Redeploy Illinois Annual Report
Implementation and Impact
November 2008

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Research suggests that non-violent youth offenders are less likely to be involved in subsequent delinquent behavior if they remain in their home communities and receive appropriate services that address their underlying needs. Community-based services for juvenile offenders are generally less costly and more effective in returning youth to productive citizenship than institutional care in correctional facilities.

In 2005, Redeploy Illinois began four pilot programs with a goal of reducing juvenile commitments by 25 percent. These sites were provided with financial support to deliver community-based services to youth in their home communities who might otherwise have been sent to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ).

In its first three years of providing services, Redeploy Illinois has demonstrated success. Approximately, 400 youth residing in the pilot site communities were diverted from commitment to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. Compared to the number of commitments occurring in the pilot sites prior to Redeploy Illinois, the reported diversions represented a 51 percent reduction in commitments. Although cost was examined in this report, the most significant success of Redeploy is the mobilization of communities to provide services to youth offenders so that they may thrive and become productive citizens.

INTRODUCTION

Every year, hundreds of Illinois teenagers enter the juvenile justice system by engaging in risk-taking and/or illegal behavior. The effect of incarceration on the lives of these youth is devastating and the cost to the State is enormous. With the passage of Redeploy Illinois, the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Blagojevich set Illinois on a new course of action in meeting the needs of delinquent youth.

In State Fiscal Year 2005, the per capita cost to Illinois tax payers for incarcerating a single juvenile offender in a correctional institution was $70,827 per year. The juvenile recidivism rate in Illinois was 48 percent. This rate under-reports the actual recidivism of youth in that it only counts those juveniles that return to a juvenile institution within three years of release; the number of these youth that return to the criminal justice system is unknown.

While the Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board (RIOB) expects the new Department of Juvenile Justice to have a significant impact on the recidivism rate of incarcerated youth, it is also convinced that many youth are better served in their home counties rather than in juvenile correctional institutions. Research suggests that non-violent youth offenders are less likely to be involved in subsequent delinquent behavior if they remain in their home communities and receive appropriate services that address their underlying needs. Community-based services for juvenile offenders are less costly and more effective than institutional care in correctional facilities. However, a lack of local programs and services plays a significant role in a court's decision to commit a youth to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ). Further, a commitment to IDJJ is paid by the State; local jurisdictions incur no cost, a fact that encourages communities to relinquish youth to incarceration rather than invest community resources.

Enter Redeploy Illinois. The Redeploy Illinois pilot program gives counties financial support to provide community services to youth who might otherwise have been sent to IDJJ. In return, the pilot sites commit to reducing juvenile commitments. The funds fill gaps in local programming and services available for delinquent youth, allowing counties to reduce their reliance on IDJJ. As a result, youth are being given opportunities to succeed, commitments to IDJJ are being reduced, and millions of dollars in costs to the state are being avoided.

The following report provides an overview of Redeploy Illinois as required in P.A. 94-1032. The report includes a description of initiative pilot site activities, performance, expansion efforts, evaluation findings and promotional activities.

PILOT-SITE ACTIVITIES

The Redeploy Illinois target population is youth facing a possible sentence to IDJJ for an offense other than Murder or a Class X Forcible Felony. Redeploy Illinois is the last resort for these youth.

Local jurisdictions that participate as a Redeploy Illinois pilot site develop plans for community-based treatments for juvenile offenders that protect their communities, promote accountability for the harm caused their victims and communities, and equip youth with the necessary competencies to live responsibly and productively.

There are four Redeploy Illinois pilot sites:

  • Macon County
  • Peoria County
  • St. Clair County
  • 2nd Judicial Circuit (Comprised of 12 rural counties in southeastern Illinois: Crawford, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White.)

Macon

The Redeploy Illinois pilot program, Community ACCESS (Alternative Collaborative Change Education Support Success), is designed to offer individualized services to juvenile participants based on their specific risk factors and needs. The Macon County program utilizes the Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI), a tool that gathers information to determine appropriate services for participants. Other assessment tools examine mental health and substance abuse issues. The program employs local community restorative boards made up of small groups of citizens who are prepared by intensive training to conduct face-to-face meetings with offenders and develop agreements with them. The boards allow community members to meet with juveniles and their families, both to help restore community relationships and to hold the juveniles accountable for harm caused by their actions.

