January 20, 2016 Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission


Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission Members and Staff. The public is welcome to attend.


January 20, 2016, 9:00am to 1:00pm


  • 401 S Clinton
    1st Floor 
    Chicago, IL
  • Call In: 888-4944032
    Code: 5329547331#


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of Minutes
  4. Probation Review Project Update
  5. Adult Transfer Data Project
  6. Fiscal Update
    1. CJJ Membership Fee
    2. John Howard Association/Cook County Public Defender: Legal Literacy at Cook County JTDC
    3. Expungement Report Release
  7. Committee Updates & Motions
    1. DMC/RED
    2. Executive Committee
    3. JDAI
    4. Planning & Grants
    5. Youth Advisory Board
  8. Other Project Updates
  9. Notable Legislation
  10. New Business
  11. Public Comment
  12. Adjournment


  1. Call to Order
    Meeting was called to order at 9:09am.
  2. Roll Call
    Chairperson, George Timberlake; Vice Chairperson, Lisa Jacobs; Commissioners: Rodney Ahitow, Julie Biehl, Jacqueline Bullard, Esther Franco-Payne, Arnetra Jackson, Brendan Kelly, Patrick Nelson, Ben Roe, Rick Velasquez and Dana Weiner. Quorum declared present at 9:29am.
    Guests: Peg Robertson, Susan Witkin, Sarah Yousef. Staff: Grace Hong-Duffin, Rob Vickery, Julie Stremlau, Karima Douglas.
  3. Approval of Minutes
    Commissioner Biehl motioned to approve the minutes. Commissioner Nelson seconded the motion. Minutes approved.
  4. Probation Review Project Update
    Peg Robertson updated the group. Commissioner Roe indicated the follow up and coordination with the AO field representative has been very positive. Ogle and the Second Circuit reviews are usually good. There seems to be less assistance with DuPage. The willingness to coordinate exists but not to assume responsibility for work quality, training, etc. Vice Chairperson Jacobs noted they volunteered and agreed to this analysis. Commissioners Roe, Weiner and Nelson would like to assist in this process.
    The Detention Data report is ready to send out. Special thanks to Susan Witkin and her great work on this report.
  5. Adult Transfer Data Project
    Vice Chairperson Jacobs explained this project. It is a web based data collection system that was created by CPRD and will be operated and maintained by them. Senior Research Analyst, Susan Witkin explained the idea and plan behind this data project. Susan explained the process and the development of a sustainable site. Is it within the IJJC's interest to invest in such a site? Susan explained that CPRD will gather data and enter data into the system. Currently the Atlas group will work to set this up. She indicated the cost would be from $15,000 to $18,000 with additional funds for servers, protocols, securing data and keeping the data. $38,000 for the servers and there will be more than one. Most of the cost would be one-time costs but then over time there will be a need to replace/update equipment/replace equipment or adjust to changes in the system. Vice Chairperson Jacobs explained there is not that much data to be considered. It is the demographics we want. IJJC Executive Director, Rob Vickery explained that we are not mandated by the statute to do this but we believe it is the right avenue to take. He further explained there is a range of options but this route seemed the most efficient.
    Commissioner Biehl recommended the IJJC sit down with Cook County Juvenile Court and work with them. The IJJC, CPRD and the State's Attorney's should be involved and we need to work on getting the key players involved. Commissioner Velasquez added that it is one thing to give us the job of completing this task and another to fund it. DMC Coordinator, Karima Douglas added that Illinois has never been able to get the data we need from the courts. The federal mandates exist but our state statutes do not coincide. IL needs the data for Petitions Filed as well as Transfers. Vice Chairperson Jacobs noted that this request is difficult as we don't have everyone we need on board for just the Transfer data. It was noted that it is an opportunity to work with others to build relationships that will assist in accomplishing these changes. Susan Witkin also added that she receives requests for data constantly. Seems everyone wants the data it just isn't out there. The group will continue to look at the options and will report back with further information and plans for follow-up.
  6. Fiscal Update
