May 25, 2022 Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission IL Racial Justice & Equity Committee Meeting


Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission IL Racial Justice & Equity Committee Members and Staff. The public is welcome to attend.


May 25, 2022



Virtual/401 S Clinton

Join Zoom Meeting:


  1. Welcome, Roll Call 
    1. Icebreaker
  2. Approval of February 23, 2022 & March 23, 2022 Minutes 
  3. Review Group Norms
  4. Presentation: Lake County Juvenile Justice Council by Karen Levi 
  5. Brief Recap of April & May 
  6. Next Steps for 61 counties 
  7. County Engagement 
    1. Data Discussion
    2. Options to moving forward
      1. Individual
      2. Statewide
  8. New Business 
  9. Public Comment 
  10. Adjourn


  1. Welcome, Roll Call & Icebreaker 
    Executive Director Andrea Hall called the meeting to order at 2:30 p.m. Co-chair Michelle Mbekiani led the icebreaker and called roll.
    Roll Call: Michelle Mbekani
    Staff: Maribel Gonzalez, Andrea Hall, Esther Kaplan
    Guests: Steve Anjewierden, Moises Prospero, Aditi Singh, Jeffrey Ajufo, Jacqueline Bullard, Ebonie Epinger, Jessica Gingold, Haley Hopkins, Karen Levi, Korynna Lopez, Jourdan Martinez, Michelle Mbekeani, Julia Schick, Tamara Vaugh-Walker
    1. Icebreaker
  2. Approval of February 23, 2022 & March 23, 2022 meeting minutes
    This agenda item was not acted on due to the quorum not being met. The minutes from February 23, 2022 and March 23, 2022 will be voted on at the next committee meeting.
  3. Review Group Norms 
    Co-chair Julia Schick reviewed the group norms with committee members. No updates were made.
  4. Presentation: Lake County Juvenile Justice Council 
    Andrea Hall invited Karen Levi to share her presentation on the Lake County Juvenile Justice Council. Karen Levi shared that she was a public defender for twenty years before joining the State's Attorney's office. Lake County used to have a Juvenile Justice Council until 2019 and received a grant in 2022 to form a new council. The first meeting was in September where the council selected board members. The council's first quarterly meeting was in December. Karen Levi added that the council has a website and is working on making it available in multiple languages, with the intent for it to serve as a resource to the community. Five different committees have been established; Outreach, Youth, Legislative, Racial and Ethnic Disparities, and Training. Lake County's Juvenile Justice Council hosted its first annual seminar on May 5th, 2022 where Andrea Hall presented on IJJC. Other seminars explored the topics of trauma informed care and school violence. In the future, Lake County's Juvenile Justice Council will focus on education and organizing presentations in schools. Additionally, Trey Baker, a local youth advocate, might have an interest in getting involved with the Illinois Racial Justice and Equity Committee. Karen Levi shared that State's Attorney Rheinhart, Chairperson of the council, introduced Trey Baker to her.
  5. Brief Recap of April & May 
    Andrea Hall shared a committee recap for the months of April & May. April was a busy month for DHS with federal site visits, therefore the committee did not meet. In February, the committee focused on highlighting the work of Juvenile Justice Councils. In March, committee members presented on the Racial Equity and Impact Assessment (REIA), a tool that helps organizations address equity and policy issues. Committee members have since followed up with Juvenile Justice Councils about what it could mean for councils to utilize the assessment. In April, both workgroups met to discuss the 2019 Racial and Ethnic Disparities data briefs that were released to sixty-one counties. Included with the one-page data briefs was a letter explaining the technical assistance (TA) that the committee is offering. A meeting with Cook County's Head of Probation Services has been scheduled.
    The next step in the data brief project is to determine a plan for following up with counties. The qualitative workgroup met in March to continue collecting best practices around the five decision points to address Racial and Ethnic Disparities. Andrea Hall introduced Aditi Singh, who will be replacing the Director of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), to the committee. ICJIA is the committee's research partner in collecting data. The qualitative workgroup will participate in offering TA to the counties and committee members should think about internal knowledge and experience that can be utilized.
  6. County Engagement 
    1. Data Discussion
