June 23, 2011 Communications Sub-Committee Meeting

Open to the general public.


June 23, 2011
12:00 -2:00 PM


  • University of Chicago Crime Lab
    55 E. Monroe, 30th Fl
    Chicago, IL 60603
  • 100 S Grand Harris
    Think Tank 3rd Floor
    Springfield, IL 


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of minutes
  4. Review of mandated reports: Status updates
    1. SB1725 Juvenile Reentry Improvement Study
    2. Raise the Age
    3. Sex Offender Study
  5. Communications strategies
  6. Other Items / Next Steps
  7. Next meeting date
  8. Adjournment


  1. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 12:35pm.
  2. Roll Call: Co-chairmen Roseanna Ander and Esther Franco-Payne, Lisa Jacobs and Julie Biehl. Quorum present.
    Staff: Julie Stremlau and Lin Ferguson
  3. Approval of Minutes: Commissioner Jacobs moved to approve Communication Meeting minutes from April 28th and May 26th. Commissioner Biehl seconded the motion. All in favor, minutes approved.
  4. Review of Mandated Reports-Status Updates:
    1. SB1725 Juvenile Reentry Improvement Study
      Commissioner Biehl discussed keeping the word "DRAFT" on the report while in distribution to identified stakeholders only. Chairmain Timberlake confirmed the need to be clear that this is a "draft" report and that, while the Commission is not seeking editing nor fundamental changes in the findings of the report, we do want to hear from stakeholders and will consider feedback before finalizing the report.  Commissioner Jacobs wanted to clarify that we are sending it to key stakeholders to assure accuracy and finalize by the end of the summer. The Committee discussed that our goal is not only to release the report but for the report to have an impact and we feel this is the best way to make an impact and to implement the key recommendations.
    2. Raise the Age:
      Stephanie Kollman presented a plan for conducting the "Raise the Age report" analysis for consideration by the Committee. An updated interview plan for the surveys was distributed. She will e-mail a final version after any editions are made.  Ms. Kollman also presented data available so far, including average arrest rates for each county. Committee members were asked to provide feedback to Ms. Kollman in one week so that she can finalize the plan and timeline. She will send the finalized plan to Commissioners and staff. Commissioner Jacobs asked if we might get more complete responses from an individual in written form instead of a phone call discussion. All agreed that conversation is preferred, but if we meet a large number of people that don't want to respond to the survey, we may consider a written format. Recording the interview is not an option, since that would be considered as intimidating. Commissioner Biehl suggested that Chairman Timberlake write a letter explaining the purpose and intent of the survey. By introducing Ms. Kollman as the surveyor and announcing that she will be calling for an appointment, a better response may be elicited. Contact pattern for the survey will include 1) Timberlake letter; 2) telephone call; 3) second telephone call; 4) survey monkey instrument. Commissioner Jacobs added that we should keep a record of all contacts and responses.
  5. Communication Strategies:
    1. Legislative Update:
      Juvenile Crime Enforcement Coalition (JCEC):Juvenile Sex Offenders: Anita Weinberg reported on SB 2151, which as originally drafted, would have sex offenders restricted of being within 500 ft. of anywhere children are present, i.e., schools, parks, etc. Commissioner Franco-Payne asked if the bill would have excluded juvenile sex offenders from attending school. Ms. Weinberg responded that exception can be made by school districts and park districts, but did not include mechanisms for those exemptions. The sponsor of the legislation let Ms. Weinberg know that it was being advanced by a police investigator in Elk Grove Village. Ms. Weinberg subsequently contacted the investigator and asked if supporters of the bill would agree to a task force that would make recommendations supporting research on best practices and effective policies to manage juvenile sex offenders. The investigator agreed. She stipulated that this be done under the auspices of the Commission. Ms. Weinberg indicated that she and Soledad McGrath of Loyola University Chicago Law School would supervise the study in partnership with the Commission and that students from the ChildLaw Center would provide support as well. Ms. Weinberg reported that the investigator wanted to assure that it would not be a biased or one-sided report and the Committee agreed that an objective, well-researched report would be the most useful to policy-makers. Commissioner Biehl reported that she did a survey of all research on Reentry. She has a bibliography of all current research on this subject. Commissioner Franco-Payne suggested that we get in contact with Capstone about this project. Capstone is working on a Models for Change project with 100 youth who are on lock-out and helping them with their needs. 50% are sex offenders and stuck in DJJ because there is no residential place for them. Commissioner Jacobs added that this is a point to discuss the approach/opportunity of what do we do when we have youth accused of sex offenses from how they are charged and how the charge is determined and on through the trajectory of the Juvenile Justice System. Commissioner Ander wants to identify what types of activities are considered sex offenses and chargeable for youth. Commissioner Biehl added that youth often plead guilty in these cases, not realizing the life-long collateral consequences for doing so. Commissioner Jacobs identified three outcomes from this discussion: 1) the report needs to define juvenile sex offenders both legally and in practice and describe what behaviors fall into that definition under current statutes; 2) map the system for progression of the case through the system; 3) discuss best practices in fostering behavior change and public safety, including looking at the work the Models for Change site in DuPage County has done. That project looked at one jurisdiction to identify juvenile sex offenders and how are they are being charged, implications for pleas and for representation of the youth. Then they looked at all of the literature surrounding best practices for juveniles and the comparisons between them and adults. They identified treatment and community based supervision. The community revamped their entire system and trained their probation officers and improved standards for treatment providers which requires them to use best practices and leaves them responsible for the outcome of clients. Stu Berry from the National Center for Juvenile Justice assisted in this project and is willing and ready to work with us on this topic. The report is compelling for the recommendations that will be made. Commissioner Franco-Payne requested Ms. Weinberg develop an outline for next steps and then the Committee will schedule a meeting via conference call to discuss next steps with DuPage County, Capstone Group, Robin McGinnis, Tracy Newman. Commissioner Biehl suggested that we could make this project part of the assignment for the research person we are going to hire through CPRD. There is no deadline for this, but the investigator would like to have something in place before the next legislative session. The Committee would like to have a work plan ready by July 20 for discussion at the July 28 Communications Committee Meeting.
  6. Juvenile Crime Enforcement Coalition (JCEC):
    Another meeting has not been called and Commissioner Jacobs has not received a response to her request for information about the grants need. At the May meeting they participated via conference call with the ICJIA meeting. At that time they had made about $1 million in grant awards ($250,000 to DJJ, $125,000 each to CAP and ICJIA and the rest went to local jurisdictions, i.e., police departments and probation to continue what they had been doing in their prior funding JABG period.) At the end of the meeting Judge Timberlake asked Commissioner Jacobs to replace Pat Connell on the JCEC. She requested background information about the JCEC, but has not received it yet.
  7. Other Items / Next Steps:
    Commissioner Franco-Payne asked if there is an update on JCEC funding. The Committee was exploring the option of requesting additional funds to print more youth magazines for the McArthur project and any roll over that has not been allocated yet for the JCEC planning grant project for transitional housing for juveniles. No further word.
  8. Next meeting date:
    July 28, 2:00-4:00.
  9. Adjournment:
    Motion to adjourn made by Commissioner Jacobs. Commissioner Biehl seconded the motion. All in favor. None opposed. Meeting adjourned at 1:52PM.