February 3, 2021 Racial & Ethnic Disparities (RED) Committee Meeting


Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission Racial & Ethnic Disparities (RED) Committee Members and Staff. The public is welcome to attend.


February 3, 2021

9:00am -10:30am


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  1. Welcome & Call To Order
  2. Introductions
  3. Orientation to the Committee
  4. Establish Group Values
  5. Data Discussion
  6. Schedule Next Meeting
  7. Public Comment
  8. Adjourn


  1. Call To Order
    Era Laudermilk called the meeting to order at 9:04am.
  2. Roll Call & Introductions
    Commissioners: Jackie Bullard, Amanda Klonsky, Era Laudermilk, Michelle Mbekeani, Tamela Meehan, Briana Payton, Rick Velasquez, Dana Weiner. 
    Committee Members: Delrice Adams, Garien Gatewood, Darby Henke, Haley Hopkins, Omar Jamil, Korynna Lopez, Peg Robertson, Julia Schick, Roger Smith, Samuel Smith, Tashiana Stafford, Antwan Turpeau, Tamara Vaugh Walker. 
    DHS Staff: Andrea Hall.
    ICOY Staff: Katy Culleeny, Ariel Liddell.
  3. Orientation to the Committee
    Ms. Laudermilk welcomed everyone to the committee and explained that as this was a committee being revamped, the first few meetings would be spent orienting everyone to the space and to each other.
  4. Establish Group Values
    1. Ms. Laudermilk explained that this work would be challenging and require difficult conversations. While there is not the expectation that everyone has the same vision or opinions, Ms. Laudermilk does want to ensure that the group is respectful and supportive. With that in mind, Ms. Laudermilk asked the group to please share suggestions for "rules of engagement" or group values and norms. The agreed upon values and norms are as follows:
      1. When the going gets rough, turn to wonder and curiosity instead of defensiveness
      2. Speak your truth
      3. Read the room; understand the space and respect different perspectives
      4. Be self-aware of your own biases, explicit or implicit
      5. Trust and learn from silence; attend to your own inner teacher, let things sit and resonate
      6. Three before me; monitor your own engagement to ensure everyone has the chance to participate
      7. This is a statewide conversation; be inclusive in thought strategies instead of limiting to our own jurisdiction
      8. Use "oops" or "ouch" to signify when something hurt or conflict arises, then take a moment to pause and clarify
      9. What's learned here leaves here
      10. Young people and meeting their needs is at the center of this work
      11. Land the plane; get to the point you are trying to make
      12. Recognize the collective intelligence and compassion in the room
    2. Discussion and Slides
      1. Ms. Laudermilk provided an overview of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (IJJC) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Ms. Laudermilk described the four core requirements as set out by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), of which the fourth requirement details that the IJJC must work to address Racial and Ethnic Disparities (R.E.D.) in Illinois' juvenile justice system. which serves as the charge for this committee. R.E.D. was previously referred to as Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) but that did not accurately represent the disparities that exist and persist throughout the entirety of the justice system and peripheral systems. Ms. Laudermilk explained the intentionally of saying R-E-D as opposed to RED, as the term RED has been identified as offensive to some members of tribal communities as it related to naming of their skin color. Ms. Laudermilk invited members to think of other possible names.
      2. Ms. Laudermilk reviewed admissions data made available by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) and University of Illinois (U of I) that highlights the disparity at different contact points. Ms. Laudermilk highlighted the gaps in the available data and the need for a more thorough, statewide data collection effort; as the R.E.D. Coordinator Andrea Hall is working on a report and analysis of county data and that data should be available later this spring. Ms. Laudermilk shared detention admissions and Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) data from calendar and fiscal year 2019. Detention admissions in calendar year 2019 consisted of 60% Black youth and 33% White youth. IDJJ admissions in FY 2019 consisted of 65% Black youth. Both of these data sets do not reflect population, which indicates a disproportionate number of Black youth entering the system.
      3. Ms. Laudermilk reminded the group that while the number of youth admitted to detention and IDJJ has declined over the years, the racial disparity of youth sent has increased and this must remain front of mind when determining solutions and policies. This requires a 2-pronged approach, 1. Will this reduce detention and 2. Will this reduce disparities? Ms. Laudermilk emphasized that their efforts must be data-informed.
      4. Ms. Laudermilk emphasized that this is a group effort and will require a commitment to the work, and for those who may not have the time or capacity for this committee to please let herself or Ms. Hall know. The committee will guide data collection from all 102 counties as required for federal funding. In response to a question from Antwan Turpeau, Commission Chair Rick Velasquez explained that the resources available for this work include federal funding which is dispersed to various partners, including those who aid in data collection and analysis, and that the most important resources are the partnerships at the local, county, state, and national level. In response to a question, Ms. Hall explained that the IJJC receives approximately $1 million in federal funding from which 60% is dispersed to counties and organizations through various grants. Ms. Laudermilk emphasized the value of everyone's individual commitment and expertise they bring to the group as the biggest resource.
      5. In response to a question from Ms. Laudermilk about what information may be needed to move forward, Amanda Klonsky requested an opportunity to learn about what other places are doing before proposing a critique or alternative strategy. Dana Weiner offered to provide a presentation to the group on the differences between disproportionality and disparity. Tashiana Stafford expressed an interest in examining the intersections of mental health, disability, and system involvement. Lisa Hampton expressed an interest in examining gender as an intersecting issue and Mr. Turpeau expressed interest in taking a closer look at the overlap of justice involved youth with those who are under care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Delrice Adams requested the committee incorporate youth voices, to which Tamela Meehan and Garien Gatewood agreed and provided examples of possible partners, including, Storycatchers, Free Write, The Final 5 Campaign and MIKVA Challenge.
  5. Schedule Next Meeting
    Ms. Laudermilk let the group know that in future meetings they would have the opportunity to action plan and prioritize their efforts. Due to time constraints, a doodle poll will be used to schedule the next meeting.
  6. Public Comment
    There was no public comment.
  7. Adjourn
    Meeting adjourned at 10:32am.