      Andrea Hall invited Moises Prospero to share his presentation on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP) Racial and Ethnic Disparities model and the statewide 2019 data. Moises Prospero examined the statewide 2019 data and identified three decision points that showed the most disparities. The 2015 through 2019 data showed that black youth (20% of the population) were much more likely to be arrested (60% of arrests). The same was true for detention and juvenile prisons. Moises Prospero narrowed sixty-one counties down to the top counties with Racial and Ethnic Disparities in their arrest, detention and secure confinement data. These counties were ranked by counties with the highest racial disparities and counties with disparities at two and three decision points. Counties with Juvenile Justice Councils were also identified. The data includes representation from across the state.
      Moises Prospero shared the narrowed down data of the top counties with Racial and Ethnic Disparities in arrest, detention and secure confinement data:
      • County data (arrest) highest disparity ratio: 1st - Sangamon County, 2nd- Champaign Country, 3rd - Lake County, 4th - McLean County, 5th- Kane County, 6th - Will County, 7th - McHenry County, 8th - DeKalb County, 9th - Knox County, 10th- Kendall County, 11th- Madison County, 12th- Rock Island County
      • County data 2019 (detention) highest disparity ratio: 1st- Champaign County, 2nd - Lake County, 3rd - Kane County, 4th - Sangamon County, 5th _ Dekalb County
      • County data 2019 (3 decision points) highest disparity ratio: Champaign County was 2nd in arrest, 1st in pretrial detention, and 3rd in secure confinement. Lake County was 3rd in arrest, 2nd in pretrial detention, 3rd in secure confinement. Sangamon County was 1st in arrest, 4th in pretrial detention, and 5th in secure confinement. Rock island was 12th in arrest, 7th in pretrial detention, and 4th in secure confinement.
      • County data 2019 (2 decision points) highest disparity ratio: McLean County was 4th in arrest and 6th in pretrial detention. Kane County was 5th in arrest and 3rd in pretrial detention. Will County was 6th in arrest and 8th in pretrial detention. Dekalb County was 8th in arrest and 5th in pretrial detention.
    2. Options to moving forward - Criteria, TTAS Resources
      Moises Prospero said that the committee must work on figuring out why these disparities exist and will select counties to engage with for possible interventions. Engaging Juvenile Justice Councils across the state will be an important part of the process. The qualitative workgroup will identify interventions to address causes of Racial and Ethnic Disparities. Moises Prospero opened the floor for questions.
      Julia Schick noted that Will and Kendall County used to have Juvenile Justice Councils. Andrea Hall suggested that the committee give out planning grants to counties with disparities that do not have Juvenile Justice Councils. Then, those counties, including Champaign County, would be able to apply for 2024 Juvenile Justice Council grants once they are competitive again. Michelle Mbekiani stated that the State's Attorney Association (SAA) is the most organized statewide coalition of people in these positions. Michelle Mbekiani suggested that the committee discuss the data with the SAA, as well as the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police to get more support and feedback. Jaqueline Bullard acknowledged a culture issue in Champaign County. They have the highest rates of disparities and no Juvenile Justice Council or Redeploy program.
      Haley Hopkins stated that it would be valuable for the committee to focus on both local and statewide efforts since statewide efforts take a lot of time. Jacqueline Bullard noted that further that investigation of detention data would be useful. Ebonie Epinger runs the Judicial Management Information Services (JMIS), which is the statewide center where all authorized counties can enter information on the sixteen detention centers. A detention report will be completed by the end of the fiscal year and will be shared with the committee. Karen Levi noted that the committee should also explore data that reflects COVID-19's impact on school discipline and warrants. Michelle Mbekiani shared her 2017 report on school discipline with committee members.
      Moises Prospero recapped that the next step will be for the qualitative workgroup to take all the information that has been gathered and come up with a plan for engaging counties. Committee members should review Moises Prospero's presentation in preparation for the committee's next meeting in June. Then, a decision will be made regarding which counties the committee will conduct outreach to.
      1. Individual
      2. Statewide
  7. New Business 
    A Doodle poll will be shared to schedule workgroup meetings.
  8. Public Comment 
    There was no public comment.  
  9. Adjourn
    Motion: Andrea Hall called for a motion to adjourn at 4:00 p.m. Michelle Mbekiani moved approval. Julia Schick seconded the motion. No abstentions. No opposition. Motion carried.