Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission
ANNUAL REPORT TO THE
GOVERNOR AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
for Calendar Years 2007 and 2008

February 10, 2009


INTRODUCTION

The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (the Commission) serves as the federally mandated State Advisory Group to the Governor, General Assembly and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) in developing, reviewing and approving the State's juvenile justice plan for the expenditure of funds granted to Illinois by the United States Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The Commission also is responsible for submitting an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly with recommendations regarding the State's compliance with the four core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDP Act) and its provision of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention programs and services.

The authority of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission is specified in Illinois Statute as cited below.

"There is hereby created the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission which shall consist of 25 persons appointed by the Governor. …The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:

  1. Development, review and final approval of the State's juvenile justice plan for funds under the Federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974;
  2. Review and approve or disapprove juvenile justice and delinquency prevention grant applications to the Department for federal funds under that Act;
  3. Annual submission of recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly concerning matters relative to its function;
  4. Responsibility for the review of funds allocated to Illinois under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 to ensure compliance with all relevant federal laws and regulations; and
  5. Function as the advisory committee for the State Youth and Community Services Program as authorized under section 17 of this Act, and in that capacity be authorized and empowered to assist and advise the Secretary of Human Services on matters related to juvenile justice and delinquency prevention programs and services."

(20 ILCS 505/17a-9)

In administering the federal JJDP Act funds, the Commission works to ensure Illinois' compliance with the core requirements of the act. Additionally, it works to instill the principles of Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) within Illinois' juvenile justice system. The Commission must also ensure that programs and policies are responsive to the developmental stages and needs of children and youth.

In its effort to monitor trends, formulate policy and direct funding, the Commission annually funds the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) to research, compile and present annual data on Illinois' risk factors and the juvenile justice system. The most recent report is Juvenile Justice System and Risk Factor Data: 2005 Annual Report . It presents a broad range of relevant data to juvenile justice professionals and an explanation of risk factors and their importance to the juvenile justice system.

The federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act comprises several titles, two of which are relevant to the Commission. Title II supports a broad range of juvenile justice activities at the state and local level. Title V supports prevention efforts conducted by units of local government. Funding for these two broad activities has decreased significantly in Illinois since FFY2005. In that year, Title II received $2.7 million and Title V, approximately, $600,000. By FFY2008, funding for Title II had decreased to$2.3 million (15% decrease) and for Title V, $48,000 (91% decrease). The decrease is due to federal funding priorities rather than compliance penalties.

The purpose of the annual report, first and foremost, is to review the Commission's progress toward and recommendations for compliance with the requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. These requirements include Disproportionate Minority Contact, Separation of Adult and Juvenile Offenders, Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders, Jail Removal. In addition, the report presents activities of the Commission to foster critical components of the juvenile justice system within Illinois: juvenile justice data collection, access to counsel, detention alternatives, mental health, and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. The report covers fiscal years 2007 and 2008.