Second Chance Act Youth Offender Reentry Program (SCAYOR)
Multisystemic Therapy for Emerging Adults
Emerging adults, also known as transition age youth, are at peak developmental risk for numerous concerns that can result in detrimental lifelong outcomes. The highest risk for offending, violent victimization, substance abuse and the onset of serious mental illness all occur during this critical developmental stage. Justice involvement and serious mental illness among EAs are also strong predictors of school dropout status, unemployment, low earnings and welfare dependence. The vast majority (81%) of the current Aftercare population that the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) serves are 17-20 year olds. These EAs are ineligible for many youth-focused, evidence-based services nor are they well-matched to many adult-oriented services. Standard Multisystem Therapy (MST) is a manualized, community- and family-based intervention with proven effectiveness for reducing recidivism in delinquent youth ages 12-17. A recent adaption of this standard model known as Multisystemic Therapy for Emerging Adults (MST-EA) was recently developed and demonstrated positive findings during an initial pilot.
The Illinois Department of Human Services, along with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, are collaboratively conducting a planning process to update the state's strategic reentry plan and developing an implementation plan for the Multisystemic Therapy for Emerging Adults. Over a 24-month period, the collaborators will attempt to validate the early findings in the initial pilot by serving EAs transitioning from secure care back to Cook and Winnebago counties. The project will serve approximately 48 youth and will have targeted outcomes that include reduced recidivism and improvements in mental health, substance use, family functioning, peer supports, health care, housing, education and vocational readiness.
Second Chance provides services to male and female youth age 17 1/2 and younger, with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues that are being released from secure correctional facilities to Cook County. The purpose of the program is to provide individualized, comprehensive aftercare planning and services for high-risk, high need youth that will support them as they transition from incarceration into the community. Illinois Second Chance creates a reentry infrastructure that incorporates evidence-based intervention techniques and community-based health and human services, beginning two months prior to release and continuing four months post-release. A partnership between the IDHS and IDJJ provides each youth with an aftercare plan that addresses the individual and his/her family's assessed needs, provides a service based case plan, and identifies the community placement requirements. Illinois Second Chance uses Family Integrated Transitions (FIT) as the primary strategy to reduce recidivism among juvenile offenders with mental health and chemical dependency disorders. Illinois Second Chance services are currently delivered in Cook County.