August 29, 2013 Redeploy Oversight Board Special Meeting

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Audience

Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board Members and Staff. The public is welcome to attend.

Date/Time

August 29, 2013, 9:30am to 12:00 p.m.

Location

The Cook County Juvenile Center: 1100 South Hamilton Avenue, Chicago - in the Presiding Judge's Conference Room on the 8th Floor.

Agenda

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Welcome and Introduction
  4. FY14 RFP Application Process
    1. Expectations for Programs
  5. Cook County RFP Application Discussion
  6. Next Steps
  7. Adjourn

Minutes

  1. Call to Order
    Meeting was called to order at 9:35am in Presiding Judge's Conference Room.
  2. Roll Call
    Chair: Anne Studzinski, James McCarter, George Timberlake, Janet Ahern, Margaret Wood and Peter Parry. Staff and Guests: Karrie Rueter, Danielle Hamilton, John Payne, Judge Michael Toomin, Presiding Judge, Juvenile Justice Division, Judge Stuart Katz, Judge Terrence Sharkey, Charles Young - Deputy Director of Cook County Juvenile Probation and Court Services, Rose Golden - Director of Human Resources of Cook County Juvenile Probation and Court Services, Melissa Spooner - Operations Analyst of Cook County Juvenile Probation and Court Services, Tisa Morris - Supervisor of Assistant Cook County States Attorney, Joan Pernecke - Assistant Cook County States Attorney, Athena Farmakis - Assistant Cook County States Attorney, Diane Walsh - Cook County Juvenile Court and Juliana Stratton - Executive Director of Cook County Justice Advisory Council.
  3. Welcome and Introduction: Anne Studzinski, Vice Chairwoman of the Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board (hereinafter RIOB), welcomed all participants and thanked Judge Toomin for hosting the meeting in his conference room. All participants introduced themselves and identified the agencies with which they were associated. Karrie Rueter provided an overview of the history of the Redeploy Illinois program and the history of Cook County's involvement with the Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board and Program. Karrie reviewed recent legislation that allowed Cook County to apply for Redeploy site status by geographic region or court calendar within the County. Karrie stated that the main purpose of the meeting was to clarify certain portions of the Cook County Proposal and allow the RIOB to have a better understanding of the Proposal. It was stated that the RIOB had moved its meeting from September 20th to September 6th to allow the RIOB to take action on the Cook County Proposal in a timely fashion to meet the timelines of the Redeploy RFP upon which the Cook County Proposal is based. The RFP identified that a contract should be in place with an applicant for funding by October 1, 2013.
  4. FY14 RFP Application Process: Karrie outlined the RFP process, explaining that Cook had applied under the same RFP as others and that they were being held to the same standard as other applicants. She explained eligibility criteria for the RFP and that the RFP was crafted to ensure that all current planning grants (including Cook) would be eligible under the request. The Applications were due July 31st, 2013. Further, Karrie outlined the Application review process utilized to make funding decisions. She explained that the Cook application had been reviewed and scored along with all other applications and that its score would not change as a result of this meeting. She stressed that this meeting was for clarification purposes only as there were a handful of substantial items in their application that were unclear to those that reviewed the application. She explained that we would not be requesting any material items to the application be provided, revised etc. This meeting will simply help Board members gain a more accurate picture of what was intended in the application so that the Board can make a funding decision based on an accurate interpretation of the application.
    1. Expectations for Programs
      Karrie reviewed with participants the following program expectations. 
      1. Minimum 25% reduction in Redeploy Eligible commitments (reviewed Cook's specific numbers)
      2. The requirement to provide individualized services to youth in their home communities in the least restrictive setting possible while ensuring community safety.
  5. Cook County RFP Application Discussion
    Karrie Rueter pointed out that we were not here to pick apart the application submitted, rather to seek clarification on a handful of items that were unclear to reviewers. Karrie explained that the RFP required a timeline that identified a start date for service provision no later than 1/1/14. The proposal seemed to indicate a service provision start date of at least 12 months out. Further, the RFP requires the submission of two separate budgets. The application contained only one with no explanation. This raised a couple points for clarification. The question was posed as to if the items identified to occur in the initial 12 months required funding and if the budget submitted was only for implementation following the initial 12 months. Cook was also asked to explain why such a lengthy start up was necessary.
    The meeting Chair asked Karrie to explain the reason for the 1/1/14 service provision start date. Karrie explained that an Internal DHS Audit recognized that new Redeploy Illinois sites do require a start up period before site DJJ commitments count toward the reduction mandated by the Redeploy Program. An effort had been made to have new sites begin the accountability phase on a determined Fiscal Year basis or Calendar year basis. In the past, new sites had been allowed up to 6 months as a start up phase. The Internal Audit now allows for only a 3 month start up phase before a site is held accountable for the DJJ commitment reductions.
