Strengths and Areas for Improvement in the Phase II Sites

Most of the Phase II sites have developed strong collaborations involving justice system leaders (e.g., chief judges, state's attorneys, probation, and public defense) as well as networks of service providers. Many of the new Redeploy Illinois program plans and activities demonstrate commitment to youth and families, program flexibility, and comprehensive services. One site in particular was commended for its comprehensive policies and procedures manual and its well organized recordkeeping system.

In a few of the Phase II sites, the cooperation of the state's attorney was not evident; this may be a cause for concern regarding program sustainability. Other areas for improvement noted in the studies included more consistent participation in training; a need for general community knowledge of, and thus support for, Redeploy Illinois; development of advisory councils; and increasing the availability of male mentors for Redeploy Illinois youth.

The Phase II programs faced a unique implementation problem as well: the strained finances of the State produced lengthy delays in reimbursement by the Department for local Redeploy Illinois program expenses. This limited the capacity to provide services in some locations and threatened the existence of the programs in others. The newer sites expressed concern over this matter.8

As might be expected at this early stage, a few Phase II sites are still experiencing some challenges with communication and collaboration. There is also a general need for thorough documentation of policies and procedures and attention to program quality control; some stakeholders have yet to commit to the initiative and there is a need to develop stronger community support for Redeploy.