July 13, 2011 Planning and Grants Sub-Committee Meeting

IJJC Planning and Grants SubCommittee Meeting

Date and Time

July 13, 2011, 9:00-11:00 a.m.


401 S. Clinton, Think Tank, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL

823 E. Monroe St., Springfield, IL


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of Minutes
  4. Status of Funds
    1. Title II
    2. Title V
  5. DJJ Screening & Assessment Proposal
  6. Committee Updates/Motions for Consideration
    1. BARJ
    2. JDAI
    3. DMC
    4. Communications
  7. Results Based Accountability
  8. AOIC/ICJIA Data Collaboration
  9. Reentry RFP Update
  10. Youth Membership
  11. Other
  12. New Business
  13. Adjournment


  1. Call to Order: 9:16 AM.
  2. Roll Call: Commissioners Gene Griffin, George Hill, Pamela Rodriguez, Committee Chairman Jacobs and Commission Chairman George Timberlake. Commissioners Esther Franco-Payne, Julie Biehl and Rick Velasquez joined the meeting. Guests: Ashley Cross, Dr. Jennifer Jaworski of IDOC and Michelle Arnold.
    Staff: Karrie Rueter, Lin Ferguson. Judge Timberlake announced that Roseanna Ander and Debra Ferguson resigned their positions on the Commission due to growing and changing professional obligations, but that both had expressed ongoing support for the Commission and its work.
  3. Approval of Minutes: Commissioner Griffin made a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Commissioner Pamela Rodriguez seconded the motion. All in favor. None opposed, Commissioner Hill abstained. Motion passed.
  4. Status of Funds:
    Title II: Funding status has not changed since our last meeting.
    Title V: Funding status has not changed since our last meeting
    Report from Communications Committee: Very deep cuts are proposed by Congress, which would eliminate Title V and JABG funding. Title II Funds would cut by 40%. Commissioner Jacobs suggested a response to the proposed cuts be made by the Commission to identify the damage they would cause in the Juvenile Justice System if they signed into law. Commissioner Franco-Payne reported that Roseanna Ander has agreed to approach the Mayor's office about our talking points to Senators Durbin and Kirk. The Communications Committee is proposing that discussions concerning the funding of Juvenile Justice be held at the Commission level to allow preparation time for a response. She requested that Ms. Rueter keep the Communications Committee up-to-date on critical issues with the Feds. Ms. Rueter responded that she gets the same alerts that Commissioner Jacobs receives so she doesn't have a contact that sends her frequent updates from Washington. Ashley Cross added that DJJ has a representative, Jen Hoesel, in Washington. She receives updates through the Governor's Association. She will ask Jen to provide us with the appropriate updates.
    Commissioners discussed the challenges for the Communications Committee to address these issues on short notice. Chairman Jacobs identified three components to the issue: 1) knowing what is going on at the federal level; 2) knowing what the Commission wants to say about the issue and who needs to hear our opinion; 3) who should be making these decisions and writing the response. Ms. Rueter responded that generally these types of responses come from the Commission Chair. Commissioners discussed the challenges of expecting Commission members who volunteer services to the Commission and who have full-time professional obligations to serve in the role of monitoring and preparing policy and budget communications, particularly on a short time-table. The group decided they will address this issue at a later date.
  5. DJJ Screening & Assessment Proposal/Enhanced: Chairperson Jacobs directed committee members' attention to the proposal from the Department of Juvenile Justice for funding to support enhanced evidence-based screening, assessment and case planning for youth in their care. She reminded Committee members that the Commission had invited this proposal, based on the system-change priorities established by the group and asked Ashley Cross, DJJ Chief of Staff, and Jennifer Jaworski, Director of DJJ's clinical programs to present the proposal.
    Ms. Cross reported that the task presented to them was to look at DJJ's overall screening and assessment policy and practice, to consider all the recommendations prepared by the various policy, practitioner and advocacy groups and to decide how to improve the Department's practices most effectively and efficiently, in alignment with documented best practices for identifying youth risks, needs and strengths and then building individualized caseplans with youth in DJJ custody. She noted that the proposal may be different than what work group members have discussed previously, because DJJ has tried to eliminate as many redundancies as possible and make it as cost effective as possible. The four recommended tools will cost $329,646.
    Dr. Jaworski reported on the four tools - MAYSI-II, VDISC / VISA, CANS and YASI - and noted that DJJ staff are very excited about having the opportunity to work with the tools identified for this program. She reported that MAYSI is nearly ready for use, with the policy and procedure manual going to final draft with the Models for Change National Resource Bank and then through a review process by DJJ. She indicated that she hoped that DJJ could start training staff by the end of August and start implementing MASYI in the beginning of September. Dr. Jaworski also noted that VDISC has been used at all three Reception and Classification Centers and will continue with the new contract directly with Columbia University; VISA is not being used yet because we are waiting for that contract to be fully executed. Ms. Rueter Rueter is working on the contract between DHS and DJJ.
