January 17, 2008 IJJC Meeting



Gary Leofanti, Acting Chair

Patricia Connell, Wayne Straza, Rev. Charles Collins, George Hill, Gene Griffin, Rodney Ahitow, Pam Rodriguez


Karrie Rueter, Miguel Millett, Ron Smith, Julie Stremlau, Mary O’Brien

Others in Attendance

Denis Murstein, Nancy Abatte, Dan Strick, Eileen Subak, Erica Hughes, Lindsay Bostwick

I.  Call to Order

Chair Leofanti called the meeting to order at 2:11 PM. Chair Leofanti informed the Commission of a conference he attended with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Commission will have a regular link for those interested. This foundation has announced the creation of a Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network. The Network, which will be coordinated by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, will establish a network of states working to improve the way the juvenile justice system addresses the needs of youth with mental health problems.

Chair Leofanti asked Gene Griffin, whom also attended the conference, to further explain the Model. Gene Griffin informed the Commission of a few of the areas of focus. There are plans to move ahead in the mental health and professional development. The need for fundamental fairness, recognition of developmental and individual differences, acknowledgment of potential that young offenders are capable of rehabilitation and positive change, safety for communities and individuals, personal accountability for one’s own actions; and community responsibility are key aspects. Gene Griffin informed the Commission of the need to show we are interested and get involved in this process. Pamela Rodriguez announced she would like to be involved for DMC.

II.  Roll Call

Chair Lefanti declared a quorum present.

III.  Approval of Minutes

Minutes reviewed and approved.

IV. DMC Coordinator Update

Karrie Rueter announced that Miguel Millett is the new DMC Coordinator. He is officially working in that capacity as of this month. The Commission welcomed Mr. Millett.

V.  Status of Funds Report

Karrie Rueter gave the Fiscal Update and referenced the one page worksheet the Commission was given in the meeting packet. She indicated the site assessments for DMC for Macon and Champaign counties states $50,000. This will be $25,000 as Champaign has backed out. This freed up $25,000. At the last retreat it was determined there was a need in the Juvenile Justice Mental Health area and to consider funding for a project. $300,000 was set aside for consideration for this purpose. The Commission will decide on that today. Currently, we are right on track with spending. An extension was filed and grated for Title V grant set to end September of 2008. We will spend this but wanted to be sure.

The Federal allotment for Title II and Title V will be coming. We anticipate that the Title II area will have approximately a 7% cut. For Title V we don’t know at this time but anticipate no changes. However, funding may be cut entirely. We will find out that information in March.

VI. Planning and Grants Sub-Committee

Pat Connell announced that the Planning and Grants Committee met. The committee did not have a quorum in the beginning but did shortly thereafter. There was a full discussion. First order of business was to discuss the Illinois Collaboration on Youth, two-year JJMH program. Chair Gary Leofanti had Wayne Straza take over as Acting-Chair for this discussion. This was discussed at length during the sub-committee and further discussed here.

JJMH Evaluation

The Illinois Collaboration on Youth had a JJMH two-year program that appears to have a wealth of information. There was a lack of funding in terms of evaluation with this program from the beginning. The committee feels that with some money spent, a great deal could be learned about particular interventions and what works best. The approximate cost is $60,000 but the committee can provide $25,000 to $30,000 if another partner can be secured to fund the additional money. The Macarthur Foundation funds and the IL Children’s Mental Health Partnership are an option. Funding would be contingent upon securing other money.

DECISION: Wayne Straza motioned with these stipulations. Pamela Rodriguez seconded. All in favor, motion passed. Patricia Connell, Rev. Collins and Gary Leofanti abstained from voting.

JJMH Program

There are two populations, Medicaid eligible and non-Medicaid eligible. The issue is throughout the state there are not sufficient resources to provide for mental health services.

In many instances, if kids on the youth services side don’t have severe mental health issues, we cannot provide them with the mental health services they need. Behavior disorders are not eligible for existing state funded services. Karrie Rueter stated that CCBYS can pay for those services; however, they do not have sufficient resources to meet the need. The CCBYS program can provide Medicaid reimbursable mental health services. Dan Strick explained there were 23 agencies that need to make some minor changes to become Medicaid eligible.

There are 10 or 11 that will soon be able to move forward with Medicaid certification, since the start of this project. There is a need to make sure funding is there and provide as much technical assistance as possible.

The eCornerstone tool will need to be developed to include a mental health addendum to address changing concerns. The YASI will be used to assess. YASI is a standardized assessment that determines risk. DHS and Probation are all using the same risk assessment.

