December 1, 2010 Communications Sub-Committee Meeting


Wednesday, December 1, 2010
1:00pm - 3:00pm


Chicago Metropolis 2020
30 W. Monroe, 18th floor
Chicago, IL 60603

Call-in: 218-936-7979
Dial-in: 264803#


  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of minutes
  4. Finalize Committee Charter
  5. Review of mandated reports: Status updates
    1. Annual report
    2. SB1725 Parole Study
    3. Raise the Age
  6. Communications strategies
    1. Training
    2. Parole study briefing
    3. Dissemination of reports
    4. Priorities / Timeline
  7. Committee Capacity
    1. Funding
    2. Staffing
  8. Other Items / Next Steps
  9. Next meeting date
  10. Adjournment


I. Welcome and Introductions

II. Call to Order

Meeting was called to order at 1:10pm

III. Roll Call

Roseanna Ander, Co-Chairman, Julie Biehl, Debra Ferguson, Esther Franco-Payne, Co-Chairman (Participants on conference call so no quorum).

Staff: Julie Stremlau.

Guests: Jim Bray, Erica Hughes and Betsy Clark.

IV. Approval of minutes

No quorum, so unable to approve.

V. Finalize Committee Charter

Update postponed.

VI. Review of mandated reports: Status updates

a. Annual report

The members recommended outsourcing the Annual Report. The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (IJJC) approved to combine the 2009 and 2010 Annual Report for submission at the July 2010 meeting. The Department of Juvenile Justice merger with DCFS has a significant impact on this report. Commissioner Biehl recommended the Planning and Grants committee allocate funding to hire someone to complete this report with the Commission's assistance. Commissioner Ferguson added that she felt this document needs to have input from the various fields. She stated that in the past these reports have been dry and this is an opportunity to say something powerful about the scope and breadth of our transformation as a new Commission and with the impending merger. Commissioner Jacobs commented that we need to know what we want to accomplish with this report. There is a need for better use of our reporting capacity in what we want to accomplish in Illinois. Commissioner Franco-Payne will send a copy of the current Annual Report for review by the Committee. DHS staff will provide report requirements as designated by OJJDP.

b. SB1725 Parole Study

Commissioner Biehl provided the parole study update. She stated they have found a lack of due process with the current Parole Review Board (PRB) process. The fundamental question is do we recommend to have the Parole Review Board (PRB) removed from decision making. Revocation and Release can be handled by other entities. The question remains if we are working to improve the status quo or actually make significant changes. Commissioner Biehl stated we can lay out the system as it is and can achieve best practices. The (PRB) principles are best practice but they don't look like that upon review. Commissioner Ander commented that if we choose to change the PRB process we need to explain what we want to replace it. She also stated that we cannot blame the RPB for what is wrong with the system. Commissioner Ander added that the Commission could make recommendations to address and fix the PRB process without removing it. Commissioner Biehl added that the courts provide due process and the PRB does not. Commissioner Biehl explained there are many details to express to the Commission concerning their findings.

c. Raise the Age

The Committee agrees there is a need for all parties to come together and look at what needs to be done. The involvement of ICJIA and JDAI is recommended. A meeting will be organized to bring the necessary groups together. It was explained to the Committee that the IJJC is the Raise the Age task force as the legislation was amended. "Task Force" is the Commission. Erica Hughes stated the numbers are needed to help determine the impact. There are many questions about the legislation and the issues it raises. There is a concern about how to capture the numbers so they are clear and convey the message we need. There is a legal team at ICJIA and Ms. Hughes will ask them to review and update the juvenile justice report so they understand how this legislation could be addressed. Jim Bray added that it is necessary to find out where we are in terms of the data. Commissioner Ander offered to assist ICJIA with this process. Commissioner Franco-Payne will be calling a meeting with the necessary parties.

VII. Communications strategies

a. Training

Commissioner Franco-Payne and Commissioner Jacobs asked Mr. Jim Bray about communications training for the Commission. How does the Commission go about refining strategies and expressing what we want to accomplish. There is a need for consultation on messaging and the issues we address. Commissioner Jacobs mentioned a technical assistance training she attended. Commissioner Jacobs will look into this training.

b. Parole study briefing

The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission is conducting a data on the juvenile justice system. A review of the status the Parole Study (SB1725), as well as begin the developed recommendations for a "tracking" system to ensure that youth are adequately prepared for release. The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 from 10am - 3pm at the University of Chicago Crime Lab. A notice will be sent to interested participants.

c. Dissemination of reports

Not discussed due to time limitation

d. Priorities / Timeline

Not finalized

VIII. Committee Capacity

a. Funding

Not discussed due to time limitation

b. Staffing

Not discussed due to time limitation

IX. Other Items / Next Steps

Betsy Clark asked the Committee their thoughts on a recent arrest of a Chicago man. The group discussed the incident at length and felt the Commission should be updated on what transpires with this arrest.

Commissioner Ferguson announced she will be leaving the Department of Mental Health and taking another position. She was not able to discuss the new position. She will continue to participate on the Commission.

X. Next meeting date

No date set, at this time.

XI. Adjournment

Commissioner Jacobs moved to adjourn. Commissioner Biehl seconded the motion. Meeting adjourned at 2:42pm.