December 16, 2010 Planning and Grants Committee Meeting

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Loyola University Chicago, 25 E. Pearson, 11th Floor,

Childlaw Center, Chicago, IL 60611


I. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 11:35 a.m.

II. Roll Call

Commissioners: Planning and Grant Chairman Lisa Jacobs, George Hill, Pam Rodriguez, Gene Griffin, Esther Franco-Payne, Rosanna Ander, Randell Strickland, Rick Velasquez, IJJC Chairman George Timberlake, IJJC Vice Chairman Wayne Straza, Julie Biehl. Quorum declared present.

Staff: Karrie Rueter, Julie Stremlau, Lin Ferguson.

III. Approval of Minutes

Minutes from the September 24, 2010 meeting were handed out to the members for review.

IV. Priority Area Funding Strategies and Recommendations

Strategic Planning: Commissioner Jacobs circulated a Strategic Planning document and asked the Committee to review the planning issues for discussion and decision making.

Commissioner Timberlake and Commissioner Jacobs indicated that, in accordance with the Commission's stated intentions to engage in a strategic planning process that increases the efficiency and efficacy of the Commission's work, they had reached out the Georgetown Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. They explained that Shay Bilchik, former Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency prevention, serves as Director of CJJR and, in that role, is leading efforts to improve juvenile justice system performance at the national and state level. Among other things, Mr. Bilchik is spearheading CJJR programmatic efforts to improve cross-systems (child welfare and juvenile justice) integration, to increase the implementation of evidence-based strategies for youth and families. Judge Timberlake also noted that, in addition to serving as the chairperson as the Maryland Sate Advisory Group for a number of years, Mr. Bilchik is also providing technical assistance to the New York State Advisory Group in its strategic planning work.

Commissioner Jacobs also explained that Phil Lee, of the Results-Based Accountability group, who serves as a faculty member at CJJR's Certificate Program for Private and Public Policy Leaders. She provided a brief overview of the RBA approach, which could help the Commission clarify, pursue and communicate about the results it seeks, the indicators of success in its work and the strategies it will support to achieve these results.

Commissioners then reviewed and discussed a proposal to contract with CJJR for in-depth technical assistance in a strategic planning processes utilizing the RBA approach and building on Mr. Bilchik's expertise in the effective functioning of State Advisory Groups like the Commission. The proposal presented would require a baseline of $78,500 for contracting with Mr. Bilchik and Mr. Lee and an additional $7,500 if the Commission chooses to use the RBA software available. Commissioner questions, concerns and feedback included the following:

Commissioner Ander stated that if this helps the Commission make better use of time it is a good idea, to ensure that we spend time and funding on strategies that work. We should consider learning about other states that have worked with Shay Bilchik and his team. Commissioner Rodriguez and Commissioner Ander agree the Commission needs to reach its goals. Commissioner Biehl wants to assure the timelines will be met. Commissioner Jacobs assured the Committee that this group will work along with the Bilchik team to develop practical deadlines and that the scope of the project needs to speak to the State of Illinois about a broader picture of Juvenile Justice. Commissioner Griffin is concerned about the amount of money and wants to assure that the initial amount requested will cover everything and that no additional money will be requested. Commissioner Jacobs responded that the Committee will receive and review a detailed budget for the operation.

Commissioner Hill indicates that he wants to see results and not just more talking, and to ensure that the plan developed meets the Commission bylaws. Commissioner Franco-Payne is interested in whether this will help us with our communications, website, producing reports, etc. Commissioner Jacobs discussed the RBA software, which can help illustrate the results the Commission seeks, the specific activities being funded and supported, the indicators of success and the performance measures and progress being made. She noted that we aren't required to use their software, but we will seek to have a demonstration for the full Commission. This data can be used for not only Commission use but also provider progress.

Commissioner Strickland thinks this is a good idea but asked with whom Mr. Bilchik and his team will be working and noted that we will need to know whether the Open Meeting Acts will apply. Commissioner Straza stated that as a Commission, we are in charge of Juvenile Justice for the State and this process could help us know where and how the money is spent, in order to make good decision.