    Vice Chairperson Jacobs announced that this will be Rob Vickery's last fiscal update as the Executive Director of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission. Rob has taken a job with the Department of Juvenile Justice. She noted that Rob will be greatly missed by the members and that his work for the Commission was outstanding and DJJ is getting a great addition to its team. She also noted that Rob will be given the Tony Gobar Outstanding Juvenile Justice Specialist Award at the Coalition for Juvenile Justice Conference in April 2016. This award is given in honor of the late Tony Gobar, a long-time Juvenile Justice Specialist from Mississippi, the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) recognizes a state Juvenile Justice Specialist who has exemplified excellence in service to others; has been dedicated and committed to improving the juvenile justice system; and has demonstrated compassion and concern for juveniles and advocates. Rob Vickery thanked everyone for their kind words and briefly explained his new duties.
    The fiscal outlook is good. We are within the budget with JABG with some that may underspend. JABG will be ending and we currently have about 120k not obligated. It may be necessary to juggle some money by moving it from those that do not spend. For Title II we have about a million allotted. We have used about $200,000 thus far. The current and upcoming contracts will be used to deplete this grant. We are more on track with spending than we have been in the past so there is not as much "catch up" being played with the funds. Grace Hong-Duffin introduced herself to the group. She explained her past roles with DHS and her current duties. She explained her function of assisting the Commission while the search for Rob's replacement continues. She thanked Rob for his contributions and believes DJJ continues to get great people from IDHS.
  7. Committee Updates and Motions
    1. DMC
      DMC Chairperson Franco-Payne and DMC Coordinator, Karima Douglas updated the group on the DMC activities. There have been two DMC Forums. They were successful with great participation. The next forum is scheduled for March 2016. Commissioner Biehl stated it is a time in Chicago when we can push toward what we want and get others to join as there is so much interest.
    2. Executive
      No update. Work continues on updating the by-laws.
    3. JDAI
      JDAI Chairman Velasquez gave the JDAI update. He updated the group on current JDAI projects and explained that it has been difficult to get anything accomplished recently. It is a challenging time.
    4. Planning and Grants
      1. John Howard Association/Cook County Public Defender: Legal Literacy at Cook County JTDC
        Vice Chairperson Jacobs explained the purpose of this request. The funding is being requested to support the program over the next year, while JHA recruits more volunteer attorneys and develops training and other materials that can assist in the transition of the program to the Office of the Cook County Public Defender. There was a motion from the Planning and Grants Committee to accept a proposal to formalize and institutionalize this for up to $20,000. Commissioner Franco-Payne believes what they provide is valuable and what they provide in terms of education is good. Commissioner Biehl agrees that education for the kids is needed but there are other ways to mentor. She noted the Commission no longer funds FDLA and they do great work for youth. Commissioner Biehl agrees that we want to engage families and support and educate on rights but does not believe this is how it should be done. After discussion ended, the motion passed. Commissioner Biehl abstained from the vote.
      2. Expungement Report Release
        The cost for release is $27,000. Grace Hong Duffin did advise the group that DHS has printing ability but is limited in some areas with extensive graphics or special report designs. The final report will be examined to determine if DHS is able to do the printing. Please note that Jim Bray is assisting the Commission on this report release. Vice Chairperson Jacobs motioned to approve up to $27,000 for the report. Commissioner Biehl abstained from the vote. Motion passed. Commissioner Biehl also announced The Illinois Juvenile Collateral Consequences Checklist will be distributed soon. It will be posted on the IJJC website.
      3. CJJ Membership Dues
        The CJJ membership is due. This is a Planning and Grants Committee motion to continue membership, no second needed. Chairman Timberlake abstained from the vote due to his association with CJJ. Motion passed.
    5. Youth Advisory Board
      Karima Douglas gave update on YAB. There have been efforts to get YAB on track again and to increase membership. The applications received were reviewed but no final decisions were noted. Commissioner Jackson explained her work on this board and the ideas to reach youth and foster relationships with the Commission. Commissioner Velasquez believes the Planning and Grants Committee should get involved in this process.
  8. Notable Legislation
    There is legislation coming about probation changes. Will share as necessary.
  9. Announcements/Public Comment
    Northwestern and Loyola are hosting events. Information will be shared via email.
  10. Adjourn
    Vice Chairperson Jacobs motioned to adjourn. Commissioner Velasquez seconded the motion. Meeting adjourned at 11:37am.