Peoria

The Peoria County Redeploy Illinois program is a collaborative partnership between Peoria County Court Services and Children's Home Association of Illinois (CHAIL). Redeploy Illinois participants are referred from the Juvenile Court Judge as well as identified by probation staff from their existing caseloads. In addition, participant parents must agree to the Redeploy Illinois program assignment. Youth that have been referred into the Redeploy Illinois program in need of a court evaluation are placed in a residential setting. During a stabilization period, they receive an evaluation and assessment. They are then transitioned into the program group. Youth who need more intense mental health treatment receive therapy. A staff member from the CHAIL conducts a thorough assessment on each youth participating in the program to obtain the information that will assist in developing an individualized service plan for the youth and his/her family. The staff member then collaborates with Peoria County probation staff that work directly with delinquent youth and their families to provide the identified services or link them to resources within the community.

St. Clair

The St. Clair County Youth Coalition (SCCYC), consisting of over 100 community stakeholders and youth service providers, oversees the pilot initiative. The Children's Home and Aid Society of Illinois (CHASI), a local social service agency, provides program delivery and implementation. Other agencies such as the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, Kids Hope United, and Cahokia Park United Methodist Church offer services. A court liaison is provided to assist youth and their families during court proceedings and to make referrals to services. All referred youth to the St. Clair Redeploy Illinois program are required to undergo an assessment period. During this period, youth are generally remanded to custody in the St. Clair County Detention Center. Each youth is matched with a CHASI caseworker within 24-hours, wherein the caseworker completes the assessment process through an examination of participants' school, mental health, social, and family history. This information is gathered from schools, hospitals, family members, and other documentation such as YASI scores. In order to set goals for the youth and family, each youth receives a case plan provided by CHASI. After the assessment and case plan are submitted to the judge, a determination is made whether or not to accept the youth into the Redeploy Program.

2nd Circuit

The 2nd Circuit Juvenile Justice Council acts as a liaison between Redeploy Illinois and county stakeholders such as: state's attorney's, judges, public defenders, detention, social service agencies, educators, law enforcement, and probation and court services. Information is disseminated by members of the council to key stakeholders in their community. The goal of the 2nd Judicial Circuit Redeploy Illinois program is to utilize individualized and evidence-based practices to address the needs of medium- and high-risk juvenile offenders. Probation officers and community service providers monitor and provide services to juveniles selected for this program. Specific needs are determined on a case-by-case basis. Service providers for the initiative are selected based on several standards, including the provider's use of the Blueprint Evidence Based Practices programming, the service provider's ability to work with the targeted juvenile population in the geographical locations, and the ability to provide the needed services.

PERFORMANCE

The performance of Redeploy Illinois overall and by pilot site is examined in the following section. Several key measures are presented including statewide admissions to IDJJ, detention utilization, and a cost analysis. Besides statistics and calculations, the analysis spotlights the programming of a successful pilot and the benefit of Redeploy in a case study.

IDJJ Admissions

The average of new admissions of juveniles per year from Fiscal Year 2001 through 2004 was 1,725. In FY2005, the number of new admissions dropped to 1,611. New admissions continued to drop and by Fiscal Year 2008 the number was 1,314. The average admissions for this time period was 1,469, a 15 percent decrease from the average per year admissions in FY2001-FY2004 (See Figure 1). Redeploy Illinois began in 2005.

Figure 1 - Number of New Admissions to IDJJ Statewide FY 2001 - 2008

Figure 1 - Number of New Admissions to IDJJ Statewide FY 2001 - 2008

Fiscal Year New Admissions
2001 1,715
2002 1,724
2003 1,731
2004 1,729
2005 1,611
2006 1,491
2007 1,461
2008 1,314

Source: Illinois Department of Corrections website, Reports & Stats., 2008

The RIOB believes that these statistics demonstrate that Redeploy Illinois has played a significant and obvious role in this decrease. However, Redeploy has not been the only factor. Multiple Juvenile Justice Reform initiatives, including Redeploy, have been working to create a philosophical shift in the juvenile justice system. The work of these initiatives is beginning to effect real change in local communities.

