I. Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 10:11 AM
II. Roll Call:
Commissioners: Rod Ahitow, Julie Biehl, Arthur Bishop, via video conference, Esther Franco-Payne, Eugene Griffin, George Hill, Arnetra Jackson, Lisa Jacobs, Patrick Nelson, Michael Rodriguez, Pamela Rodriquez, Ben Roe, by phone, Wayne Straza, Chairman George Timberlake, Rick Velasquez, Dana Weiner. Quorum Present. Guests: Ashley Cross, Ashley Ellis.
Staff: Rob Vickery, Michele Arnold, Jeff Bradley, Ron Smith, Dick Walsh, Candice Jones, Donna Taylor, Lin Ferguson. Candice Jones was introduced as the new Executive Director of the Commission.
III. Approval of Minutes:
Motion made by Commissioner Velasquez to approve minutes with Chairman Timberlake’s changes. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Michael Rodriguez. All in favor. None opposed. Minutes approved with edits.
IV. Status of Funds:
Title II and JABG:
Reentry grants were finalized, but there hasn’t been any change to date.
V. Program Updates:
A. Domestic Battery Program:
The three domestic battery sites presented their work from genesis to present day at the last Planning and Grants meeting. Commissioner Jacobs met with the three sites to discuss questions that arose from their presentations. There will be further discussion on how and when to fund these projects.
Jeff Bradley discussed a letter received from Shawn Freeman in which he discussed the need for funding for transportation. He stated that without Transportation funds Franklin County Detention Center will close. Without that center the children detained at Franklin will be moved to Indiana or Kentucky whose standards are not as high as Illinois’. Some money is being spent in places where it isn’t needed, but clearly the money is essential to the operation of Franklin County. Susan Witkin will search data to help make the decision if we should continue to fund. Chairman Timberlake reported that this site contains a methamphetamine program that is well subscribed in southern Illinois and he feels that the Commission should provide expertise and capital management to this site. An exit strategy is needed. Commissioner Velasquez said that it is important to comply with the principles of JDAI. We should only be putting money into the communities that comply, and he will encourage the JDAI Committee to follow the JDAI guidelines. He would be open to have Franklin present their data and show how the funding is being used. Ron Smith stated that Franklin County would like to present their case to the Committee. Commissioner Velasquez would like them to present their case by providing data that supports their case. Commissioner Griffin suggested that Transportation money be bundled with a JDAI grant. Ron Smith reported on jail standards and training the youth they have. There have been staffing changes in the past 12 years and the new staff aren’t current on training protocol. Would the Training Board be willing to develop a new training for current staff? Dick Walsh reported that he has been approached by three counties to become a 40-hour hold.
We are in compliance with the regulations and jail removal was less than the year before. Vermillion has 14 violations with 12 on one youth. Chairman Timberlake spoke with two reporters, David Jackson and Gary Marks, about a report they are doing on truancy. They are looking at CPS K-8 as their focus and are asking for data. Commissioner Jacobs added that in the past this type of report has focused on why the courts aren’t involved in keeping kids in school. Commissioner Nelson will work with Candice Jones to pull data together for this report. Chairman Timberlake informed Commissioner Velasquez that Hamilton County, Ohio had great statistics.
VI. Reentry Request for Proposals:
Status & Next Steps: Contracts went out to Youth Outreach Services and Children’s Home and Aid Society, Inc. Rob Vickery spoke with both agencies to change performance measures in the contract from what was proposed. We are waiting for Phil Lee’s comments on the performance measures. Youth Outreach Services met with DJJ after care specialists and Rob Vickery met with DJJ staff on how to interface parole agents. Commissioner Pam Rodriguez asked about the DMC strategy and how to collect data. Candice Jones stated that the data will have to be reported by race. Commissioner Weiner will work with Candice on the data collection. Commissioner Bishop reported that they have been in contact with Miss Thomas and looking for evidence based information that will be helpful in the community. Chairman Timberlake suggested that he bring any problems to Rob Vickery’s attention.
