April 22, 2020 IJJC Meeting Agenda & Minutes


Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission Members and Staff. The public is welcome to attend.


April 22, 2020, 9:00am to 12:00pm


  • 401 S Clinton
    1st Floor
    Chicago, IL
  • Call In: 888-494-4032
    Code: 5329547331#
  • 823 E Monroe
    Springfield, IL


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of Minutes
  4. COVID 19 Response
  5. New IJJC Reports
  6. IJJC Compliance Data
  7. Planning and Grants Report
  8. Three Year Plan Process
  9. Adjourn


  1. Call to Order
    Meeting was called to order at 10:38am.
  2. Roll Call
    Introductions and Welcoming of New Members
    Members: Marshan Allen, Julie Biehl, Jackie Bullard, Shelley Davis, Savannah Felix, Arnetra Jackson, Lisa Jacobs, Amanda Klonsky, Briana Payton, Honorable Ben Roe, Angela Rudolph, IJJC Chairperson Rick Velasquez, Dana Weiner, Esther Franco-Payne, Rodney Ahitow. Quorum present. 
    Staff/Guests: Chelsea Biggs, Leslie Ress, Samantha Edwards, Samantha Steinmetz, Dick Walsh, Wendy Nussbaum, Andrea Hall, Peg Robertson, Emily Harwell, Cassy Blakely, Shawn Freeman and Ariana Correa. 
    New Commission members were welcomed, and introductions were made. Andrea Hall is the new IJJC Executive Director as of April 1st; Marshan Allen, the Policy Director of the Restore Justice Foundation; Savannah Felix, the legislative coordinator at the Justice Advisory Council; Amanda Klonsky, the Chief Program Officer of a prison education program based at Princeton University; Briana Payton, a second-year masters student at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and is currently a mitigation intern with the Federal Defender Program; Honorary Ben Roe is re-appointed commissioner, a circuit judge in Ogle County, South of Rockford; Dana Weiner, a policy fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago; Angela Rudolph, the Deputy Commissioner for Youth Services at the City Department of Family and Support Services; Shelley Davis, the Executive Director of the Forest Preserve Foundation; Lisa Jacobs, the Program Manager for the Center for Criminal Justice Research Policy and Practice, and the Vice Chair of the Commission; Arnetra Jackson, the Family and Teen Facilitator for UCAN; Jackie Bullard, the Director of the Juvenile Defender Resource Center in Illinois; Julie Biehl, the Interim Dean of the clinic at Northwestern, Director of the Children and Family Justice Center, and a criminal defense lawyer; Esther Franco-Payne, the Executive Director with Cabrini Green Legal Aid.
  3. Approval of Minutes
    Motion: Ms. Bullard made a motion to approve the last Illinois Juvenile Justice Planning and Grant Meeting Minutes and Executive Committee Meeting Minutes from February 19th. Ms. Biehl seconded the motion. Decision: Motion passed.
  4. COVID 19 Response
    Mr. Velasquez lead the Commission in conversation about experiences they are currently having in the field, asking that Commissioners share any updates and information the IJJC should take note of or act upon. Ms. Bullard offered the example of defense attorney education being stifled and having to find new ways to address important education in that field. Ms. Rudolph shared that there is a huge number of requests from agencies around providing flexibility of dollars for agencies to use.
    Ms. Davis asked if there is any information on the status of the Cook County detention center during Covid-19, including numbers of positive cases or testing happening. Ms. Felix and Ms. Biehl reported that there are six or seven staff who are positive, and three youth that are positive, but that the population continues to go down a few kids a day. The unofficial numbers given by the State's Attorney were 153 youth, 123 of those have Juvenile charges and 30 are automatic transfers.
    Mr. Velasquez and Ms. Jacobs shared that all detention sites are being monitored for availability of PPE, and the rates of infection of staff and youth. The two sources of monitoring include the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. There are lots of conversations, but no official reporting on practices or diagnoses or official transparency from the judicial branch at this time.
    Ms. Bullard asked Ms. Jacobs if Illinois is unique in having a judicial branch oversee detention centers. Ms. Jacobs advised that it is common, although some states have their detention centers under the Department of Juvenile Justice or Department of Corrections as an executive function rather than judicial, but it's very common for detention to be a judicial branch function linked closely with probation as it is in Illinois.
    Mr. Velasquez shared the positive leadership that St. Clair County's Juvenile Justice Coordinator is doing, reaching out to families making sure their basic needs are met and helping make adjustments to technology. He advised this active type of response is important to keep things moving along.
    Ms. Felix asked if there have been any efforts to document emerging policy changes and interventions that different jurisdictions have done to depopulate and take precautions, which can be shared out for other jurisdictions to look at. Mr. Velasquez says the opportunities for those discussions are being promoted by DHS and ICOY. Ms. Biggs shared that ICOY has been collecting policies and procedures that different agencies are creating and using and saving on a Google drive. Although the data is not yet specific to detention centers or in the JJ system, it is something ICOY could expand with this group.
    Ms. Weiner shared that the Child Welfare space is a few steps ahead, evaluating how populations and systems are responding to different practices that are in place, letting them determine what is effective and what is not effective. Ms. Jacobs said the juvenile justice system's response to the pandemic is decentralized and dependent on local leadership, culture, resources, and innovation, which causes a wide range of responses between counties and circuits. Ms. Biehl added that we are subjected to people's orientations more strongly in a decentralized system which has detrimental effects to the counties and systems.
    Mr. Velasquez stated the importance of keeping an eye on what is happening in law enforcement practices across the state, including reexamining the use of technology in hearings for youth people in detention centers in rural settings. He advised that legislation is pending that the Commission may have to examine sooner than they anticipate.