Detention Utilization in the Pilot Sites

Reducing reliance on the Department of Juvenile Justice should not increase the use of local secure detention placements. It is understood that Illinois currently has excess detention bed capacity. Simply placing a juvenile in local secure detention is not an acceptable intervention. The data presented in Figures 2 and 3 indicate that Redeploy Illinois is not using detention as an alternative to diverting youth from commitment. In fact, from 2002 to 2007, the number of new detainees remained fairly stable with the largest decrease occurring in 2007 (Juvenile Monitoring Information System, Preliminary Data). Another measure, average length of stay (ALOS) in detention, also remained stable during this time period with the exception of a slight increase reported in 2007. Despite the increase observed in 2007, the ALOS for the Redeploy pilot-sites remained below that reported for the state, 20 days.

Detention Utilization - New Detainees
2002 - 2007
Redeploy Site 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2nd Circuit 252 212 299 335 332 313
Macon County 228 195 168 175 192 167
Peoria County 804 821 876 849 806 769
St. Clair County 815 747 702 623 787 604
Total New Detainees 2,099 1,975 2,045 1,982 2,117 1,853
Detention Utilization - Average Length of Stay
2002 - 2007
Redeploy Site 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2nd Circuit 9 8 8 9 11 12
Macon County 12 12 10 8 8 14
Peoria County 17 14 13 15 17 19
St. Clair County 10 11 14 17 10 10

Cost Analysis

The per capita cost for a 12-month juvenile commitment was $70,827 in Fiscal Year 2005 (latest data available-IDJJ). The average length of stay for a delinquency commitment was 8.8 months ($51,940). The average length of stay for a court evaluation commitment was 3.5 months ($20,658). In FY 2005, nine percent of the IDJJ juvenile population was incarcerated for a court evaluation.

The methodology for calculating the cost avoidance of Redeploy involved several steps.

  1. Compare the baseline eligible commitment number to the observed number of eligible commitments for a given year. The baseline is the average number of eligible commitments reported for a pilot-site from 2001 to and including 2003, except for St. Clair County for which two baselines are used. Because St. Clair County experienced a 150 percent increase in eligible commitments from 2001 to 2004, the Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board (RIOB) allowed St. Clair County to use the 2004 number of eligible commitments as its baseline (86 commitments). In 2007, the RIOB recommended, and the county agreed, to use the average number of eligible commitments for 2003-2005 (74 commitments). The difference between the baseline and eligible commitments for a given year are considered to be youth who have been diverted from detention or Redeployed.
  2. Determine among Redeployed youth the number that would have been committed for evaluation and full commitment. According to IDJJ (2005), nine percent of new admissions are for a court evaluation. Therefore, the factors of .09 and .91 were applied to the number of Redeployed youth.
  3. Apply the costs associated with commitment to the number of Redeployed youth.
2nd Circuit

Since January 2005, the 2nd Circuit has redeployed 48 youth. The cost avoidance of diverting these youth from a court evaluation or full-commitment was $2.3 million. Figure 4 presents the performance of the 2nd Circuit.

Program Period Eligible Commitments Percent Reduction from Baseline Number Redeployed Cost Avoidance
Year One
1/1/05 - 12/31/05
22 45% 18 $884,243
Year Two
1/1/06 - 12/31/06
30 25% 10 $491,246
Year Three
1/1/07 - 12/31/07
20 41% 20 $976,236
3 Year Figures 72
Youth Incarcerated
40% 48
Fewer Youth Incarcerated
$2,351,725

Note: Baseline number of eligible commitments = 40

Macon County

Since January 2005, Macon County has redeployed 93 youth. The cost avoidance of diverting these youth from a court evaluation or full-commitment was $4.6 million. Figure 5 presents the performance of Macon County.

