fund the evaluation of a previous evaluation report. This interest originated from Gene Griffin of the Planning and Grants Committee. The total cost is $50,000 but only $25,000 was to come from the Commission. This evaluation could provide a more informed perspective. The data could provide information that could push to the next stages of the project. The money match was to come from another entity. Denis Murstein stated they have tried to get the additional match. The Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership attempted to help, but they have no funds available. The JEHT Foundation was also asked and they declined. Gary Leofanti inquired about other leads for the money. Denis Murstein replied they are talking to the Chicago Communities Trust.

Patricia Connell stated she feels this is information that we need to access. There is too much information to gain and to move forward. She suggested making a motion that allowed the Executive Committee to have the authority to allocate the funds at the present time. If and when The Chicago Communities Trust would step up with their portion of the funding the Commission would not need to reconvene and vote on this topic. It is important that we move forward and be prepared. Karrie Rueter stated that the Commission would be able to fund the full amount if that is what the Commission decided. The Commission voted to approve the recommendation of the Executive Committee to be able to vote on the allocation of the $25,000 when the second half of the money is acquired from another entity and also to vote if further funds are needed. Pat Connell initiated the motion, as amended and Kurt Friedenhaur seconded. A roll call was requested and five Commissioners approved and two abstained. The motioned carried.

VI. Status of Funds Report Sub-Committee

Karrie Rueter provided an update.

VII. Planning and Grants Committee

Patricia Connell announced that Shobhan Makadev gave the update for their assessment entitled An Assessment of Access to Counsel and Quality of Representation in Delinquency Proceedings.

The Executive Summary is in your packet or you may access the entire document on the Northwestern website.

There is an Illinois Defender Resource Center and a Prosecutor Resource Center with no funding. The budget for this year has a line item for both those centers to get started after the beginning of the fiscal year.

Steve Kossman and Art Feldman explained to the Planning and Grants Committee how they used the small amount of money the Commission allotted them to enhance their defense services at the Detention Center level. Both were positive. Lisa Jacobs of the McArthur Foundation and John Hayes, Executive Director of First Defense Legal Aid also spoke. Please see the Planning and Grants Committee Meeting Minutes for further detailed information. The Commissioners were present for that discussion. There was a concern about the adversarial court proceedings but the consensus was to recommend the Commission support appropriations to the defense and prosecutors resource centers. This will increase and professionalize how both offices handle juvenile court cases.

Gary Leofanti recently attended a meeting with attorneys and overall the consensus was there needs to be strong defense work throughout the juvenile court proceedings and at the arrest level. Gary Leofanti stated the Commission needed to further discuss this issue at the Retreat. He stated the Commission needs to discuss the fiscal aspect of the process and made a request that a member of the First Defense Organization attend the Retreat to discuss a few concepts. He further recommended inviting Lisa Jacobs to attend the Retreat. The Commission needs for the First Defense Organization to determine what they would be able to do with $100,000 or $200,000, if it were available. Pam Rodriguez recommended that we target more sites where DMC initiatives exist. We would get better cooperation from police in those districts. Pat Connell also felt we would get more cooperation from those areas. Pat added that First defense operates with pro-bono lawyers so the money they have will be limited. They need the money to go to the next step as they need more volunteers. There are a lot of lawyers but these volunteers work as on-call attorneys working for 12 hours at a time, which is a big commitment. This type of program is a good idea but they will need more attorneys and more funding. George Hill commented that the problems seem to start at the station house. There needs to be a non-adversarial relationship there. There needs to be an opportunity to avert the child from the system early in the process. Gary Leofanti stated these discussions are best done at the Retreat and recommended the Commission review this further at that time once we have a proposal to react to.

Wayne Straza motioned and Gary Leofanti seconded the motion for the Commission to support appropriations to both the Prosecutor as well as the Defender Resource Center. MOTION APPROVED.

Pat Connell will be hosting the Retreat in Evanston, June 10th and 11th. YNC will be working on the location. The Omni, Hilton Garden and hotels in Skokie were mentioned.