Pat Connell noted there is a question as to how the money for the NYC project will be distributed. Will it go to NYC and then distributed or to DHS and then distributed to providers. Wayne Straza asked if there would be any benefit to DHS having the money first. Karrie replied that it would work either way, she was not sure.

Karrie Rueter commented that the project has the potential to bring money into the state. Karrie added that DHS’s perspective to this proposal is bigger than what ICOY has proposed. It has the potential to work. It initially will start with 22 providers and we will see how that works. DHS sees beyond that and believes any youth service provider could do this. It is a potential for revenue for youth services in general.

Pam Rodriguez added the Commission would like the Governors office to stipulate that the money will go back to CCBYS to be used for this program and not used wherever they choose. Karrie Rueter explained there could be a separate account for these Medicaid dollars. The stipulation would be that the money goes back to youth services, not just anywhere. It was decided that whatever DHS decides to do with their money and how they distribute it is how the Commission will distribute the other portion. The Commission will follow DHS’s lead. The Commission’s agreement to this proposal is contingent upon DHS’s funding of the Medicaid eligible portion of this request.

DECISION: Wayne Straza motioned with these stipulations. Pamela Rodriguez seconded. All in favor, motion passed. Patricia Connell, Rev. Collins and Gary Leofanti abstained from voting.

The Planning and Grants Committee will meet again on April 10, 2008 at 1:00pm.

Wayne Straza removed himself as Acting Chair and returned the meeting back to Gary Leofanti.

VII.  DMC Sub-Committee

Rev. Collins spoke about his issue with the process of hiring the DMC Coordinator. The committee then welcomed Mr. Miguel Millett to his new position.

The committee reviewed the DMC Evaluation. This overview of the DMC programs is to get baseline DMC information to fund more DMC. Dr. Jeffrey Butts presented the proposal. It is a good idea to have a comparison group. The issues are what additionally will it cost and Dr. Butts will return with that information.

Pam Rodriguez explained how Cook County was too big a community to attempt so a smaller community would be easier to implement. Wayne Straza stated that Lawndale is and integral part. To exclude them would be an injustice. Chair Leofanti and Pat Connell asked if there is anything valuable to be gained from this information. Karrie Rueter stated there is a national interest in this survey as no one else has done anything like this evaluation survey design for attitudes and beliefs. Pam Rodriguez added that there should be some federal money there to expand it at some point. This could assist in doing this survey statewide.

DECISION: The committee approved to move forward and further review amended proposal. No further discussion. Motion Passed.

Rev. Collin shared that Pure News USA newspaper contained an article about the DMC Aware recipients and a quote from Rev. Collins. The article also mentioned DMC’s participation at the conference in Springfield, IL.

Rev. Collins asked the Commission to approve the planning of a meeting called “DMC Through Our Eyes – A Community Perspective” Chair Leofanti indicated the DMC does not need the permission of the Commission to plan a meeting of this kind. Chair Leofanti stated the Commission is not approving this as it is more a fact-finding project at this time. Wayne Straza asked if law enforcement would be invited to attend. Rev. Collins was not aware of law enforcement involvement as they had not considered that, at this time. Chair Leofanti stated he felt law enforcement should be invited as the majority of the focus would be on problems with the police. The Commission is not putting their stamp of approval on this. The Commission is aware that DMC is going ahead on a fact-finding project. It is a public relations issue with the Commission. Chair Leofanti further stated that the Commission was not in favor of this type of meeting unless all parties were represented. Rev. Collins was asked to bring it back to the commission with more information.

VIII. Compliance Update

Karrie Rueter informed the Commission that, while in Denver, a number of JJ Specialists met with Mr. Flores concerning Reauthorization and to complain about the new interpretations of compliance with the Act. She referenced a handout that describes these issues. The interpretation of this Reauthorization won’t affect us this year but it will next year. Our interpretation is we are not out of compliance with the Act but their interpretation of the Act. The question was do we have any recourse.

Pat Connell asked about an attempt to rationalize the recommendation. Can we request concrete information on the new language and they send it out to us. No one has leverage with the office. It appears they are attempting to remove us one at a time. The questions are can we go above them and how long can we continue with this. It has been mentioned that the government already has plans for the money to go somewhere else.

The state of Wisconsin is fighting it. Our opinion is that they had no authority to propagate those rules the way they did, it did not follow procedure. Mr. Flores is aware of our problems with these issues.

Karrie Rueter presented the numbers for Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders. In 2005 it was 41 and in 2006 it was 51. Deinstitutionalization of those in detention for 2007 so far is 57. We have a 25% increase from 2005 to 2006 and from 2006 to 2007 we have a 12% increase.

