General

Commissioner Updates: The Commission Welcomes Jelani R. Floyd and Tamela Meehan

Jelani R. Floyd, licensed attorney, and National Basketball Players Association Certified Player agent is a co-founder of the premier sports agency firm Beyond Athlete Management. Jelani also empowers current and future professional athletes through his weekly newsletter, Own Your Talent™ which provides athletes with insight and knowledge to maximize the business side of sports and …

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Juvenile Justice Reform Efforts Based on Data, Not Politics

As of November 2020, we know that at least 258 children ages 13 and younger have been held in juvenile detention in Illinois. In addition, nearly half of all Illinois youths held in detention in June 2020 were there for non-felony offenses, and 60% of the total were Black, according to monthly juvenile detention reports …

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Trial & sentencing of juveniles as adults increases harm & devalues youth potential for rehabilitation

When he was 15 years old, Illinois Juvenile Justice Commissioner Marshan Allen received a sentence of life-without-parole for an offense that occurred when he was 15 years old. After serving 24 years, 3 months, and 4 days, a court ruling allowed Allen to be released in December 2016. Now four years out, Allen has been …

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Council Spotlight: Mitigating the Effects of COVID-19 Through Community Partnership

Council Background: Active since 2011, The St. Clair County Juvenile Justice Council is housed in the St. Clair County’s State’s Attorney Office. Under the leadership of their Coordinator, Tammy Vaughn-Walker, the Council has built a robust membership that includes a Teen Court program, youth community-based organizations, the juvenile detention center, the probation department, local school districts, faith-based …

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A Call to Action: Racial Equity in Juvenile Justice

As a federally mandated State Advisory Group leading a statewide movement to a fairer, more effective, collaborative juvenile justice system, the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission recommends Illinois takes the following six steps now to start reducing the harms of juvenile justice system involvement, which are borne disproportionately by youth of color:  Eliminating detention for children 10 – 12 …

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COVID-19 Crisis: Protecting the health & well-being of justice-system-involved children & youth

Concerned about the spread of coronavirus in juvenile detention facilities, the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission issued a letter to Illinois’ judicial branch leaders. In the letter, the Commission requested action and provided recommended steps for protecting the wellbeing of young people, families, and caregivers in contact with the justice systems across the state. Read the letter …

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It takes a village: Leveraging community-level knowledge to decrease juvenile arrests

While analyzing data in 2017, Morgan County’s Juvenile Justice Council noticed that youth who had received truancy tickets, were on probation, or were assigned to community service had an increased risk of further system involvement. In addition, this problem was disproportionately impacting youth of color. Active since 2017, Morgan County’s Juvenile Justice Council is housed …

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Winnebago County’s juvenile justice stakeholders seek learning to reduce racial & ethnic disparities

In 2018, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) reported seeing an increase in the number of youths being committed to the IDJJ from Winnebago County, making it one of the top counties for committing the most youth to IDJJ in Illinois. Additionally, youth of color comprised the majority of these commitments, with Black youth …

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The Commission welcomes new Chair  Rick Velasquez

The Commission is pleased to announce that the Pritzker administration appointed nine-year IJJC Commissioner Rick Velasquez to serve as its new Chair following his June 2019 retirement as CEO of Youth Outreach Services (YOS). Mr. Velasquez succeeds Judge George Timberlake, who served as Commission Chair for nine years. Mr. Velasquez’s career has been committed to seeking community-based …

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Report Explores How to Build More Effective Approaches to Serve Youth Involved in a Violent Crime in the Community

Smart, Safe and Fair: Strategies to Prevent Youth Violence, Heal Victims of Crime and Reduce Racial Inequality from the Justice Policy Institute and the National Center for Victims of Crime explores how to build more effective approaches to serve youth involved in a violent crime in the community, concluding that “in order to truly reduce …

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