Title V – Truancy Program

There was discussion of the Truancy Initiative. Pat Connell recommended that, due to the time constraints, a sub-Committee or the Executive Committee be authorized to give the approval for the initiative so there is no need for the full Commission to reconvene.

The proposed plan states the grantees have to be a unit of government but DHS would not dictate how the Truancy Board would serve the county. DHS would like to target communities with higher rates of chronic truants and the larger population. The cost to other Truancy Review Boards was found and is also in the Planning and Grants Committee Meeting Minutes. The focus is to aim for around $10,000 to each site. DHS is considering about 20 counties, thus eliminating the possibility of receiving too many proposals. The county will be given the ability to decide if it would like to fund their entire county or just specified areas. Gary Leofanti recommended having a representative at the Retreat to discuss the truancy legislative issues. It is felt that local authorities are not following the statute. Gary also wanted to wait to approve the Truancy Initiative until Ron Smith can give the Commission a better number of the truancy violators. All available information and the preliminary RFP will be submitted to the Commission members for review.

VIII. DMC Committee Update

Rev. Collins gave the overview of the DMC meeting. Dr. Butts gave his Power Point presentation on the survey process. It was approved. There was a discussion about new DMC sites and how they are doing. All quarterly reports will be sent out by email. Gary Leofanti requested a history of funding for DMC for the Commission. The DMC effort is now approximately six years old. The Commission would like to know what the money is doing now and what it has done in the past. Rev. Collins would like to accelerate the initiative in most of their sites. Rev. Collins and Miguel Millett will give a “history” report to the Commission at the Retreat. The Commission was informed that Angela Green has done a great job with the initiatives and great strides are occurring. Miguel Millett commended her for her hard work. Please see the DMC Committee Meeting Minutes for the full DMC report.

IX. Compliance Update

Karrie Rueter gave the compliance update as Ron Smith is on vacation. Gary Leofanti added that he had recently met with Ron Smith to discuss an additional part-time and possible future successor for Ron as the compliance monitor. Richard Walsh has been suggested for the job. Gary has met with Richard and believes he would be an acceptable person for the position and asked Karrie to move forward with trying to hire Mr. Walsh. Karrie Rueter informed the Commission that additional funding would be needed to cover the salary/compliance funding.

Ron Smith will be able to train Mr. Walsh to fill the position prior to his retirement. This person will also assist Ron Smith in covering more compliance aspects than has been covered in the past. Karrie Rueter read the violations. There are more non-offenders than truants being locked up. They together far exceed normal status offender numbers. This information supports the plan to try to address the truancy issues. We are currently not addressing the non-offender violations. Pat Connell has looked at some figures and Champaign had a lot. She stated Champaign has issues due to the State’s Attorney and judges. The issue is not the detention center, it is the county. These issues may increase as the legislation updates and DCFS will need to address these issues. DCFS state they have no where to put the children, thus causing the violations. It was recommended that someone address these issues with DCFS. George Hill stated he would contact DCFS.

There are also issues with jail removal, especially from the new Juvenile Center in Cook County. This should not be an issue at the Cook County Center as Juvenile Justice money supports this center. They claim these problems occur due to the parents not coming to get their children once they are done in the center, which exceeds the time limit.

Karrie Rueter added that there is legislation out but not passed that will give $3 million to the JISC. Pam Rodriguez voiced her concern of the money being given to the JISC and yet they are continuing to detain juveniles. Karrie Rueter stated we could use this information as leverage as OJJDP grants cannot have violations.

Gary Leofanti stated that JABG programs are not usually the responsibility of the Commission but the Commission would be willing to hear what they have to say. Pat Connell stated she did not want to hear from them and suggested pressure be put on them by Laurie Brown. They were created with JJ funds and they are producing these violations. Wayne Straza stated they are not doing what they are supposed to and there is no excuse for them spending the millions we gave them in this manner. There were maps and compliance data information attached to the packets for review. Piatt County went from 0 to 14. Ron Smith is working on that but it is an issue. Kankakee violations doubled. Wayne Straza suggested tabling the discussion and recommended continuing the discussion at the Retreat.

