Cook County- South Suburbs


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Cook County- South Suburbs

Program Description

SSDMC (South Suburban Disproportionate Minority Contact) Forum on Youth utilizes a data-driven and consensus-based process that focuses on reducing disproportionate minority contact. Although changes occur among the stakeholders, SSDMC creates a work plan to maintain focus on the goals and objectives. SSDMC works in collaboration with the stakeholders such as judges, prosecutors and public defenders, probation department, police, community groups and the business community.

Program History

The SSDMC Foundation was established to promote viable alternatives to incarceration for minority youth within the Cook County South Suburban Sixth Municipal District and provide guidance to the various municipalities addressing issues and factors that lead to minority youth confinement. As part of the larger state and national initiative, SSDMC seeks to correct inequities associated with juvenile justice and youth welfare. The burden of disproportionate minority confinement falls particularly heavily in economically- and politically-distressed communities. To be effective remedies for DMC, the juvenile justice system must respond more appropriately to the needs of youth, their families, neighborhoods and the larger community when youth of color who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. SSDMC goes beyond the identification and explanations of disproportionate minority contact and confinement and puts communitybased recommendations, strategies and remedies into action.

Continued Strategies to Address DMC Reduction

With increased utilization of alternative programs, South Suburban Sixth Municipal District probation violators were redirected to other alternatives via various programs in South Suburban communities. These programs are inclusive but not limited to anger management, mental health programming, peer court, counseling, Job Corps, "Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs," educational programs, day/evening reporting center, and better understanding of DMC. These programs have reduced the number of juvenile probation violators returning to the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center from South Suburban Sixth Municipal District. Other contributing factors are based on family migration from the city to suburban communities. Although the programs in the South Suburban areas are effective, transportation still creates a problem for most youth and families. SSDMC will continue to work with the targeted population. (Overall activity has increased significantly as presented in the numbers among the RRI decision points and diversions during the current quarter. Diversions have been a primary source of SSDMC's focus. SSDMC will continue to strengthen community involvement and seek sustainable funding sources. SSDMC will address community engagement as part of the process outlined below:

Utilize diversion programs in lieu of referrals to detention

  • Evening reporting center
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Anger management programming
  • Counseling community mental health referrals
  • Family group conferencing
  • Peer court

Implement Policies

  • First time offender
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Second time offender
  • Evening reporting center and/or home conferencing
  • Third time offender
  • Detention referral

Procedures

  • Provide support services at each level
  • Informal hearing to identify appropriate diversion program for youths

Discuss monitoring strategies for services provided to probation violators

  • Measured by type of referral, length of stay, success/failure and program completion
  • Continue to monitor risk assessment instrument
  • Continue presentations to parents and youth on the juvenile justice system
  • Continue focus group surveys administered to adults in target areas
  • Continue building relations in throughout the South Suburban Area
  • Collaborative meetings with Illinois Initiatives to address DMC
  • Collaborate with 6th Municipal Court to reinstate the mediation process

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