April 13, 2011 Planning & Grants Sub-Committee Meeting


April 13, 2011
9:00AM - 2:00PM


Loyola University 25 E. Pearson
11th Floor, Chicago, IL


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of Minutes
  4. Results Based Accountability: Results/Indicators/Strategies
  5. Review of Reentry RFP Development in RBA Form
  6. Open RFP Concepts
  7. DJJ Funding Recommendations
  8. Title II Formula Application Update
  9. New Business
  10. Adjournment


  1. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 9:06 AM.
  2. Roll Call: Chairman George Timberlake, Chairman Jacobs, Commissioners Gene Griffin, George Hill, Julie Biehl, Rick Velasquez, Esther Franco-Payne, Pamela Rodriguez, Randell Strickland. Quorum present.
    Guests: Mr. Phil Lee, Susan Witkin, Peter Mulhall.
    Staff: Karrie Rueter, Julie Stremlau, Lin Ferguson, Jeff Bradley, Michelle Arnold.
  3. Approval of Minutes: Commissioner Hill motioned to approve the minutes. Commissioner Rodriguez seconded the motion. All in favor, minutes approved.
  4. Results Based Accountability: Commissioners Rodriguez and Velasquez recused themselves from the meeting until discussion on defining the role of the Commission begins. Chairman Jacobs introduced Mr. Phil Lee and asked meeting participants to introduce themselves. In this discussion we will use the reentry RFP as a key area of focus.
  5. Review of Reentry RFP Development in RBA Form: Mr. Lee explained the process can seem complex, but it is possible to keep the frame simple. Start with the end (objective) and work backwards to find the best way to meet your objective. Naming what the Committee is doing and who they are doing it for, in very specific terms, will reveal the impact you are trying to achieve. On an ongoing basis track whether or not your plan is working. This is a demonstration project that will show providers, as well as legislators, what works. The Governor's plan is very general and this plan will give more rigor to the information we pass to either the Governor's Office or the General Assembly. This plan will allow interested parties to see where we are and where we are going. It will also provide information on where we will be if we continue on the same path. What are the main factors that are driving successes for youth in the system. Reentry initiative is one piece of the puzzle. Mr. Lee asked Commissioners to identify who our customers are and what do we need to do for them. 1) Juvenile justice policymakers and practitioners; 2)youth and families served by demonstration projects; 3) systems and agencies served by the demonstration projects. May need to change the results by adding agencies serving youth. You can define the Commission's role so that its customers are the grantees only or broaden it to include #1, 2, and 3. Next identify what the services do in provisions to the customers. The ultimate purpose of the demonstration process is to provide data and information to policy maker and practitioners that will change the rate of success of youth reentering society. Part of the cost analysis is to identify how many policies you will change. This methodology is designed to assist in decision making to avoid from straying away from the Commission's main objectives. It is imperative to measure how effective the Commission was in putting, into the hands of legislators, the information that they used. The desired impact for Juvenile Justice customers is that they have better successes. We need to have feedback through the performance measures. We want a handful of measures. In a demonstration project you want to paint a picture of the community and identify what is necessary for a youth to successfully reenter that community. Chairman Timberlake stated that it may be a fact that some communities just won't succeed at this. Measures must be selected in advance. Grantees must report on the measures periodically rather than just at the end. The data will keep you informed of what is going on. The reports can be short just to include the data. Mr. Lee explained that the Commission tells the grantees what it wants and has them write their performance measures through a planning grant. Karrie stated that budgetary factors are a real issue in this period of time, since the General Assembly is not funding but cutting programs. Commissioner Biehl added that we need to focus on the fact that 900 of the juveniles incarcerated are there for technical violations. Each stay is three months at a rate of $81,000/year. Mr. Lee asked the Commissioners if what they planned is working out through the performance measures. Commissioner Straza wants to assure that any savings the Commission is able to achieve will not go into the Governor's general revenue fund, but go back into the Juvenile Justice program. The Commission can have a contract with the administration stating that we will give back 50% of the savings, if we can save money through this plan. Commissioner Jacobs suggested that Illinois can develop a RFP which can be written to identify policies that affect change that has not already been proved. She wants to assure as Karrie Rueter suggested that the kids are safe not only because we want to comply, but it is the right thing to do. The group discussed the primary role of the Commission.  Commissioner Hill stressed the point that the Commission's flow of money should be used to maintain JJ Act compliance in the State of Illinois. Karrie Rueter stated she wants the main focus to be to make the system work in a fair and just manner for kids who get in trouble. Compliance means staying consistent with the core requirements. Commissioner Strickland stated that the Commission is responsible to the Feds, State of Illinois and to the youth of Illinois. We have a boss, constituent and customer. Karrie explained that our role in compliance is to monitor that the right kids are being confined. We fund monitoring, strategies to reduce DMC which is a core requirement, and reports. Commissioner Jacobs added  that another role in compliance is transportation grants.This provides jail removal to ensure kids are not kept in locked jails (which is a direct service) but rather transfer them to detention centers.Chairman Timberlake stated that this is a determination we have to make. We need to advise the General Assembly on what will work and try to change the system. If our goal is to change the system we need to understand the demarcation of our influence. Commissioner Biehl added that to be effective we need to leverage funds by directing agencies on accumulation of knowledge and how they should be delivering services in order to change the system. Commissioner Rodriguez added that we need to have effective strategies in order to get the General Assembly to buy into our plan. Chairman Timberlake stated that at the end of every