Report on the Intersection of Homelessness and the Criminal Justice System from ICJIA

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority released The Intersection of Homelessness and the Criminal Justice System, an overview of state and national homelessness including prevalence and causes of homelessness, criminal justice system contacts with the homeless and recommendations to address homelessness with a focus on justice-involved populations. The report concludes that justice system stakeholders can …

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Attorneys to Defend Growing Number of Youth Charged in Harrisburg

After a ProPublica story uncovered that youth detained at the Harrisburg facility were given adult prison sentences for offenses previously addressed internally, a group of attorneys plan to represent those youth charged with assaulting staff at the southern Illinois youth prison.

Transforming Juvenile Probation from the Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation presents its vision for transforming juvenile probation into a focused intervention that promotes personal growth, positive behavior change and long-term success for youth who pose significant risks for serious offending in this new report.

Recent Report from the Juvenile Justice Initiative on the Detention of Juveniles in Illinois

The Juvenile Justice Initiative’s April 2018 report, “Detention of Juveniles in Illinois,” examines the current use of juvenile detention across the state, reviews research on the impacts of juvenile detention, examines local and national best practices in Illinois and makes recommendations. Recommendations include: Require that juvenile judges and law enforcement exhaust all less restrictive alternatives …

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New Report Addresses High Rate of Youth with Mental Health Conditions Entering the Illinois Juvenile Justice System

"Stemming the Tide: Diverting Youth with Mental Health Conditions from the Illinois Juvenile Justice System" from the Illinois Mental Health Opportunities for Youth Diversion Task Force makes recommendations for putting youth with mental health conditions on the road to recovery so that they are less likely to come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

OP-ED: "How to make sure those stupid teenage antics don’t follow you for life"

By: Julie Biehl

"Ever do something really foolish as a teenager? Spray-paint the water tower? Jump the turnstile? Take the neighbor’s car for a joy ride? Those and any number of other stupid mistakes are made by teenagers over and over in every corner of Illinois. Nearly every one of those kids will grow out of it and grow up to become crime-free, even productive, citizens. But actions like that can be life-changing — and not in a good way — for those who end up in a police station and possibly in juvenile detention. About 24,000 kids in Illinois are arrested every year, and the overwhelming majority of them will carry that arrest record around with them for the rest of their lives."

Should 10-Year-Old Kids Be Kept in Juvenile Detention?

"In Illinois, the minimum age of detention for minors is 10 years old. The national standard is 13, as is suggested by the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, a project led by the Baltimore-based private philanthropy, the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In comparison, the minimum age in Illinois to sentence a minor to juvenile state prison after trial is 13. To match these national standards, some Illinois legislators and juvenile justice advocates are pushing to raise the age from 10 to 13, citing scientific research into the lifelong effects after detention."

DCFS Enhances Procedures Promoting the Safety and Well-Being of LGBTQ Youth

On May 6, 2017, Illinois DCFS Director George Sheldon signed enhanced department procedures to be followed when providing services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) children and youth in the department’s care.
The procedure includes increased mandatory LGBTQ training for anyone involved with LGBTQ children and youth in care; and clarifies protections for transgender/gender expansive youth in care.

Family Engagement in Juvenile Courts

The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, in partnership with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges has released a new technical assistance brief: "Engage, Involve, Empower: Family Engagement in Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts." This brief was funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and is based on the results of a nationwide survey of juvenile drug treatment courts, juvenile mental health courts, and hybrid juvenile treatment courts.