March 31, 2011 Communications Committee


General Public


Thursday, March 31, 2011

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Chicago Metropolis 2020
30 W. Monroe, 13th floor
Chicago, IL 60603


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of minutes
  4. Review of mandated reports: Status updates
  5. Annual report
    1. Review of draft
    2. Discussion re: Site and Sound
  6. SB1725 Parole Study
    1. Finalize recommendations
    2. Presentation of full recommendations
  7. Raise the Age
    1. Status
    2. Next Steps
  8. Communications strategies
    1. Response to State Budget - Written Testimony
      1. Feedback from the appropriations hearing
  9. Other Items / Next Steps
  10. Next meeting date
    1. Thursday, April 28th
  11. Adjournment


  1. Call to Order
    The Meeting was called to order at 2:21PM
  2. Roll Call
    Commissioners: Co-Chair Roseanna Ander, Julie Biehl, Co-Chair Esther Franco-Payne, Co-chair, Lisa Jacobs. Quorum declared present.
    Staff: Lin Ferguson.
    Guests: Heather Renwick, Camille Provencal, Molly Haunty, Stephanie Kollman
  3. Approval of Minutes:
    Minutes from the last meeting were lean due to the extensive Parole Study discussion. Commissioner Jacobs moved to approve the minutes. Commissioner Ander seconded the motion. All approved. Motion passed.
  4. Review of mandated reports: Status updates
    1. Annual report
      1. Review of Draft
        At the Commission meeting on March 16, 2011Commissioner Franco-Payne advised Committee members that revised pieces of the DMC report had been received. She is working on making sure the report flows properly and there were issues surrounding the Sight and Sound section and making sure it reflects the situation properly. The updated version will be sent by tomorrow for review and return to Commissioner Franco-Payne by next week. Executive Committee will vote on acceptance of the report at their April 20, 2011 meeting and report back to the Communications Committee if it is ready for submission. After this report is submitted, we need to develop new objectives and formatting for the 2011 report. Phil Lee will be at the April 13, 2011 meeting and is willing to work with the Planning and Grants Committee to frame and structure the annual report in a results based accountability format. He is willing to provide as much input as we want. It was agreed that we will ask for his input on the report.
        Senate Bill 2270 (SB2270) - Commissioner Biehl gave an update stating that an amendment was introduced to try and reduce the number of crimes that would require registration. The judge will make individual decisions on whether registration is required. Registration is required retroactively  no matter how long ago their offenses were committed. The amendment allows for opt out and removal from registry.
        Senate Bill 215(SB215): Prohibits adjudicated juvenile delinquent child sex offenders from being present in certain places or loitering near such places when persons under 18 are present. Commissioner Biehl explained that this is a very restrictive bill and far over-reaching keeping offenders out of parks and school when minors are present. The IJJC can make recommendations concerning best practices concerning juvenile sex offenders. Chairman Timberlake is aware of these two bills and they should be included in this year's annual report based on the opinion of the Commission.
      2. Discussion re: Site and Sound
        Commissioner Jacobs researched the Illinois compliance issue. She talked with Neelum Aryum from the Campaign for Youth Justice. It was found that Robert Flores, administrator of OJJDP under former President Bush, distributed a memo in 2008. He stated, "that it was in his discretion to determine that no individual who reaches the age of full criminal responsibility only after arrest or conviction will be understood to be an "adult inmate" within the meaning of the Act until he reaches the state's maximum age for extended juvenile jurisdiction". In Illinois it is 21 years of age. Commissioner Velasquez has requested that as we work with DJJ on the mental/behavioral health issues that DJJ finds a way to separate kids of significant age differences in the detention centers. Chairman Timberlake asked Commissioner Jacobs to draft a memo to all Commissioners explaining this new information.
    2. SB1725 Parole Study
      1. Finalize recommendations
        Commissioner Biehl indicated they are reviewing all of the
        different statutes. The report reflects six month period (December-May).  Summer months are not included and probably have worse numbers.  The total for the six month period studied was 412. There is no baseline and there are no samples. It is raw data. Commissioner Jacobs stated that it should be noted that this number is not high and if we had studied the second six months the total would have been 930.
      2. Presentation of full recommendations
        Commission Biehl reported that the Parole Study is complete. The group met with Sharon Shipinski, Illinois Department of Corrections, and reviewed the files. The Parole Study Meeting was held and it was decided that DJJ, in the future, will have control of these kids all the way through the process. Now the Commission needs to figure out recommendations moving forward and get data people involved. Determine the next steps to achieve this goal. Commissioner Biehl wants the Committee to define the goals we are seeking to achieve for what the Legislature is requesting.Is the plan to design an IT (Information Technology) system for DJJ.Commissioner Franco-Payne added that J-Watch was mentioned as possibly having a role in this plan. She added that there were discussions about getting CPRD and Chapin Hall together without all the stake holders to get opinion on data and tracking element. These groups can give us an objective perspective of our measures. Commissioner Biehl asked Commissioner Ander to host a meeting with CPRD and Chapin Hall to discuss what is required concerning outcome measures. Commissioner Ander will be talking to Gretchen Cusack next week.  