Administered by: Bureau of Youth Intervention Services

Redeploy Illinois is designed to provide services to youth between the ages of 13 and 18 who are at high risk of being committed to the Department of Corrections. A fiscal incentive is provided to counties to provide services to youth within their home communities by building a continuum of care for youth who are in the juvenile justice system. Counties link youth to a wise array of needed services and supports within the home community, as indicated through an individualized needs assessment. Services are provided in the least restrictive manner possible, and can include case management, court advocacy, education assistance, individual/family/group counseling and crisis intervention.

Every year, hundreds of Illinois teenagers enter the juvenile justice system by engaging in risk-taking and/or illegal behavior. The effect on the lives of these youth is frequently devastating and the cost to the State is enormous. With the creation of Redeploy Illinois in 2004, the Illinois General Assembly set Illinois on a new course of action in meeting the needs of delinquent youth.

Based on its success, the Redeploy Illinois program was expanded from four sites to eight in January 2009. Serving nearly 25 percent of all Illinois counties, sites continued to effectively reduce the incarceration of hundreds of youth while also holding the line on the use of local detention. Research has found that non-violent youth are less likely to become further involved in criminal behavior if they remain in their home communities and appropriate services are available that address underlying needs such as mental illness, substance abuse, learning disabilities, unstable living arrangements and dysfunctional parenting. It has also been demonstrated that it is less expensive than a sentence to corrections. Unfortunately, many counties in Illinois lack the resources to effectively serve delinquent youth locally. A lack of local programs and services plays a significant role in the court's decision to commit a youth to a correctional facility. The funds provided to the Redeploy sites fills the gaps in their continuum of services, allowing them to cost-effectively serve youth in their home communities and reduce the system's reliance on corrections.

This progressive effort to build on the work done in other states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, which successfully reduced juvenile incarceration rates through similarly structured programs, is paying off. A 2010 cost benefit analysis indicated that on average, the eight Redeploy sites reduced their commitments in 2010 by 53% from their baselines. According to the per capita cost of incarcerating one juvenile in DJJ, this decrease in commitments translates to a $9,038,927 cost avoidance for the state of Illinois. Youth are being successfully treated in their own communities and kept from the devastation of incarceration, saving the State money, reducing the number of crime victims and creating safer communities across Illinois.

Redeploy Illinois has been hailed as a model for the nation in efforts to reduce inefficient and ineffective juvenile justice systems. In a study released in March of 2010 by the Justice Policy Institute, Redeploy Illinois was cited as an example of the kind of program other states should embrace as a way to reduce prison costs and prevent young offenders from falling into futures dominated by criminal behavior and incarceration.

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