Program Period Eligible Commitments Percent Reduction from Baseline Number Redeployed Cost Avoidance
Year One
1/1/05 - 12/31/05
30 41% 21 $1,031,617
Year Two
1/1/06 - 12/31/06
12 76% 39 $1,915,861
Year Three
1/1/07 - 12/31/07
18 65% 33 $1,620,174
3 Year Figures 60
Youth Incarcerated
61% 93
Fewer Youth Incarcerated
$4,567,652

Note: Baseline number of eligible commitments = 51

Peoria County

Since July 2005, Peoria County has redeployed 88 youth. The cost avoidance of diverting these youth from a court evaluation or full commitment was $4.3 million. Figure 6 presents the performance of Peoria County.

Program Period Eligible Commitments Percent Reduction from Baseline Number Redeployed Cost Avoidance
Year One
7/1/05 - 6/30/06
48 39% 30 $1,473,739
Year Two
7/1/06 - 6/30/07
49 37% 29 $1,412,414
Year Three
7/1/07 - 6/31/08
49 37% 29 $1,412,414
3 Year Figures 145
Youth Incarcerated
38% 88
Fewer Youth Incarcerated
$4,298,567

Note: Baseline number of eligible commitments = 78

St. Clair County

Since July 2005, St. Clair County redeployed 153 youth. The cost avoidance of diverting these youth from a court evaluation or full commitment was $7.5 million. Figure 7 presents the performance of St. Clair County. 

Program Period Eligible Commitments Percent Reduction from Baseline Number Redeployed Cost Avoidance
Year One
7/1/05 - 6/30/06
62 28% 24 $1,178,991
Year Two
7/1/06 - 6/30/07
20 77% 66 $3,240,348
Year Three
7/1/07 - 6/31/08
11 85% 63 $3,094,851
3 Year Figures 93
Youth Incarcerated
153
Fewer Youth Incarcerated
$7,514,190

Note: Baseline for years one and two = 86 and for year three = 74

Initiative-wide

Since its inception, Redeploy Illinois succeeded in diverting 382 young people from commitment to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. The cost avoidance of the initiative to the State of Illinois is $18.7 million. Figure 8 presents performance for the entire initiative.

Pilot Site 3 Year Number Reduction from Baseline 3-Year Cost Avoidance
2nd Circuit 48 $2,351,725
Macon County 93 $4,567,652
Peoria County 88 $4,298,567
St. Clair County 153 $7,514,190
382
Fewer Youth Incarcerated
$18,732,134

Program expenditures for this time period totaled $4,917,000. Compared to the costs that were avoided, it is estimated that for every dollar spent on Redeploy, there is a potential savings of $4.

Limitations of the Analysis

The analysis presented above is predicated on cost of incarceration as calculated by IDJJ. The cost figures are a per capita calculation; it is derived by dividing the entire budget of IDJJ by the number of youth incarcerated during Fiscal Year 2005. Because the per capita calculation includes fixed costs, the estimate may be inflated. Another limitation of using per capita calculations is that as the population of youth decreases, the cost per youth increases.

An additional limitation concerns the significance of cost avoidance. The analysis reports that with the observed reduction in commitments there was a sizeable cost avoidance. The choice of term, "cost avoidance" was intentional as actual savings were not realized by this reduction in commitments.

Program Spotlight

In 2004, St. Clair County sent 86 Redeploy eligible youth to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ). Since Redeploy, the number of eligible youth entering IDJJ dropped to 11. This represents an 87 percent decrease in commitments. St. Clair County has transformed their Juvenile Court System and service delivery to high-risk youthful offenders.

St. Clair County did not initially apply for the Redeploy Illinois Grant for three primary reasons: 1) an exponential increase in commitments for each of the previous four years (150% from 2001 to 2004); 2) not all of the local juvenile justice system players were fully on board with the concept; and 3) the Redeploy Illinois grant carried a substantial penalty if reductions were not met. When the Redeploy grant opportunity was reissued in 2005, strong encouragement by the Juvenile Judge, Public Defender and community stakeholders allayed the county's concerns.