Transportation data is getting better. We can look at by occurrences of how many kids and how many instances. It has been broken down to average miles and occurrence and overall offenses. It is reasonably accurate. There was legislation presented that will increase the age of detention from 10 to 13. Karrie Rueter explained there are issues with some current bills. One appears to be reimbursement for residential placement. It gives a judge the option of putting a non-offender in detention until the judge decides he can come out. This could put us out of compliance because simply for safety reasons, the child could be put in detention. Another issue is what happens to the child while waiting for the judge to make that decision. There has not been an opportunity to oppose this yet.

X. Federal Advisory Committee Update

Gary Leofanti discussed the Federal Advisory Committee and the 2009 report, which will go to the new administration soon. There is a meeting this summer in Chicago. Gary Leofanti had a conference call with Robert Flores, of OJJDP and three other states over concerns about kids convicted in adult courts. If we have just one kid convicted in the adult system we are out of funds. We are above average of most states and produce the required reports. Reporting will be postponed for another year. The 2008 report provides recommendations and the Mental Health section is extensive.

XI. Federal Coordinating Council Update

Pam Rodriguez gave the Coordinating Council update. Pam explained that this group consists of eight or nine Federal agents that do Juvenile Justice work and eight or nine practitioners. They create a legacy document for the next administration.

XII. JDAI Update

Barb Shipp, Region III Administrator, gave the JDAI update. Judge Payne was added as Coordinator of Redeploy and has been a great help. We are looking at what the issues are and why JDAI has not been as effective as it could be. The barriers are the design models. Judge Payne is talking with regionally funded sites. Judges who had never been apart of JDAI attended the Conference last fall and that brought many entities together. Post conference partnerships continue to meet. There has been some follow up contact since the conference. There is a February meeting overview from Judge Timberlake and interest in how JDAI could be more engaged with the partners and what would the role would be and where they fit. They are fully engaged with the Pathways group to integrate if they feel that Pathways might be taking the lead. We have all five initiatives going after data. The idea was to have Pathways look at the role of the Commission and Commission back on the Pathways group. Partners are seeing that the IJDAI, Redeploy, DMC, BARJ conference was a bi-product of these state initiatives doing relatively the same thing.

Gary Leofanti asked if Pathways partnership wants the Commission at the table or how involved. A commission representative other than staff was the answer. Reverend Collins is in that group. Gary suggested that Pathways give the Commission an update of their activities at the Retreat.

XIII. Redeploy Illinois Update

Karrie Rueter gave the Redeploy update. There are 12 Redeploy Planning Grants covering 14 counties that will receive approximately $10,000 a piece. There are three full day meeting trainings scheduled. These meetings will assist the planning grantees in gaining knowledge from program staff as well as from the existing Redeploy sites. There was discussion of the Redeploy data project. In the proposed budget there is an additional three million dollars from the Governor. The question was raised to the ability of pooling funding to evaluate the rural or small counties and provide what is needed in those areas. Kurt Freidenhaur was named the Vice Chair Redeploy Oversight Board.

Lindsay Bostwick stated the Annual Report is in the final stage and will be available on the web site very soon. Input from the Commission on the draft will be sent out so please review and make comments. It contains the Mental Health survey and services in Illinois. Please get your comments concerns and questions to Karrie or Lindsay.

XIV. Other Business

The Retreat is June 10th and 11th. Some agenda items for the Retreat are OJJDP Update and an expanded update for the Commission, DMC history and update, the Pathways group with recommendations on how they want the Commission incorporated, legislative issues and First Defense for defender services and representation for the prosecutorial side. Additionally, there should be a review of the Cook County Detention center as to what their violations are and what will the Commission do because of those issues. Gary Leofanti suggested the Commission question if we are to continue to fund the grants that we have continued to fund for many years. There should be a holistic approach to these grants we have funded in the past. The Commissioners have a lot of ideas but the majority of time is spent with others telling you what you should do and there is not enough discussion. If there are any other agenda items for the Retreat, contact Karrie Rueter.

XV. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 12:07 PM.