I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 9:14am.
II. Roll Call
Present: Judge Timberlake, Rick Velasquez, Julie Biehl and Esther Franco-Payne by phone. Staff: Julie Stremlau, Rob Vickery and Heidi Muller. No quorum present.
III. Approval of Minutes
Unable to approve, due to lack of quorum. The group decided to have an overall strategy discussion due to the lack of quorum.
DISCUSSION: This discussion was directed at all Commission directives and funding, not just JABG funds. Commissioner Velasquez started the discussion with his comment that the Commission lacks a good representation of law enforcement. He stated we need to engage law enforcement in a discussion to get them on board. Commissioner Biehl believes there should be an attorney present at all youth arrests. The need remains to educate youth on what to say and what not to say. We also need to focus on expungement and we need more reliable data. Commissioner Velasquez added that we need an honest balance from law enforcement. Commissioner Franco-Payne stated that we need to be sure we are using a workable best practice model.
Rob Vickery announced HB2404 (Raise the Age) passed out of Committee today, March 13, 2013. Referral for Prosecution was the next decision point discussed. The stakeholders are law enforcement, State’s Attorneys, community based alternatives, CCBYS, BARJ Alternatives and schools. Station adjustment or referral to detention discussed. We need more standards that help decision making around Diversion. Commissioner Biehl believes Diversion at the front door of prosecution. The issue is whether the State’s Attorney has the ability. How does the Commission influence that process as it depends on first or second offense, the nature of the crime, etc. as factors to assess. Heidi Mueller suggested a standardized tool for their use. Commissioner Biehl believes in education and talking about what really works. Commissioner Franco-Payne suggested relationship building with stakeholders and education around violence and juvenile delinquency with potential collaboration with Reentry. There is currently work in progress with the “Cooperative” for a conference this summer. There is little funding for this conference.
Commissioner Velasquez stated we need to look beyond Cook County and focus on JJ Aftercare and front-end arrest. Is this justice model designed better to address the issues. He added that in Cook County it tends to be systems change people to push initiatives. In local communities it is those who are affected by the violence and by the crime directly who are involved. Commissioner Velasquez stated that we cultivate the best results when keeping the success local and not turning it into something larger or a cooperative. It seems when that happens it gets diffused. Commissioner Biehl added that we need to explain our position about locking youth up. There are two fundamental things. One is education and the other is mentoring.
Commissioner Biehl added that at the recent Reentry Community Briefings they have had great response. It is evident that education is really needed. We need to facilitate these communities in dealing with their youth. In Austin, for instance, a collaboration of juvenile justice issues occurred. Commissioner Franco-Payne added that this type of local cooperation is not happening on the south side of Chicago. We have to aid and support the communities to build collaboration.
Commissioner Biehl added that when they presented the Parole Study in the Austin community they had the audience offering their help. Heidi Mueller reinforced that community involvement is a key factor. Commissioner Franco-Payne stated that the IJJC can facilitate these communities and give them tangible plans to move forward.
IV. Program / Project Updates
A. JSO Report Status
B. JABG Status Update
C. Reentry Projects
D. Adolescent Domestic Battery Projects
E. Raise the Age Release Update: It was announced that the Raise the Age bill (HB2404) was passed by the House.
F. DJJ Assessment Grants
G. Transportation / Jail Removal Grants
V. Fiscal and Strategic Planning
A. Title II
B. Illinois Juvenile Officers Association Annual Conference
C. Michael Chavers of Indian Oaks Academy
VI. Committee Updates/Motions for Consideration
A. Communications Committee
B. DMC Committee
C. JDAI / Detention Committee
D. Executive Committee
E. Data Liaison
VII. New Business
Meeting was adjourned at 10:04am.