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December 13, 2011

New report assails Illinois' juvenile justice system

As detailed in this local article, which is headlined "Illinois' juvenile justice system is failing, state report says," a new state study is assailing how justice is delivered to kids in the Prairie State. Here are the basics:

Illinois' juvenile justice system is failing to rehabilitate offenders and help them return to life in their communities, according to a state commission's study to be released Tuesday.

More than half of the people released from state Department of Juvenile Justice facilities are later incarcerated again in the juvenile system, according to the study by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission. The report also says the state's juvenile justice system "is, in many ways, the 'feeder system' to the adult criminal justice system and a cycle of crime, victimization and incarceration."

The commission was ordered by law to develop recommendations to help youth offenders successfully transition back into their communities. The commission's members found a system that is in desperate need of an overhaul, said its chairman, Judge George W. Timberlake, retired chief judge of the 2nd Judicial Circuit....

Incarcerating a juvenile offender for one year in a state youth facility costs more than $86,000, according to the report. In contrast, community-based rehabilitation programs that the report says are more effective cost $3,000 to $8,000 per person a year.

The juvenile justice system also fails offenders once they are released from custody, the report says. About 40 percent of incarcerated juvenile offenders are being held for parole violations such as skipping school or violating curfew, behavior that "likely poses no threat to public safety" and taxes the system's resources, according to the report....

Rather than locking up children for relatively minor parole violations, the youth parole system should rely on re-entry strategies that are better tailored to juveniles' needs, the report says.

December 13, 2011 at 07:50 AM | Permalink


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News Flash! No system can rehabilitate an offender, even a teenager, who does not desire change of his own volition.

Juvenile systems and public schools fail because parents have not fulfilled their responsibilities.

To suggest otherwise is to mislead the public.

Posted by: mjs | Dec 13, 2011 8:34:04 PM

My son at the age of 15 was sentenced as an adult. He made a mistake and is looking forward to college, but there goes the grants. He is going to school, working and doing everything he can to stay positive. I'm looking for scholarships to assist him. Many of these kids can't get a job after paying for their mistakes. An adult can go to jail 20 times and plead to minor cases and still have the state pay for college and receive Welfare. What is the state doing to assist our kids, so they don't become statistic? My son has less than a year to do and they want to send him to an adult facility, strickly because he's turning 18. How does this help.

Posted by: Kathy | Feb 7, 2012 1:57:20 PM

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