    Jim McCarter stated that, in addition, there was no indication in the Cook County Proposal as to stakeholder support for the Proposal. The RFP had requested that letters of support for the Proposal be submitted. Jim stated that he would like to receive clarification of stakeholder support.
    Judge Toomin noted that Judge Payne had advised his staff that no decision would be required from the Cook County Participants until the Participants had had an opportunity to meet separately and convey answers later. Judge Payne confirmed Judge Toomin's comments. Karrie noted that we would not be requesting additional information material to the application prior to making a funding decision, rather that we are seeking clarification. If by the end of the meeting as we discuss next steps, if a decision on something would be required, time would be given and not expected immediately.
    Cook County Participants raised several clarifying issues as well. There was a concern raised that the staff secure respite program outlined in the Cook County Proposal could not be initiated even within 6 months of the potential approval of the Cook County Proposal by the RIOB because of the Cook County Board requirement to conduct an RFP for service providers to provide this service. The Board members were asked if any other sites or applicants had attempted to implement a model such as this.
    Karrie Rueter stated that it is RIOB policy not to fund out of home placements. She explained that there are Redeploy programs that have used out of home non-secure placements in order to complete a battery of assessments to determine if a youth should be included in a Redeploy Program. One of these programs initially began with a maximum 21-day placement period. Based upon recommendations by the RIOB, that placement had been reduced to an average of 7 days or less and now has been eliminated altogether. The other non-secure placement is for a limited number of days to complete psychological evaluations on Redeploy youth with these youth released upon completion of the evaluations. The majority of Redeploy youth are evaluated while they are placed at home.
    Anne Studzinski asked to clarify whether the intent of the Cook County Proposal was that each Redeploy youth would be placed into the respite program for a period of 30 to 60 days. Rose Golden responded yes. That is the intent of the Proposal. Anne further asked if all of the services in the Cook County Proposal would be offered only while the youth was in the respite program or whether the services would continue when the youth was released from the respite program. Rose answered that services would continue with the youth after the youth was released. She could not advise what services specifically would be available to the youth while in respite care because that would be an issue for the Cook County RFP to address.
    Judge Toomin commented that the 30 to 60 day respite program was less than the period covered in a prior Cook County Redeploy Program that involved a similar setting. Judges Katz and Sharkey stated that they had received the Cook County Proposal only recently. They stated that they believed that a 30 to 60 day respite period would be too short for them to impose.
    Judge Katz asked why the RIOB opposed non-secure placement. Karrie stated that the philosophy of the RIOB and the statute was to seek to serve youth in the youth's home and community as research indicated that the best results for these type of youth was to provide services in that setting. Judge Katz inquired whether the RIOB would reject the Cook County Proposal because respite care was involved in the Proposal. Karrie stated that no final decision had been made nor could be made at this meeting. She believed that most RIOB members leaned against Redeploy funds being used for out of home placements.
    Anne confirmed Karrie's statement indicating that she was one of those members and explained that from reading the application it seemed that Cook County was simply proposing to exchange a stay in IDJJ with a stay in this residential respite program.
    Judge Sharkey commented that he did not see how he could allow youth to remain in their homes when a number of services had previously been offered to the youth while the youth was in the home that had not resulted in a cessation of the youth's delinquent behavior.
    Karrie asked for clarification as to whether the individuals who had reviewed the data on youth committed to DJJ from the 4 judicial calendars identified in the Cook County Proposal determined that the youth committed actually received the services that had been identified as needed as opposed to those services that were available. That it is possible that a youth needed services that, at the time, were not available because all program slots were full so instead other services were provided. (MST was used as an example). Rose Golden responded that part of the reason for the respite care proposal was that certain families are so chaotic that the family might not be eligible for services like MST. Karrie noted that she did not see information in the Cook County Proposal that indicated they were trying to address that issue by targeting services to the families of these youths; only that they would be simulating a family environment at the residential respite center.