    On behalf of the Commission, Mr. Velasquez issued a letter to the Supreme Court four weeks earlier urging courts to urge circuits to reduce the number of youth in detention, as well as release young children on low level offenses and to lower detention center populations overall. This letter included information taken from the CDC and other guidance on steps for sanitation and health within facilities. Additionally, Courts were urged to put pressure on probation departments to change their practices like reducing the use of detention for technical violation, reducing in-person contacts, and reducing conditions youth would have to comply with. Chief Justice Burke acknowledged receiving it.
  5. New IJJC Reports
    Year to Date (YTD) Expenditure Report
    This report looks at all grantees through February, and the amount of the grant that is being issued to each of them, and their spending patterns. It is used to track how well the grantees are spending the money and indicates if modifications to expenditure allocation need to be made or if there are issues happening. Currently around 56% of funds have been spent. DeKalb County and Kane County need to be modified or adjust spending patterns since many of their Spring events have been disrupted. There were also many changes in personnel. The Commission expects funds to be underspent this year, but since they are federal funds, they will be rolled over to next year.
    Detention Trend and Transfer Report Publication Mr. Freeman shared that there are three main reports. 1.) The Juvenile Transfer Report summarizes excluded jurisdiction motions, extended jurisdiction motions, motions for transfer, and designations for habitual offenders and violent offenders for 2017. All 102 counties reported data on motions to transfer youth to adult courts. 23 counties reported at least one motion. 2.) The Annual Detention Report was based on 16 Illinois Juvenile detention centers data that were submitted to JMIS. The data focuses on detention admissions, admission rates, average length of stay, length to stay categories, average daily population, detention trends. 3.) The Detention Specific Comparison Report from 2017 and 2018 looked at what increased and decreased, as well as an in-depth five-year trend analysis on admissions, average length of stay, and average daily population.
    Mr. Velasquez advised that he wants a 45-minute focused conversation about these reports by June that Mr. Freeman and Ms. Hall will schedule. It was advised that all Commissioners should be familiar with detention practices around the state, where the areas of concern are and the issues behind them.
    Covid-19 Impact on Detention
    Mr. Velasquez posed the question of whether the Commission and CPRD should shift from annual detention data reports to reporting detention data on a monthly basis. Ms. Jacobs shared that Covid-19 has led the Commission to produce more frequent reports. Detention centers have shared that they are willing and able to report data more than once a month.
    Mr. Freeman shared that he is analyzing key indicators such as average daily population and length of stay to compare where we are now to 2019. In March, the data indicated that some populations have drastically increased, like Cook County's, whereas others increased.
    Ms. Biehl asked if the Commission can call detention centers and ask for numbers of youth and staff with positive Covid-19 cases around the state. Mr. Freeman shared that detention centers do not have to report Covid-19 cases, so he has not yet called every detention center as to not overstep his bounds. However, he has good relations with the superintendents and JMIS contacts, and that the half dozen centers he has talked to have been very responsive.
    Mr. Velasquez stated that it is important that AOIC and the detention centers are on board so we do not overstep our bounds.
  6. IJJC Compliance Data
    Ms. Nussbaum shared that there are three data elements the Commission must track. 1.) Youth who have committed a status offense are not detained. 2.) No youth are detained within sight and sound of adult detainees. 3.) Once a youth is arrested and processed, they must be released within 6 hours.
    Every year, all the violations that occurred in the state of Illinois are counted. If the number is over the standard set by OJJDP, Illinois loses 20% of funding for each of the data elements that have exceeded the standard.
    Illinois is well below the standards for many years. Illinois' biggest concern is jail removal rate. The OJJDP formula has changed making the standard change every year from 272 down to 156 in 2019, in which we came in at 123.
    There will need to be an increase in audits of jail removal practices around certain sights in order to avoid any kind of penalty that would result in decline in revenue or decline in funding from ODJJP to the State.
    The Commission will need to be more aggressive in monitoring and addressing the issue this year. The Covid-19 situation might reduce the number of kids being detained in local jails.
  7. Planning and Grants Report 
    Ms. Jacobs shared that there will no competitive funding notices for fiscal year 2021.
  8. Three Year Plan Process
    Mr. Velasquez shared that there will be a strategic planning process over the next nine months. This tactical plan will have three elements including: orientation and onboarding of new members, reminding existing members about ODJJP and the responsibilities of Illinois to that act, and orientation to some of the local and state practices everyone needs to be aware of.
    The goal is for everyone to know the accomplishments and the work that the Commission has done. This training was scheduled to begin between May and July. A gap analysis is also to be done between May and June through October examining systems around the state and policies and gaps that need to be filled. That analysis will be included in the Commission's three-year plan, with the hope it would be completed by January 2021.
    The Commission secured the assistance of the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS) and Ms. Blakely is going to take the lead in this process. Information about webinars and trainings will be sent out to everyone soon; the goal is for the series of trainings to be completed by July 22nd.
  9. Adjourn
    Motion: Ms. Jacobs made a motion to adjourn at 12:12pm. Mr. Roe seconded the motion. Decision: Motion Passed