VII. Project Reports:
A. Parole Study Update:
Work plan is being revised to assure bench marks in the grant are met so we can move through the recommendations prior to the end of the grant. The Bill is still in Committee. Chairman Timberlake was part of a large group meeting to get information concerning the bill with Representative Robyn Gabel and sponsors. A meeting will be held later today to discuss what changes we will agree to. Commissioner Bishop reported that they are working with Chairman Monreal to draft Administrative Directive on discharge decisions and a graduated sanctions policy. The hope to have it ready for this afternoon’s meeting. Want to blend in clinical and behavioral information data so the PRB can make decisions on objective information. Commissioner Bishop added that this is to address issues of revocation for curfew or more technical type violations with the goal of reducing the number by engaging youth and parents. This will have a significant impact on the number of technical violations. Commissioner Franco-Payne reported that more work is required on revocation side and court system and position people to take the proper action. Ashley Cross reported that DJJ internal analysis shows that other than a few outlying counties in the southern part of the state, adult parole officers and after care specialists serving youth are reviewing this prior to 21. Commissioner Jacobs reported that the important thing to remember is that youth at this stage in the system don’t have advocacy. We don’t want to just build something in legislation; we want to find the right balance for statute versus what will actually work in the communities. Commissioner Franco-Payne added that as the Commission writes reports and makes recommendations to the State of Illinois to change juvenile justice policy, we need to be on the same page with those recommendations. Chairman Timberlake added that if there is true division, we can submit a minority report. Commissioner Franco-Payne wants an open dialogue on decisions that are being made. Commissioner Pam Rodriguez added that our decisions are a consensus and that over time strategy evolves. We have a diversity of positions and we can all have our own opinions, and it is a challenge to not gloss over decision or details. This is an ongoing challenge.
B. Raise the Age:
Working with AOIC to share and use data and findings. They have been doing a data analysis on the 17 year old issue. Chairman Timberlake and Commissioner Jacobs met with AOIC in March and the data should be ready soon. The report is ready pending AOIC data update. A letter was sent to the Governor’s Office to advise them that the report will be ready by the end of June. A full report will be ready in early June in the same fashion as was done for the Reentry Study. Commissioners will be advised of the date in early June.
C. Juvenile Sex Offender:
Commissioner Jacobs reported that the probation file review has been completed and will start to produce some data. Will randomly select about 80 files at Kewanee. If you are interested in helping with the review, let Commissioner Jacobs know. Director Bishop was thanked for getting permission for us to review the confidential files. The project is on track and the project team is meeting every two weeks through the summer to provide a report to full Commission in November. Commissioner Griffin asked that Commissioners be notified in advance of the date for Kewanee visit so calendars can be adjusted. Commissioners will be sent a list of all of the project meeting dates and times for their participation.
VIII. Committee Updates/Motions for Consideration:
The Committee invited everyone to attend the “Know your Rights” conference at Northwestern University on May 29, 2:00, 8th Floor Bloom Legal Clinic. The curriculum being used works with youth who have been involved in the legal system. They want to get feedback from Commissioners and others. More information will be sent to you about this meeting. Other things the Committee has been working on are statements for facility closures, expungement, and youth engagement-developing a work plan to engage youth into the work of the Commission. Work on Website is ongoing and plan to have a mock-up page soon to demonstrate at the next meeting. Commissioner Griffin is still on track with Child Trauma Conference May 31-June 1, at Northwestern University. First day is plenary speakers with tracks in legal, clinical and policy.
There are four separate BARJ practice trainings for personnel at Harrisburg DJJ. JCEC funding is going to lapse and we included those trainings in the finalized list that was submitted to ICJIA. We hope it will result in funding of the “shovel-ready” projects outlined in the completed packet of recommendations in the application.
Committee met last week without a quorum. Discussed transportation grants and Vermilion County issues. Want to get back into the RBA process because of the three year plan and annual report. A group went to the JDAI Conference in Houston and have the details on a flash drive. Jeff will reproduce the information and send it to the Committee members. Made contact with Gail Mumford and others to discuss relationship with Casey. YNC did receive a letter of agreement for FY11 for a payment that is due to us. This will hopefully offset some of the expenses of the program. An updated plan will be sent to Gail for funding for current fiscal year and make a proposal for FY13. Chairman Timberlake spoke with Shay Bilcheck concerning commitments to funding JDAI as proposed. They have $2.5 million in JDAI commitments from State of Illinois which was Commission’s money, so Commission funds have made the changes in JDAI in Cook County and downstate. Commissioner Biehl asked what the commitment is to kids in prison. Commissioner Velasquez said that Casey wants to fund two sites in the country to implement strategy to reduce incarceration and to close facilities. Cook County may be considered. Social marketing – Jeff Bradley met a journalist from Indiana. He knows a person who develops documentaries on juvenile justice. Jim Bray is checking to see if this is a viable avenue to pursue. Diversion – Very few of the diversion programs are evidence-based. Jeff is trying to get commitments out of police jurisdictions in St. Clair County to have them create an evidence-based protocol and have it become county-wide.
