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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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Commission appoints new Executive Director Drea Hall

As of April 1, 2020, Drea Hall assumed the role of Executive Director of the Commission where she will lead and organize the Illinois Department of Human Services’ (IDHS) portfolio related to juvenile justice and delinquency prevention programs and services. Since July 2019, Drea has been Director of the IDHS Office of Strategy, Equity, and …

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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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After nine years as Commission Chair, Judge George Timberlake retires

Nine years after he was appointed Chair of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission in 2010 by Governor Pat Quinn, Judge George Timberlake announced his retirement. Under Judge Timberlake’s leadership, the Commission transformed itself into a key player for leading, funding, and supporting fundamental community-based juvenile justice reform in Illinois. “It is impossible to describe everything …

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Executive Committee meeting scheduled for December 13

The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (IJJC) will be having a special meeting of the Executive Committee on Friday, December 13. See details below: – When: December 13, 2019 at 1 pm to 2 pm– Location: 401 S Clinton Chicago, IL– Call In: 888-494-4032 | Code: 5329547331#

Report Highlights Reintegration Challenges Facing the Recently Incarcerated

This October 2019 report from the John Howard Association (JHA) presents a list of the top needs and problems that people face immediatley after leaving prison. The list was created through the JHA’s real-world observations accompanying young men as they attempted to access critical reentry supports, resources, and services following their release from prison. Read …

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