grant, we need to examine how effective the plan was on everything we fund. Commissioner Rodriguez stated that we need to ask that question at the beginning. We want to comply because it demonstrates best practices for youth and it keeps the funding flowing to the grantees. Mr. Lee added that we not only want to sustain what we have but maximize what we will get from the Feds. Compliance is a part of this. Chairman Timberlake stated that we are aiming at reforming Juvenile Justice in Illinois. Commissioner Rodriguez stated that we should use what we learn to leverage against system change rather than having a lot of plans going in different ways in order to maximize the amount of money coming in from the Feds. Fair and just - Chairman Timberlake suggested that a set of principles have been identified to which the Commission agrees. Mr. Lee said that these principles are so broad that they won't be effective in decision making. Assure that the right kids are in the system and not low level offenders. Commissioner Rodriguez added that the definition of the "right kid" is much broader than she is comfortable with. Mr. Lee suggested that an audit may need to be conducted to see if you have it right which will provide a feedback loop. Karrie Rueter added that communities need to be offered alternatives. By identifying youth you become a member of the early care and education community. The more money you put in this area the better off you are going to be. Mr. Lee added that you recognize that you are going to go beyond your system because it's the right thing to do. An example would be working with school systems and how they handle expulsion. How do you describe juvenile justice system involvement and when does it start? Karrie Rueter responded police contact, Commissioner Rodriguez suggested that it is what leads a kid to police contact or when juvenile jurisdiction ends, from an individual perspective it could be one contact with the police or it could be when the youth ages out. Mr. Lee stressed the point that we have to determine what is and what is not our business. We have identified that contact is the beginning. Commissioner Rodriguez wants to keep school expulsion as a factor. We can work with schools about their expulsion policy. Some arrests are issues that can be dealt with in other places. Mr. Lee asked if working with school districts reduces contact. Youth who are on the edge of contact must be identified. Boundaries must be identified. Once you identify your boundaries, you can determine what better sources are available for funding successful demonstration projects. Commissioner Straza added that the Commission Chairman or the Governor needs to write a press release that points out our strengths, which will cause people to want to become involved in this Commission. The Parole Study is an example on monitoring. Priorities need to be identified. Commissioner Velasquez added that, as a Commission, we need to look more broadly at what we examine and who we want to become rather than only what the Feds are guiding us to be or do.We do not want to be limited by who is funding us. Mr. Lee commented that the influence of the system, point of contact/door, fund demonstration/research projects and fund other strategies to change outcomes. Mr. Lee added that we want to bring in as much federal money as possible. Chairman Timberlake stated that we must determine how the Commission functions and identify staff duties in how well staff engages the Commission in function. The group did an exercise to identify staff priorities.  We need to ensure that administrative money is being expended efficiently. The Commission has a tremendous amount of work to do to accomplish its goals and how do we do that with only two DHS staff. There is a need to define what role DHS staff play for the overall commission and its work.Commissioner Velasquez wants to identify key indicators. Start setting up some guidelines like reentry or kids' contact with the police. A menu of indicators can be used and then weigh whether it is effective. Subject matter needs to be narrowly defined. Karrie Rueter wants to fund some new innovative strategy that has the potential to demonstrate system change. Commissioner Straza thinks it is important to show tax payers that their $80K investment on confinement saved $2 million. Mr. Lee stressed the fact that because you will put this information out, it will effect change. The eight person Interim Policy Group will consist of Chairman Timberlake, Commissioners Ander, Biehl, Ferguson, Franco-Payne, Griffin, Rodriguez, Velasquez and Bishop. Commissioner Velasquez will bring the first cut on policy priorities. Mr. Lee asked that Chairmen Timberlake and Commissioner Jacobs select four people to come back with the first cuts rather than eight people. We want to bring about systems change and we need to focus on a strategic plan. The group needs to start thinking about results based accountability as a means to report to the Governor and the three-year plan to the Feds. You must stress that this Commission is all about results and accountability. This is important, because at the federal level there is a lot of movement to results based. Commissioner Straza wants this Commission to move to the fore front. Chairman Timberlake explained that the parole study is a priority, because it was given to us as a project by General Assembly. Commissioner Velasquez added that we have framed it with reentry. Mr. Lee suggested surfacing the top 1 or 2 priorities and add functions to define the political/policy landscape and use it strategically to shut prisons and determine where to push. He further suggested we add a strategic planning session on reentry to the next meeting agenda. Chairman Timberlake wants us not to do all of the work ourselves but involve the grantees. Chairman Velasquez wants coaching on this work. Phil's contract will allow him to be involved with this Commission through the fall. Commissioner Jacobs wants to use the leverage and all of the strategies to get us where we need to go. Because of funding/budgets software will roll out July 1, 2011.
  6. Open RFP Concepts: Using the full RFP completed in March as an example, we want to investigate how the open RFP can work for us. Chairman Timberlake added that this is a way for us and our grantees to manage their program from the money we give them. This is a process that we can use wherever we see sit and will allow us to look at all of our projects and measure progress. 
  7. Title II Formula Application Update:  The Title II Application has been completed and sent for OJJDP approval. 
  8. New Business: None noted. 
  9. Adjournment: Commissioner Straza made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Velasquez seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 3:28pm.