C. Plan for Removal of Juveniles From Adult Jails & Lockups


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3C - Plan for Removal of Juveniles from Adult Jail and Lockups

Currently in Illinois the six-hour hold exception is utilized. Illinois is in compliance with the Jail Removal requirement and violations have been decreasing. The rural removal and transfer/waiver exceptions are not utilized.

Juveniles accused of committing acts which would be not be criminal for adults are not to be securely detained in jails or lockups. A rule of reason is applied, allowing alleged delinquents to be detained for up to six hours for the purpose of investigation and identification. The clock starts the moment a juvenile is placed into a locked setting. This includes any locked room, or when a juvenile is handcuffed to a stationary object. At the end of the six hours the juvenile must be released or transferred to a juvenile detention center.

Prior to the year 2000, Illinois had been using the old interpretation that once the clock started, it could not be stopped until the juvenile was released from custody, even if the juvenile was removed from the locked setting. Starting in 2000, Illinois began using a new interpretation of the rule approved by OJJDP stating that once the clock starts it can be stopped once the juvenile is permanently removed from the locked setting.

The Illinois Juvenile Court Act was rewritten with many provisions becoming effective in 1999. One new provision is in direct conflict with the Jail Removal requirement of the JJDP Act. The new provision permits county jails and municipal lockups to detain minors 12 years of age and older up to 12 hours, unless the offense is a crime of violence, in which case the minor may be detained up to 24 hours. This new provision was a key factor in Illinois' lack of compliance with the jail removal requirement in 1999.

Status

Illinois continues to be in compliance with the jail removal core requirement.

In 2007, 39 county jails and 176 municipal lockups in Illinois securely detained juveniles. Of these, 12 county jails and 27 municipal lockups exceeded the six-hour limit at least once, resulting in 160 violations (51 in county jails and 109 in municipal lockups). The de minimis Number for Illinois is 274.

In 2008, 39 county jails and 176 municipal lockups in Illinois securely detain juveniles.

Of these, 13 county jails and 30 municipal lockups exceeded the six-hour limit at least once, resulting in 183 violations (62 in county jails and 121 in municipal lockups).The de minimis number for Illinois is 274.

In 2009, 12 county jails and 25 municipal lockups exceeded the six hour limit at least once, resulting in 163 violations (50 in county jails and 113 in municipal lockups).The de minimis number for Illinois is 274.

Plan to Maintain Compliance

Illinois has developed a number of strategies to come into compliance with the jail removal core requirement and will continue with a number of these efforts.

  1. Illinois expanded the number of juvenile detention beds by 46 percent (694 beds to 1,282 beds) from 1989 to 2005. This has resulted in less reliance on the use of county jails and municipal lockups to detain juveniles. In fact, Illinois has gone from not enough detention beds to having an excess of detention beds.
    • IJJC continues to support jail removal efforts in rural areas by approving grants to transport juveniles from rural counties to juvenile detention centers elsewhere in the state. Currently, there are four grantees located strategically throughout the state. Certain parts of the state are three or four hours from a detention center. Without transportation programs county sheriff's departments would have the responsibility of transporting minors for the detention hearings. One or two deputies could be occupied for their entire shift. A number of rural counties may only have two deputies working at one time. The transportation grants help offset this expense and ensures the youth can be held in a juvenile detention center, as opposed to county jail, and still be present for a detention hearing.
    • IJJC has made a strong commitment to developing alternatives to detention throughout Illinois. As alternatives to detention are developed it will allow more juveniles to remain in their community in non-secure settings. This directly impacts a reduction in the detention of juveniles in county jails and municipal lockups. The alternatives to detention emphasis in Illinois originally began almost a decade ago when Cook County was chosen by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as a site to implement detention alternatives strategies. At that time, the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center was chronically overcrowded. After unparalleled success in Cook County many of the lessons learned have been adopted by IJJC with the goal of replicating similar projects throughout Illinois. One of the critical foundations of IJJC detention alternatives work has been to realize that what may work in Cook County may not work in another county. Each community has its unique issues, resources and challenges. IJJC is working in partnership with communities to develop detention alternatives.

      The IJJC has supported the Illinois Probation and Court Services Association to co-sponsor an Alternatives to Detention Symposium in conjunction with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Symposium has been held annually with over 50 counties attending. The format of the Symposium is for participating counties to send teams of key stakeholders (i.e. juvenile judge, juvenile probation director, state's attorney, detention center director, etc.) to participate. Throughout the Symposium the teams are encouraged to develop strategies that can be used in their community.

    • The IJJC has contracted with the National Juvenile Detention Association to provide a model annual detention report. The report, The Status of Juvenile Detention in Illinois: Model Annual Report has been done annually with the last version done in the fall of 2003. The report is widely disseminated and is used to educate key policy makers and the public in current detention practices. It is expected that this report will continue.
    • The Commission along with the Department of Human Services continues to actively support proposed legislation to bring the state back in line with the core requirements of the Federal JJDP Act. In particular, as it pertains to this core requirement, Illinois law currently allows for a youth between 12 and 17 years of age to be held in a secure lockup for up to12 hours, unless the offense is a crime of violence in which case the minor may be detained up to 24 hours. This is of course, is in direct violation of the Federal JJDP Act.