From 2005 to 2007 we are projecting a 50% increase in status offense violations. This is a problem we need to keep an eye on. However, this does help us to defend bringing Title V Truancy Board projects to light and raises the concern of is this group looking at available resources to put towards this issue before the problem gets out of hand. It is our understanding, from the data, that half are truancy and half are non-offenders. Pat Connell asked if this correlates with the recent DCFS legislation. Karrie Rueter stated she did not think so as it really hasn’t gone into effect yet. The same counties continue to be the offenders. Champaign County is one of the biggest offenders. Karrie Rueter stated that we have the ability, as set in the contract, to end funding for violations. The providers have to be in compliance or they don’t get money.

The question was raised about the transportation grants. It was stated that one county is not in charge of policing other counties. They won’t transport and don’t police them otherwise. Karrie Rueter answered that some kids whom the police pick up, rather than send them home, get put in detention because it is safer then sending them home and it is the only thing available. There needs to be an alternative for these kids. Ron Smith stated that many times the issue is a new states attorney and or judge and they decide to use detention anyway. Karrie Rueter stated that another problem is the increased truancy trend can be a result of us dropping the age kids can drop out of school. This created an increased amount of truants.

The focus of the Truancy study is to target counties with the most issues. There are very limited resources with Title V grants.

We need to put the money where the history of problems exists but we cannot put money into communities that are currently locking up truants. We can target the counties who have attempted to fix the problem. Pam Rodriguez asked if there is a possibility to fund an effort and not a full grant. She stated that we could do an effort in places that still have violations. We are looking at Chronic Truancy by county highest to lowest. Those with above state averages are indicated.

We will ask the Commission to advise on the best place to target and we will ask the Commission guide us in what they recommend. The truancy draft RFP will be presented to the Planning and Grants Committee in February for input as to content and focus as well as target populations.

IX. Legislative Update

HB 4204 bill, legislative update, was introduced by Ford. The plan is for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to establish regional semi-secure and secure crisis residential centers.

This bill would allow them to be able to lock kids in a secure place for up to five days. This bill would create and give authority for these kids to be directed to such placements. Karrie Rueter stated in all probability this will not happen but it is out there. This bill is against what we believe and punishment seems to be the purpose. Although, the bill is not being represented this way. It would also be a huge conflict with CCBYS. This bill would prevent CCBYS from serving these kids for over five days. In addition, this would cause the state to lose federal dollars. We would become out of compliance with the JJDP Act as it calls for locking up status and non-offenders (runaways and truants).

X. Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice Update

No update.

XI.  Federal Coordinating Council Update

Designees of all agencies were present. Pam Rodriguez reported there appears to be a concern about legacy and the agencies priorities. Future programming set to focus on boys and their issues with life and growing up.

XII. JDAI Update

No JDAI update.

XIII. Redeploy Illinois Update

Karrie provided an update on Cook County, Redeploy.

XIV.  EUDL Update

No EUDL update.

XV. JJ Conference Follow-up Update

Karrie Rueter stated the collaborative group continues to meet. There will be another conference but it may be next year as this conference was very costly and there is currently no funding available for a conference. The group continues to meet and is beginning to provide follow-up technical assistance to the 15 or 16 counties represented at the conference.

XVI. Annual Data Report (ICJIA)

Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority presented their report. The Commission was asked to return the report with their remarks as soon as possible. Erica Hughes reported that Lindsay Bostwick is now working with them and introduced her to the Commission.

Currently they are providing technical assistance and completing site visits to provide information and to submit better data. They are doing “Breeze” Internet training. This will be a Power Point presentation to provide for everyone. Teaching and data collection is the focus. There are still some issues with lack of reported data but this is due to the different data systems. Risk factor maps and perceptions are telling more of the story. Graphs are also separated. DMC data will be expanded to make sense.

Lindsay Bostwick again asks the Commission to provide ideas and feedback. Copies of the data report were sent to all members and she is in need of feedback by January 22nd.

Lindsay Bostwick reported they are currently looking at gender specific and mental health data. They reported that they will be looking into issues with data, risk factors, legislation, funding, evidence based practices and ways to improve the data. There are issues with the Department of Corrections data. Chair Leofanti welcomed Lindsay and invited her to attend the Planning and Grants Committee.

XVII. Other Business

Gary Leofanti informed the Commission members that they will receive a subscription to Youth Today.

XVIII. Adjournment

The next Commission Meeting will be April 11, 2008 in Chicago, location to be determined.

Wayne Straza motioned and Rodney Ahitow seconded.

Meeting adjourned at 3:55 PM.