Since beginning in April 2005, St. Clair County Redeploy has existed as a partnership between court, probation, and community service providers. The Juvenile Judge and Public Defender's offices fully support the Redeploy Illinois Program providing expertise in juvenile law and court procedures. Each of the community stakeholders also lend their unique perspectives to the St. Clair Youth Coalition Juvenile Justice Committee that serves as the governance body for Redeploy Illinois. Supporting these efforts and overseeing the process has been the St. Clair County Youth Coalition. While St. Clair County Mental Health Board serves as the fiscal agent for the program as well as the contract monitor, Children's Home and Aid is the lead agency employing three Redeploy Case Managers and managing multiple subcontracts. Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House is subcontracted to provide the Court and Community Liaison for the Redeploy Illinois Program, and probation offers knowledge in corrections strategies and a probation officer designated to serve all youth accepted into Redeploy Illinois intensive case management. Kids Hope United (KHU) is subcontracted to provide one evidence-based program Multisystemic Therapy (MST) while another evidenced based program, Family Functional Therapy is available to St. Clair County youth through other KHU contracts. Redeploy uses both counseling programs to effect change in the family systems of Redeploy youth. Additionally Redeploy youth are exposed to Washington Aggression Interruption Training that uses cognitive behavioral skill development to teach youth the steps to better anger mamanagement.

Core services for youth in Redeploy include assessment and subsequent service development, e.g. involvement in evidence based programming; intensive case management; on-call services to youth and their families for crisis stabilization; court/school/community advocacy; and flex funding that enables youth to participate in positive recreational activities and assists in the purchase of additional programming as needed. The Court and Community Liaison serves as a bridge between the court, probation and the Redeploy staff. This position provides the first level of services and entails screening youth present at a first appearance in court for appropriate interventions. When needs are identified, families are given referral information for the appropriate resources, and the youth's needs are communicated to the Court and probation. The Liaison also staffs the Coalition's Clinical Committee, whose primary goal is to assist St. Clair County families in finding and coordinating services for high-risk youth.

Since its inception, St. Clair County Redeploy has served 455 youth and their families through the Court/Community Liaison position with 220 community referrals being made on their behalf. Ninety-three youth have been assessed for Intensive Case Management with ongoing services provided to 69. Redeploy has been able to track youth up to a year after program closure. Redeploy tracks all new juvenile delinquency adjudications, and adult criminal felony and misdemeanor convictions. Status offenses are not included. Recidivism for youth is considered low with only 16 percent committing a new crime within the first year after program closure. This success is attributed to strong community and provider involvement and a valued belief that youth can thrive within their family and community when they are involved in appropriate services to address their needs.

Case Study

Artravis began the Redeploy Illinois program with several strikes against him at age 13. He was the youngest youth ever referred to the program, yet he had one of the most extensive criminal histories including eight counts of residential burglary, four counts of burglary, one count of arson, two counts of theft, two counts of criminal damage to property, and one count of battery. Artravis was failing nearly every class at school and had severe behavior problems there as well. He also lives with his single mother who is low functioning and struggles to parent Artravis in an appropriate manner. In addition, Artravis had very little connection to his community.

Because Artravis' mother has struggled to provide appropriate supervision, Artravis was placed on the Electronic Leg Monitor until his mother could improve in this area. In order to increase her parenting skills, the family was referred to Multisystemic Therapy (MST), an intensive home-based family therapy program that consists of up to three sessions each week. The family has been meeting with their MST therapist as scheduled and is actively participating in sessions. Artravis' mother acknowledges the benefit of having the added assistance and feels that the MST program has been very beneficial.

While services were put into place to improve Artravis' home life, school required a great deal of attention as well. Artravis willingly participated in a psychiatric evaluation and was diagnosed with and received medication for ADHD. Since that time, Artravis' grades have gone from failing to honor roll. His behavior has also taken a drastic turn for the better, and he has had no suspensions or detentions. School staff is extremely pleased with Artravis' progress and are even discussing the possibility of mainstreaming him into regular education classes. The positive feedback that Artravis has received from school staff has only helped to encourage his continued positive behavior. Artravis has even joined the school band and has tried out for the school basketball team.

While many people were doubtful of Artravis' ability to be successful in the Redeploy Illinois program, his hard work and motivation are steadily proving otherwise. Artravis has worked hard to change his life and is enjoying the benefits of his success. While there is still much work to do, Artravis has proven that every youth has potential to succeed.