Karrie Rueter noted that the Commission must start to move the work forward, and that we must maintain compliance with the JJDP Act. She also noted that the next three-year plan will be due in March 2012 and we may not be in compliance with the sight and sound separation core requirement under OJJDP's current interpretation of that core requirement.

Commissioner Ander made the motion to allocate $100,000 to fund the work with Shay Bilchik with the stipulation that the Executive Committee have final approval of the budget and this Strategic Plan. Commissioner Straza seconded the motion. Commissioner Griffin voted no. Motion approved.

Data Improvements: The Commission discussed the need for additional funds to modify the Juvenile Monitoring Information Systems (JMIS) to collecting comprehensive detention data, including data on the race and ethnicity of detained youth. The proposed upgrades would also enable JMIS data to distinguish between admissions to secure detention and to non-secure treatment programs. Commissioner Ander agreed to work with JMIS to and the Center for Prevention Research and Development on these enhancements. Commissioner Hill made a motion to approve an increase of up to $15,000 to update the JMIS system. Commissioner Ander seconded the motion. All in favor, motion passed.

Parole Study: Commissioner Biehl discussed the Parole Study. The original $22,500 has been used to pay commissioners and students for travel to centers for the study and to support extensive legal research, writing and data collection. Students are currently entering the information into the data base and will begin analyzing the data in January. Of the amount originally allocated, approximately $7,000 remains in the fund. Commissioner Biehl requested an additional $10,000 for data entry and report drafting and finalization, for completion in March. Commissioner Rodriguez asked if there will there be a breakdown by race/ethnicity. Commissioner Biehl responded that observation alone is not reliable. It was noted by Commissioners that upon initial visits the reviewers reported they did not feel comfortable with directly asking the youth their ethnicity. If it was not stated or written during review then it was not known. This data is not reliable. It was agreed that Commissioner Biehl's work group will attempt to clarify the race information. Commissioner Griffin made the motion to approve $10,000 additional funding for the Parole Study. Commissioner Ander seconded. Commissioner Biehl abstained, all others approved. Motion passed.

Virtual High School / Education Summit: Commissioners next turned to a proposal for $15,000 to support a summit on the "virtual high school" model and effective methods for providing educational services to youth in secure detention and corrections facilities. Commissioner Jacobs reminded Commissioners that they had previously approved a planning grant to support implementation of the VHS model in Cook County detention facility and in IYC facilities, and that in doing so, the Commission expressed interest in learning more about the VHS and other research-based educational models in use in juvenile justice systems in other jurisdictions. The proposed summit would bring together key decision-makers and practitioners to explore the available models and Commission funds would support planning, materials, travel and lodging. Commissioner Ander noted that no funds would go to the Crime Lab, and that all work done by the Crime Lab is pro bono. Commissioner Griffin made a motion to approve the additional funds for the Summit. Commissioner Straza seconded the motion. Commissioner Ander abstained, all others approved. Motion passed.

Communications: Commissioners discussed the resources that will be needed to accomplish its communications and reporting goals and noted that, while the Commission had previously allocated up to $75,000 to support this work, we don't yet have a detailed workplan for use of these resources. Commissioner Esther Franco Payne noted that the Communications Committee is developing this workplan and corresponding budgets for presentation to the Commission in early 2011. Karrie Rueter discussed with the Committee that she would like to report to the General Assembly when the Commission's next Annual Report will be completed.

Additional Items: Commissioner Jacobs noted that there are several items remaining on the Commission's initial funding priorities list, including research and reporting, youth engagement, investments in youth engagement and community based supervision models. She noted that these issues may be included in the strategic planning process and remain open for discussion by the Commission.

V. Re-Entry RFP Content Discussion

Commissioner Jacobs discussed the funding previously approved to support effective reentry strategies and services with youth leaving state secure custody. She noted that the Commission had approved up to $500,000 per year, for each of three years, to be allocated through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Commissioners discussed the prior discussions of whether to allocate a larger amount - up to $750,000 - and agreed to begin with the smaller amount previously approved and that additional funds could be allocated if deemed appropriate moving forward.

