Illinois Department of Human Services Redeploy Illinois Initiative Saves State Millions

Statistics reveal significant reductions in juvenile incarceration rates

The Illinois Department of Human Services'(IDHS) Redeploy Illinois initiative released the 2010 Cost Benefit Analysis Data. The statistics reveal significant reductions in the number of juveniles committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Redeploy Illinois was implemented in 2005 in order to provide financial support to counties in their efforts to identify comprehensive community services for delinquent youth. The program has been successful in mobilizing communities to direct resources to youth offenders who otherwise would have been incarcerated. Counties receiving Redeploy funds commit to reducing their number of commitments by 25% in exchange for grant funds - according to the 2010 cost benefit analysis, on average the 8 Redeploy sites reduced their commitments in 2010 by 53% percent from their baselines. According to the per capita cost of incarcerating one juvenile in DJJ, this decrease in commitments translates to a $9,038, 927cost avoidance for the state of Illinois.

"Redeploy Illinois has clearly shown that community-based services for juvenile offenders are generally less costly and more effective than institutional care in correctional facilities," said IDHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler. "In the six years of providing services Redeploy Illinois has successfully diverted almost 800 youth from commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice."

The Redeploy Illinois initiative provides counties the funding to develop comprehensive services that include counseling, substance abuse and mental health treatment, life skills education, cognitive therapies, transportation, parent and family support services, victim-related services, electronic monitoring and more.

Although cost is an important measure of success, especially for a government-supported program, it is secondary to the initiative's effect on the lives of troubled youth. With the advent of Redeploy Illinois, many more youth offenders now have the opportunity to thrive and become productive citizens.

"Redeploy funding has increased the availability of community services for juveniles and their families; access to intensive treatment, substance abuse treatment, aggression interruption training and electronic monitoring allows me to insure community protection without having to commit juveniles to DJJ," said Judge Elizabeth Robb, McLean County.

2010 Cost Analysis

The per capita cost for a 12-month juvenile commitment was $70,827 in Fiscal Year 2005 (latest data available-IDJJ). The average length of stay for a delinquency commitment was 8.8 months ($51,940). The average length of stay for a court evaluation commitment was 3.5 months ($20,658). In FY 2005, nine percent of the IDJJ juvenile population was incarcerated for a court evaluation.

The methodology for calculating the cost avoidance of Redeploy involved several steps:

  1. Compare the baseline eligible commitment number to the observed number of eligible commitments for a given year. (The baseline is the average of a site's eligible commitments for the three years prior to participation in the program.)
  2. Determine among Redeployed youth the number that would have been committed for evaluation and full commitment. According to IDJJ (2005), nine percent of new admissions are for a court evaluation. Therefore, the factors of .09 and .91 were applied to the number of Redeployed youth.
  3. Apply the costs associated with commitment to the number of Redeployed youth
Redeploy Site Baseline Number Eligible Commitments Number Redeployed Percent Reduction from Baseline Cost Avoidance
2nd Circuit (12 counties) 40 18 22 55% $1,080,742
Macon 51 36 15 29% $736,869
Peoria 78 44 34 44% $1,670,237
St. Clair 74 13 61 82% $2,996,601
Lee 11 1 10 91% $491,246
McLean 23 11 12 52% $589,495
Madison 33 20 13 39% $638,619
4th Circuit (5 counties *) 37 20 17 46% $835,118
TOTALS 347 163 184 53% $9,038,927

*Four additional counties are now being served by the 4th Judicial Circuit bringing the current number of RI counties to 27 in 2011.