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

February 10, 2009


Jail Removal

Juveniles accused of committing acts that would be criminal for adults are not to be securely detained in adult jails or lockups. A rule of reason is applied, allowing alleged delinquents to be detained for up to six hours for the purpose of investigation and identification. The clock starts the moment a juvenile is placed into a locked setting. This includes any locked room, or when a juvenile is cuffed to a stationary object. At the end of six hours, the juvenile must be released or transferred to a juvenile detention center. Prior to 2000, Illinois had been using the old interpretation that once the clock started, it could not be turned off until the juvenile was released from custody, even if the juvenile was removed from the locked setting. Starting in 2000 Illinois began using a new interpretation of the rule approved by OJJDP stating that once the clock starts, it can be stopped once the juvenile is permanently removed from the locked setting. Status and non-offenders may never be securely detained. As with the deinstitutionalization of status offenders, each state is permitted a limited number of times the requirement may be violated without bringing the state into non-compliance (the de minimus number.)

Status of Compliance

  • In calendar year 2006, 40 county jails and 176 municipal lockups in Illinois securely detained juveniles. Of these, 11 county jails (58 violations) and 26 municipal lockups (118 violations) exceeded the six-hour limit at least once, resulting in 176 violations; de minimus is 274.
  • In calendar year 2007, 39 county jails and 173 municipal lockups in Illinois securely detained juveniles. Of these, 12 county jails (49 violations) and 28 municipal lockups (109 violations) exceeded the six-hour limit at least once, resulting in 158 violations; de minimus is 274.
  • In the first nine months of 2008, 38 county jails and 166 municipal lockups securely detained juveniles. Of those 12 county jails (53 violations) and 29 municipal lockups (106 violations) exceeded the six hour limit resulting in 159 violations.

IJJC Action and Recommendations

Action

  • For the past several years the Commission has provided funding to four detention centers for the purpose of transporting pre-adjudicated youth from local jails and lock-ups to detention centers. The four detention centers received a total $236,500 in SFY2007 and again in SFY2008. This enables the grantees to provide transport to nearby juvenile detention centers within the six-hour time frame for youth being held in small, rural jails and lock-ups. The grant also allows for transportation to and from the detention center for hearings, presuming they are pre-adjudication. The four transportation grants serve approximately 65 downstate counties.
  • The Commission and its contractors provide technical assistance and training for facilities that securely detain youth to ensure understanding and compliance with the JJDP Act.

Recommendations

  • The General Assembly should revise the Illinois Juvenile Court Act to bring it into compliance with the federal JJDP Act with regard to the length of time a juvenile may be securely held in an adult county jail or municipal lock-up. Current state law allows youth to be held for 12 hours, and up to 24 hours in certain circumstances, conflicting with the federal 6 hour mandate.