Commissioners also discussed key questions which need to be addressed in order to move forward on an RFP, including:

  • What services and activities the funds will and will not support;
  • Who will be eligible to apply, including which jurisdictions will be targeted / eligible and what type of entity can apply;
  • What data must be supplied by applicants;
  • What collaboration with DJJ and other state and local partners is required;
  • What review criteria will be applied; and
  • What timeframe is practical.for the RFP and implementation process.

Some areas of agreement included that the Commission would like to try to focus and provide planning and support for community based, direct services to youth. We need sustainable systems improvements that support youth. We do not want to duplicate what the State should be providing. We want to make sure the parolee gets the services under the terms of parole. We want to remain open-minded. It has to pass the common sense test. An RFP does not necessarily meet a certain criteria unless it is truly backed by evidence found in research.

The RFP needs to emphasize best practices and innovative approach, local planning/buy-in, coordination with State, money to implement plan, services delivery, and sustainability, evaluate impact, and memorialize former plans and recommendations. We want to not only meet kids' needs but change the system. Commissioner Rodriguez added that we want to meet the needs of the youth, decrease recidivism and address the whole picture and not just provide services for youth getting out of incarceration.

Commissioners Timberlake and Jacobs also indicated that this is a large, significant project which represents a significant commitment of resources and time for all participants and requires solid management by an individual or group of individuals with subject-matter expertise and the ability to devote the needed time and attention. They proposed that a portion of the funds allocated should be used to support a project manager with the responsibility to guide the project from conceptualization to planning, implementation, measurement and analysis. Commissioners discussed the advantages and implications of using a portion of the funds in this way and the potentially larger "systems improvement" impact of doing so.

Commissioner Biehl recommended that we develop write goals for the RFP and discuss. Karrie Rueter and staff can work on the RFP. Commissioner Griffin is against spending more money on outside people to do work that we can do internally. Other Commissioners noted that there are not currently staff available with these qualifications and backgrounds. Karrie noted that DHS could possibly get identify a contractual staff person, to develop and execute the RFP. Other Commissioners noted that the scope of work envisioned is broader and longer term than just writing an RFP.

Chairman Timberlake suggested that the Planning and Grants Committee continue development of a proposed RFP and description of the management role for consideration. Commissioner Straza requested the Commission agree that anyone funded through these RFP's that fails to meet the requirements established be that-funded. Commissioner Griffin seconded the motion. All in favor, motion passed.

VI. New Business

DJJ Screening and Assessment Resources: Director Bishop shared with the Commission that the Department of Juvenile Justice is seeking resources to continue use and analysis of the VDISC and VISA mental health assessment tools within the Department. These tools have been partially implemented, in part with Commission funding, through a subcontract between the Department and the National Center for Crime and Delinquency (NCCD). While DJJ's contract with NCCD has concluded, additional resources are needed to allow the Department to contract directly with Columbia University to finalize implementation of the VDISC and VISA and to analyze data regarding its use and efficacy and the demonstrated mental health needs of youth in DJJ's care. Director Bishop indicated that, in accordance with the Commission's prior indications that enhancing the screening, assessment and case planning for youth in DJJ custody is a priority, he anticipates presenting a proposal for these additional resources for consideration by the Commission in January 2011. The Committee agreed to further review this proposal after reviewing the detailed plan and budget.

Commissioner Attendance: Karrie Rueter discussed the issue of all appointed Commissioners being involved in the Commission. If a commissioner is not able to attend or is not willing to participate, we need to replace those commissioners. Commissioner Hill stated that he thought the bylaws require participation of the commissioners. Commissioner Jacobs affirmed that the bylaws contain rules about attendance. IJJC Chairman Timberlake asked for the attendance record from Julie Stremlau. That information will be forwarded to Chairman Timberlake.

VII. Planning & Next Meetings

The initial 2011 calendar has been sent. Any corrections should be sent to Lin Ferguson and Julie Stremlau for editing.

VIII. Adjournment

Commissioner Straza moved to Adjourn. Commissioner Hill seconded the motion. Meeting adjourned at 2:29 pm