    Dr. Jaworski also reported that, DJJ had decided to move forward with a pencil and paper CANS assessment while working on the overarching IT development for the CANS. The price of training and how it will work is included in the Attachment B. DJJ would like to have separate trainings for superintendents, assistant superintendents and staff as well as training all mental health, youth and family specialists and their supervisors. If this proposal is approved, DJJ hopes to begin CANS training in October and start using the CANS in November. Dr. Jaworski added that all of the proposed dates are subject to soul source series and procurement laws. She directed Commissioners to the IT development proposal outlined in Attachment C and noted that all of the documented expenses are for a one year period, so we can plan for future costs.
    Ms. Rueter asked if they had considered hiring contractual people to do this work and if they think the State will maintain these positions. Ashley responded that it may be possible that we can put these positions into a head-count that will be transferred to DJJ for DOC. Or, DJJ is open to utilizing contractual support if that is the decision of the Commission.
    Commissioner Biehl wants to assure that these programs complement the Commission's efforts toward more effective release and reentry both by having better information for the decision maker and moving to after care providing building blocks for a tracking system that the Commission has envisioned. She added that we want to do all we can to get kids out and keep kids out safely, not just to build more complete information about youth and then not act appropriately upon that information. Chairman Timberlake wants to be able to assess needs and develop a plan for aftercare rather than keeping kids in the system because the community isn't able to meet their needs. He suggests a director level discussion/collaboration about the migration of kids between agencies. This will give us a better assessed youth and better outcomes for them. Commissioner Rodriguez added that if we don't act on what we know it will become harder and harder to release kids if there are no services in the community and it is a huge risk. Assessments are an important part of this plan.
    Commissioner Franco-Payne asked if they are looking at old contracts to restructure those already in place to fit into the new assessment plans. Ashley Cross responded that they are reviewing all of the contracts at this time. There were 3-month contracts in place so that reassessment could be done prior to putting out the RFP which will require a different level of expectation focusing on outcome based performance measures. Justin is working with the Models for Change National Resource Bank to address these needs and looking at best practices from other states as well. All service contracts were reviewed with Director Bishop and Director McEwen to identify the best state agency to support those contracts and services. As a result, some "shared services" were moved to DHS and DCFS and some will stay at DOC. A couple of new items have emerged that need to be addressed such as interpretation services for aftercare to work with families and retraining some of the adult parole officers to take on some services for juveniles in aftercare services in certain parts of the State. To address Commissioner Biehl's comment about job descriptions and to assure that this is part of case management, a third position was added specifically for case management as described in Attachment C.
    Commissioner Hill acknowledged Commissioner Griffin for his good work on the CANS program. He asked if it is appropriate for the Commission to spend $250,000 on the CANS tool since it is operational and that makes it a responsibility of the State. He also added that in a global sense the siloed use of the YASI instrument is a problem in the state. He feels that the proposal is not weighted enough in the direction of YASI use and sharing between DJJ, probation departments and service providers and that, if we don't solve that problem we could create an additional silo. He said that, historically, the role of the Commission has been to train juvenile officers and all regional correction centers, but to implement something is the responsibility of the State.
    Commissioner Pam Rodriguez added that an RFP is out concerning substance abuse assessments. It requires use the TCU and GAIN. The GAIN is a huge substance abuse assessment and it is not included in this proposal. The tool is expensive and requires a lot of fidelity to use the tool requiring a lot of training, etc. She expressed concern that these assessment and treatment plans are not yet integrated. Dr. Jaworski has had conversations with Daniel Kirby of DASA concerning restructuring substance abuse programming. She explained that the TCU is a screen to simplify the GAIN. She added that the TCU might not be the best tool to use. Commissioner Griffin added that the GAIN cannot replace the CANS.
    Chairman Timberlake asked if the case management portion of the IT budget will be solely used for IT. Ashley clarified that it is larger than IT since it will be pulling all the systems together. The Chairman agreed with Commissioner Hill that we need to drive this system to a better result and better outcomes for the kids. He wants to assure that this system will integrate into a case management model that will provide good decisions for placement, treatment and discharge.
    Commissioner Jacobs framed the questions before the Commission as follows: 1) given our knowledge do these tools and practices make sense policy/practice wise? 2) assuming we decide this is good idea what is the role of the Commission in bringing this to fruition? 3) if we fund this proposal, what is the role of the Commission to assure implementation matches our goals and what deliverables do we want and expect to receive back as a Commission? We want to assure that we have had enough dialog with DJJ and amongst Commissioners to assure that we think this is a good idea and then identify what the role will be for the Commission in this plan.