PILOT-SITE EXPANSION

As a result of the early progress demonstrated by the Redeploy Illinois initiative, the Governor and General Assembly appropriated new dollars to the initiative in each of the last two state fiscal years. The following sections: Cook County; Planning Grants; and New Pilot Sites, provide a description of the recent expansion efforts of the RIOB.

Cook County

In the Fall of 2007, the RIOB issued a Request For Proposals (RFP). Cook County was the only successful applicant. Upon receipt of the contract, Cook County expressed concerns about the reduction in the Redeploy Illinois line item in the Governor's proposed budget released on March 7, 2007. As the RIOB and IDHS were unable to assure Cook County that full funding would be available in FY08, Cook County understandably did not sign the contract. Cook County remained very interested in becoming the next Redeploy Illinois pilot site, and as a result, in December 2007 (FY08), after submitting a revised application, the RIOB decided to fund Cook County.

In December 2007 Cook County officially became a Redeploy pilot-site. The county adopted the Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care Program as its chief intervention, an evidence-based program that had demonstrated great success in the State of Oregon. Youth aged 13 to 17 who were adjudicated for drug, auto theft or bring back orders and who resided in the Garfield Park Community were the target population. The Garfield Park Community included minors who were living in the east and west Garfield Park Community Areas (26 and 27) that corresponded to Chicago's 11th police district and Court Calendar 57.

For a number of reasons, including required out of state travel for training, recruitment of foster homes, low numbers of referrals of appropriate youth to the program, and an inability to meet the targeted number of youth being placed in the program thereby not reducing the targeted number of youth committed to DJJ, in October of 2008 Cook County requested a suspension of their program. Cook County expressed strong support for the Redeploy Illinois philosophy and has requested the RIOB provide them an opportunity to explore, through planning and capacity building funding, the opportunity to devise additional approaches to implementing a Redeploy Illinois program in Cook County. The RIOB has agreed with Cook County's request.

Planning Grants

In FY 2008, the RIOB offered planning grants of up to $10,000 for individual counties or groups of counties to explore Redeploy Illinois in their jurisdictions.

The planning grant opportunity was offered to 32 counties that were identified as committing an average of 10 or more youth to IDJJ per year over a three-year period (2005-2007). The grants were for April 1st, 2008 through June 30th, 2008. Each county that accepted the grant was required to attend three full day training sessions, submit an expenditure documentation form and a final report detailing the county's planning activities and the compiled results of the planning grant process. Twelve applicants consisting of 14 counties applied for and received funding under the Planning Grant opportunity. The planning grant sites agreed to analyze data on commitments from their individual counties, review current services offered in their communities, determine what additional services were needed, explore strategies for service delivery, review populations of youth that were committed to IDJJ from their counties, analyze local governance of juvenile justice issues, establish estimated costs for alternative programs to DJJ for delinquent youth and gauge the community's readiness for a Redeploy Illinois program.

Three planning grant meetings were held in Bloomington. Representatives of the four original Redeploy Illinois Pilot sites generously volunteered to serve as presenters at the meetings and mentors to juvenile justice personnel from the planning grant sites. Feedback from the participating counties indicated that the Planning Grant process was extremely successful.

New Pilot Sites

In FY2009, Redeploy received addional funding allowing the RIOB to expand the initiative. The RIOB decided to open the competitive process to only those counties that had participated in the planning grant opportunity. Six applications were received covering eight counties. Of the six applicants, the RIOB approved five for funding: Kankakee County, Lee County, Madison County, McLean County, and the 4th Circuit (Montgomery, Christian, and Marion Counties). These new sites are expected to be funded by January 2009 and after an approximate three month start up period begin service delivery in the spring of 2009.

EVALUATION

The RIOB developed and implemented a Redeploy Illinois Assessment during Fiscal Year 2008. The purpose of the assessment was to provide feedback to the RIOB on the overall implementation experience of Redeploy Illinois pilot sites at the end of the initial three-year funding period for the sites and to inform any subsequent funding decisions made by the RIOB. The assessment examined the following areas:

  • Program experiences not documented by the initial evaluations;
  • Program milestones and accomplishments;
  • Key issues regarding collaboration;
  • Case study information;
  • Organizational and operational information;
  • Data collection and self-assessment capabilities; and
  • Lessons learned.