    Anne asked for clarification as to how long the aftercare services for a youth would be once the youth was released from respite care. Rose stated that that period would depend on the youth involved. Jim McCarter asked whether the Judges would consider a youth for readmission to respite care if the youth had previously been in respite care. Judge Sharkey stated that he would not consider a youth eligible for respite care again after he had previously been involved with the respite care program.
    Karrie clarified that the Cook County Proposal identified that 455 youth had been committed to DJJ over the period of calendar years 2009, 2010 and 2011 from the 4 Court calendars in the Proposal. Based upon that number, the average number of commitments was 152 youth. A 25% reduction would therefore result in a reduction of 38 youth being committed to DJJ from the 4 calendars. This would mean that DJJ commitments from the 4 calendars would total no more than 114 youth per year. Rose Golden stated that those numbers were correct.
    George Timberlake noted that a Redeploy site might find out during the course of a year in the Redeploy program that certain programs were not working or were not as effective as the site anticipated. He noted that a site might request a revision in its grant to address those issues.  When asked if fewer calendars could participate in the grant, Karrie indicated that the application on the table could not be altered. However, Karrie stated that for a future RFP, since the 4 calendars had participated in a Planning Grant, each of those calendars would be eligible for Redeploy funding; individually or collectively. In addition, since those calendars had participated in the Planning Grant, other calendars within Cook County could join with 1 or more of the 4 calendars to seek Redeploy funding in the future; in addition, as few as 1 of the 4 judicial calendars could apply.
    Rose Golden stated that practical challenges exist in Cook County that may not exist elsewhere in Illinois. Cook County has its own guidelines for awarding contracts for new service providers. The County is required to conduct an RFP. A question was raised by the Cook County Participants as to whether existing programs could be enhanced. Karrie stated that Redeploy funds could, in fact, be used to enhance an existing program or service but could not be used to supplant existing programs. As an example, Karrie stated that Cook County could request funding to increase MST services in the 4 calendars. If an existing program provides MST services for 15 youth, the County could request Redeploy funds to increase these MST services for 15 additional youth. Redeploy funds could not be used to supplant Cook County funds for the 15 youth already served with the MST program but could be used to add additional slots for Redeploy youth. A number of Cook County Participants stated that they were not aware that existing services could be enhanced or expanded.
    Juliana Stratton stated that the Cook County Board has recently approved a different RFP within 4 months. She stated that, if a proposal was made to expand services as opposed to beginning a new service, then the process for approval could be completed by Board action only without the necessity of a RFP process.
    Karrie Rueter asked if the budget in the Cook County Proposal includes start up expenses or only expenses for a 12-month service year. Rose Golden responded that the budget was for a 12-month service period and that the only potential start up expenses would possibly occur prior to the end of the 12-month period would be for training. Karrie stated that she could seek guidance from DHS but felt that the period of accountability would be tied to actual grant funding.
    Rose Golden stated that the Planning Grant process that Cook County was involved with was slowed by the Cook County Board RFP /contract approval process requirements. She stated that the County only had approximately 13 days to complete the research and report.
  6. Next Steps
    Anne Studzinski stated that if the Cook County Participants wished to withdraw their Proposal, that fact would not close the door on future Redeploy Illinois funding. The RIOB would however, be interested in knowing whether Cook County would be interested in exploring future funding from the Redeploy Program.
    Anne reviewed what actions could be taken by the RIOB going forward. She stated that, on September 6th, the RIOB could vote the Cook County Proposal "up or down". The RIOB could approve the Proposal contingent upon certain modifications being made to the Proposal. Even if the RIOB were to decide against their current application, the Four Court Calendars in Cook would remain eligible to apply in a future RFP.
    Anne stated that the Cook County Participants could decide to withdraw their Proposal but that they could NOT revise it. In the future, should the RIOB release another RFP, they could submit a new plan at that time. She invited the Cook County Participants to talk amongst themselves about the Proposal based upon the clarifications made today. She requested that if the Cook County Participants decided to withdraw their application, that they get back to Karrie Rueter with their decision by noon on Wednesday, September 4th as a courtesy so that the RIOB could cancel the September 6th, Special Board meeting as it was specifically called to make a decision on the Cook application.
  7. Adjourn
    Anne Studzinski thanked everyone for attending and participating in the discussion. Meeting adjourned at 11:04 A.M.