From former Board Chairman, Hon. George Timberlake:
“George Hill was a friend to all those individuals who were advocating for change in the world of juvenile justice. What we sometimes forget is that he became a voice for examining what the justice system did to and for kids when he was 32 as a member of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.
George was a Commissioner for the rest of his life through multiple administrations. He was active in
youth centered organizations in Macon County, Illinois and the United States. His institutional memory
helped create a picture of the governmental landscape for decades. He believed that we could do better
and he desired proof of what the system’s practices did to real children. He continually asked for real
data to indicate if the justice system and the child welfare system were creating positive outcomes for
youth. Consider that George was an engineer, had a Master’s degree in Business Administration and
founded and directed a successful firm for 50 years. Not exactly an expected profile for a dedicated and
informed advocate for children in conflict with the law but one that benefitted all his fellow
George Hill always had his eye on the money and kept others focused on whether our grants and
expenditures were worthwhile. He was the person to whom others looked in order to know whether we
were aware of the cost-benefit results of our funding. He had a business perspective which other
members of his organization did not. If that were all that he did, he would be remembered respectfully.
The reality is that George took responsibility for improving the lives of young people for all his life and
used his education, knowledge, and experience to move policy and practice forward. He required us to
think about every dollar, every decision and to focus on what effect they had on real kids. The world of
juvenile justice and child welfare is far different today than when George became a Commissioner and
he had a part to play in all the advances in the field. He became a friend of all those youth whose lives
were more difficult than others. He became a friend for his community, state and country. He became
my friend and my life was made better from knowing him.”
From current IJJC Vice Chair Lisa Jacobs:
“George Hill was a member of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission two decades ago, when I became the “juvenile justice specialist” for the state and Commission. I had a lot to learn, and George was always welcoming, friendly and available to help. He remained a stable and active presence on the Commission to this day.
George cared deeply about the well-being of young people in Illinois and gave generously of his time to help make our juvenile justice and youth services systems more fair and more effective. He brought unique perspectives — those of a businessman from central Illinois — that often made our work stronger and better informed. George was unfailingly kind, patient and reliable. He will be missed greatly.”
For more information, please visit George Hill’s memorial page here.