Commissioner Jacobs believes this is right on target to fulfill the Legislative request.  Combining tracking and outcomes there are four things we need to accomplish. Map out the system as it currently exists; describe what the system should be able to do in policy terms; explain why this matters for youth outcomes and then offer next steps on further planning and implementation. We need to invite Connor Concannon, DJJ Research Analyst, Susan Witkin from CPRD and any others we think are necessary to help us complete this piece of this  report. Commissioner Ander added that there is a difference between simply collecting the data and then actually using it and making sense of it. Commissioner Jacobs has the J-Watch material on a probation case management system developed with McArthur dollars for the second circuit. Susan Witkin will present it to anyone interested and show what reports and data it can generate. Commissioner Franco-Payne is concerned that we need to be able to use this data and not just collect it. Commissioner Biehl stressed that DJJ has to have the capacity to do what is required for any data system. How can we get them the capacity? Commissioners Jacobs and Biehl will divide the work involved in the four steps to complete this project. A meeting with Director Bishop will be planned and maybe Connor Concannon to discuss the issue of getting more information from DJJ and possibly build it later when there is more money.
        Commissioner Ander added that Susan Witkin and Chapin Hall can be technical assistance resources for DJJ.Commissioner Ander explained that as information is entered it is dollars-identified in the aggregate, so you aren't looking at an individual but overall tracks outcome measures for individuals entering and leaving the system. The system, both DJJ and parole, can be mapped as it exists currently. Commissioner Biehl wants a meeting where the tracking system, as it exists now, will be examined and recommendations can be made on what we want the system to track: education, employment, recidivism, homelessness and anything else we want. Commissioner Biehl has been in contact with Director's staff and will get his availability dates for the meeting. Other participants should be the Communications Committee, Susan Witkin, Connor Concannon, Ashley Cross,  Gretchen Cusack, Bob George and Dana Weiner from DCFS.  This plan will be presented at the Parole Study Meeting on April 5, 2011and then presented to the Executive Committee on April 20, 2011 to seek approval on these recommendations.
    3. Raise the Age
      1. Status
        Stephanie Kollman put together, by categories, the attached spread sheet.This is draft work plan. She is seeking feedback on the questions that she passed out in order to get the most important information on the report and looking for gaps. To complete the work she needs to know what this study/survey should be and what are we trying to do with it. She needs to get this together for the survey instrument and she wants to know what Commissioners envision. Commissioner Biehl stressed that the purpose of this survey is to be used as a pulse-taking instrument to determine if the questions appropriate for what we want to accomplish. The main question is to determine how will we raise the age for felony and it has to be justified. Commissioner Jacobs summarized that the plan is to do the best qualitative analysis as a state and decide what it would take to raise the age using questions 1-8, 10 and 13; apply what other states have done and use it as an advocacy tool; state of quantitative information-we can't say that we know that this is better. Investment required if you want long-term qualitative data.
        Commissioners Franco-Payne and Ander suggested finding legislators that are in favor of raising the age and hold hearings with them present and also using the same legislators to get our message out. Commissioner Franco-Payne will contact Jim Bray on the communications piece. Commissioner Jacobs suggested a former colleague of hers to put a proposal together on how to do a good survey and capture the data. If we want to use her, she is being paid through Models for Change. Please send comments to Stephanie Kollman and/or Commissioner Biehl. The plan is to have this report complete by June 30, 2011. Stephanie wants to add to the questionnaire if this survey was burdensome for the respondents to accommodate. She will draft the survey and request comments prior to distribution.
  5. Communications Strategies
    1. Response to State Budget - Written Testimony
      The Governor's budget is requiring Juvenile Redeploy, UDIS and CCBYS be removed from IDHS and moved to DJJ. These programs work with juveniles  to keep them out of the system. The Human Services Committee requested written testimony from the Commission. The Commission's stance was neutral, but wanted to assure that there is adequate funding, staffing and support  for the programs.
    2. Feedback from the appropriations hearing
      No feedback on yesterday's hearing, since Karrie Rueter and Deb McCarrel are not present at the meeting.
  6. Other Items/Next Steps
    Commissioner Biehl suggested that if this Committee is going to be required to respond to legislation, budget hearings and juvenile justice policy, we need to hire a full time person for Communications Committee to react to legislation and all issues that come before this Committee. Commissioner Ander will write the job description and submit to this Committee for approval before submission to the Executive Committee and Commissioner Biehl will work out a budget in the amount of $100-150K which will include travel, copying, equipment, space, etc. The position will begin July 1, 2011.
  7. Next meeting date
    Thursday, April 28, 2011.
  8. Adjournment
    Commissioner Jacobs made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Commissioner Ander seconded the motion. Meeting adjourned at 3:50PM.