Several RIOB members and staff conducted the assessment in extensive two-day meetings held in St. Clair, Peoria and Macon Counties, as well as in the Second Circuit. The assessment team met with Redeploy Illinois stakeholders including judges, state's attorneys, public defenders, probation staff, service providers, community members, youth and parents in the Redeploy Illinois program. The results of the assessments were recommendations by the assessment team for continued funding of the original four pilot sites with certain recommendations for the sites to consider in future operations. Examples of these recommendations include:

  • Recruit additional stakeholders, particularly representatives of schools and the faith community;
  • Consolidate the governance structure of the Redeploy Illinois program with another existing group to provide direction, governance, and supervision;
  • Adopt a protocol for the review of the outcomes of Redeploy youth; and
  • Expand psychological assessments to include educational evaluations for possible use in advocating for appropriate educational programs for Redeploy youth.

The RIOB considered the site recommendations submitted by the assessment team and approved the recommendations.

Letters outlining the recommendations with dates for responding to the recommendations are in the process of being sent out to the sites. Follow up review of the responses to the recommendations from the sites will be completed by the RIOB in the coming months. The assessment team was very impressed with the accomplishments of the sites over the last three years. Strong working collaborations have been established in the sites.

PROMOTING REDEPLOY

The RIOB is committed to inform others about the benefits of Redeploy Illinois. Members and staff have conducted numerous presentations on the Redeploy Illinois program at various juvenile justice-related events. These included presentations at two national conferences and three state conferences (Michigan, New York, Washington, DC), as well multiple Illinois statewide conferences and events.

In addition, the Redeploy initiative was a lead partner in bringing together a first of its kind event, the 1st Annual Collaborative Juvenile Justice Conference: "Connecting the Pathways". This conference brought together leaders from the five statewide juvenile justice reform efforts: Redeploy Illinois, Disproportionate Minority Contact, Illinois Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice Initiative, and Models for Change. The partnership hosted almost 500 registered participants at the conference. The four-day event offered seven keynote speakers, all leaders in their respective fields, approximately 50 breakout session topics, as well as two receptions. Among others the event attracted judges, state's attorneys, public defenders, law enforcement, probation and court services personnel, social service providers, state agency representatives as well as state legislators and media. The newly formed "Pathways Partnership" continues to meet on a regular basis and works to provide follow-up technical assistance to those communities that attended the conference.

CONCLUSION

In its first three years of providing services, Redeploy Illinois has demonstrated success. Approximately, 400 youth residing in the pilot site communities were diverted from commitment to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. Compared to the number of commitments occurring in the pilot sites prior to Redeploy Illinois, the reported diversions represented a 51 percent reduction in commitments. Had these youth been committed, it is estimated that the cost avoidance to the state of Illinois could have totaled almost $19 million. An analysis of site expenditures to the potential cost avoidance suggests that for every dollar spent by Redeploy Illinois sites, the State saves four.

Additional cost avoidance may be realized by the effect of Redeploy on recidivism. St. Clair County reported a recidivism rate of 16 percent; the latest state rate reported for juveniles is 48 percent. Calculating the cost avoidance due to a drop in recidivism based on St. Clair County's experience is premature. More data and experience from other sites are needed to confirm the effectiveness of Redeploy on recidivism.

Although cost is an important measure of success, especially for a government-supported program, it is secondary to the initiative's effect on the lives of troubled youth. The statistics presented in the report regarding decreased commitments and recidivism suggests that youth offenders are being diverted from further involvement in the juvenile justice system. Redeploy Illinois has been successful in mobilizing communities to direct resources to youth offenders who otherwise would have been detained or worse, incarcerated. With the advent of Redeploy Illinois, many more youth offenders now have the opportunity to thrive and become productive citizens.

Maintaining and expanding these successes will require continued investment in Redeploy Illinois. The RIOB recommends that the Governor and the General Assembly continue to direct funding to the initiative to enable expansion from the pilot sites to the entire state.