    Commissioner Franco-Payne suggested that the Commission not fund every piece of the proposal but provide insight on next steps and leveraging funds. Commissioner Pam Rodriguez added that the Commission needs to identify the outcomes we expect. Commissioner Biehl asked if we are trying to do too much. Commissioner Griffin replied that we are not using all of the "merger workgroup's" recommendation of six tools and that, in some ways, this is a minimal approach to the necessary screening/research project while still being effective.
    Chairman Jacobs readdressed Commissioner Hill's question about the role of the Commission. She suggested that we use a results based accountability framework to identify whether this fits the Commission's identified goals and role. Commissioner Pam Rodriguez suggested that the Commission fund those outcomes. Identify what is different in a year, has a system changed occurred and what system change do we expect to see.
    Ashley Cross reported that DJJ has discussed proposing legislation that requires the courts to consider DJJ as a last resort. If passed, it would require the courts to send kids to DJJ with certain information and the YASI could be included in the requirement. Commissioner Franco-Payne proposed that we run this proposal through RBA before voting.  Chairman Timberlake agrees with that but it adds more time. He thinks we should add that component into our approval of the plan. Ms. Rueter added that we need to get the money out there.
    Commissioner Velasquez asked if we can decouple certain parts of the proposal and vote on the components we are ready for at this time. Ms. Rueter added that we could remove the IT component from the proposal and vote on the remainder of the proposal. CANS training and preparation and YASI are important to get moving, and it is a one-time investment.
    Commissioner Biehl has spoken with an individual that built the statewide data system for DCFS about this proposal and she basically laid out this plan when discussing IT. Commissioner Biehl thinks that the two components should go together. She proposed a contract for the whole proposal which would make it short term and give more control over spending. Her only concern is the very high indirect cost included in the proposal.
    Ms. Rueter added that the State will only allow 7%. Commissioner Griffin Gene added that 2.5% is the approved federal indirect rate. Ms. Rueter added that it is approved, but we don't necessarily have to fund that amount. Lisa proposed funding a screening and assessment work group which would be a cross-agency screening and assessment implementation group including these consulting roles to build the IT, to develop the necessary interagency agreements, to research and policy and law, developing House Bill 83 implementation plan, training plan. 
    Following this lengthy discussion, Commissioner Timberlake made a motion that we approve the proposal on three conditions: 1) That the Commission develop a cooperative agreement with DJJ for the oversight and implementation of this proposal; 2) That DJJ and the Commission complete an RBA analysis to clearly articulate the project goals, strategies, and measures; 3) That DJJ will work with the Commission and other partners to develop cross-agency and cross-system strategies for sharing and using data to improve youth outcomes, policy and practice and; 4) DJJ seek the most economical means of obtaining services and technical assistance to advance the proposal, including the use of contractual and consulting agreements. Commissioner Pam Rodriguez seconded the motion. All in favor, none opposed. Commissioner Griffin abstained. Motion passed.
  6. Committee Updates/Motions for Consideration
    1. BARJ - No report
    2. JDAI - No report
    3. DMC - No report
    4. Communications - No report
  7. Results Based Accountability: No report
  8. AOIC/ICJIA Data Collaboration: No report
  9. Youth Membership
    Youth Commission Report from Mariame Kaba sent report to Commission. This will  be put on a future agenda for discussion.
  10. Other: No report
  11. New Business:
    Commissioner Biehl reported that the Communications Committee authorized her to write a letter of inquiry to the Public Welfare Foundation to seek support for the implementation of the Commission's recommendations for improving the reentry and aftercare system for youth leaving DJJ custody. Commissioner Biel reported that Katayoon Maajd of the Foundation asked that a full proposal be submitted for up to $100,000 for one year. Commissioner Jacobs reported that she had spoken with Nancy Gannon-Hornberger at the Coalition for Juvenile Justice who had been asked by the Public Welfare Foundation what they know about SAGs in advancing good policy change and whether the Commission is serious about a systems change role and if we have the capacity for this role. Commissioner Griffin made a recommendation that we apply for the Public Welfare Foundation grant. Commissioner Jacobs seconded the motion. All in favor. None opposed. None abstained. Motion passed.
    Commissioner Jacobs suggested that Communications Committee to respond to the issues of federal funding. Commissioner Franco-Payne asked if it can be done before the IJJC meeting. Commissioner Hill recommended that the Communications Committee develop a policy and procedure to define their role and seek approval from the Commission which would address the issues raised when they come up. As an example the Committee could rely on the Executive Committee for direction. Chairman Timberlake asked what we can do to foster this sort of legislative interest without lobbying. Ms. Rueter added in the Training/Technical Assistance RFP that will coming out soon, built within it is a component for state and federal legislation, monitoring and tracking, etc.
  12. Adjournment: Chairman Timberlake made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Pam Rodriguez seconded the motion. Meeting adjourned at 11:06 AM.