Miguel Millett left the program for a new job and is working on a Ph.D. Candice Jones will take over his responsibilities and we will hold off hiring a new staff person. The DMC Assessment is due in March 2013. Working on qualitative and quantitative portions of the report. CPRD is taking the lead on the qualitative portion. ICJIA is doing the quantitative portion of the Assessment. Candice met with Federal Program Officer and will set dates for in-person training with Feds. They would like the largest representation of the Commission as possible at the training.
RIOB approved committing funds to Commission in an effort to expend those funds by the end of the fiscal year. Motion to give approval for Executive Committee to approve decision on expending funds. Commissioner Velasquez seconded the motion. There is $200,000 in funds but didn’t specify how the funds should be spent. All in favor. None opposed. No abstentions. Motion carries.
There have been ongoing discussions with Governor’s Office about moving JABG funds to DHS. DHS has questions about staffing, administrative funds and matching funds required. There will be a meeting this afternoon to discuss this topic. Juvenile Crime Enforcement Commission (JCEC) will not meet until the third week of June and that body should hear this proposal prior to transfer of funds. There is $165,000 in 2008 funds that will lapse November 26, 2012, if they are not expended. They have another $350,000 in 2009 funds that will lapse in possibly another year. Chairman Timberlake, Commissioners Jacobs, Biehl, Franco-Payne and Straza met with Mike Carter, program officer, to discuss this transfer and asked what he thought we should fund. Suggestions were Domestic Battery, $75,000 each, Harrisburg DJJ BARJ Training, $130,000, J-Watch, $80,000, Second Chance Bridge Funding, $95,000, (3 or 4 month gap between first Second Chance and upcoming Second Chance funding). Letter was drafted and plan to provide complete project description to spend $500,000. The timelines involved with approval process makes it impossible. The Executive Committee made a motion for the Commission to give approval to the Executive Committee to expend these funds, if approval to spend them is granted. Motion seconded by Commission Ahitow. All in favor. None opposed. No abstentions. Motion carries.
F. Planning and Grants:
The Committee made a motion to authorize Domestic Battery sites to present to Executive Committee for funding, depending on what happens with other funding streams for FY13 funding. All in favor. None opposed. Commissioner Velasquez left the meeting to remove himself from the discussion and abstained from the vote. Motion carries.
IX. Legislative Update:
There is information sharing legislation allowing police departments to share arrest information with schools. A letter was sent to the House sponsor and a letter to a senator who asked questions about the bill. Commissioner Biehl provided written testimony concerning closing Joliet.Letters were submitted in conjunction with federal funding and asked states to send letters to senators/representatives.
Site Visit – Liz Ryan organized the visit at the request of OJJDP. It was well presented and all speakers did a good job in relating their experiences. Melody Haines asked if we would develop a webinar for other states to participate in concerning this program. DJJ did not have a fact sheet on Illinois. Candice developed one so that it can be slipped into packets that will foster positive relationships with legislators, etc. Three-year site visits are ongoing. Chairman Timberlake and John Payne went to the 4th circuit last week. The numbers are great, but have process issues about spending funds and have $75,000 unspent.
X. Non-Commission Funded Program Updates
(Redeploy, JCEC, EUDL, 2nd Chance, JABG, NRI) – Letter of intent was sent for existing projects. Karrie Rueter took the lead that the new site requests were also submitted because our current funding does not cover all areas of the State. Working on a sustainability pool beyond the federal funding. Commissioner Jacobs asked if this funding comes through, are there certain consistent data elements for these projects to work into Reentry. Candice Jones replied that the is what we are working on.
XI. Federal & National Committee Updates
(FACJJ, FCC, CJJ) – Commissioner Roe and Chairman Timberlake are committee members on the National FCC committee. Commissioner Pam Rodriguez reported that family engagement was the focus on the last meeting of the FCC. She has a report on repositioning juvenile justice and child welfare to engage families and communities. She will send it electronically to Candice Jones for distribution.
XIII. New Business:
A motion to adjourn was made by Chairman Timberlake. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Ahitow. All in favor. None opposed. No abstentions. The meeting was adjourned at 1:10PM.