December 6, 2016 JDAI Committee Meeting


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


December 6, 2016

9:30a.m. to 11:00a.m.


  • ICOY Office
    333 S. Wabash
    Suite 2730
    Chicago, IL
  • 823 E Monroe
    Springfield, IL
  • Call in: 888-494-4032
    Code: 5329547331#


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of Minutes
  4. Chair's Comments
  5. CY2015 Illinois Detention Report & CY2014 and CY2015 Illinois Detention Data Comparison Summary Report
  6. Statewide Strategy Discussion
  7. JDAI Site Conference Calls & 2016 Annual Results Report
  8. Next Meeting-January 3, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.
  9. New Business
  10. Adjourn


  1. Call to Order 
    Meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m.
  2. Roll Call
    Chairman Rick Velasquez, George Hill, and Rodney Ahitow.  Guests: Stephanie Vetter, Susan Witkin, and Angelica Jimenez.  Staff: Julie Stremlau. 
  3. Approval of Minutes
    Commissioner Ahitow motioned to approve the minutes from October 11, 2016. Commissioner Hill seconded the motion. Minutes approved.
  4. Chair's Comments
    Chairman Velasquez noted that today's meeting will focus on providing an update on the nature of the conference calls between the JDAI sites and JDAI coordinators and team. The Committee members will also devote time to revisiting the statewide strategy discussion.
  5. JDAI Site Conference Calls & 2016 Annual Results Report
    Angie Jimenez provided an overview of the conference calls with the JDAI sites, Stephanie Vetter, Susan Witkin and Karima Douglas. The purpose of the calls was threefold: 1) to share and review detention data that Susan prepared for each of the sites; 2) to remind and answer any questions from the sites regarding the JDAI Annual Results Report due in November; and 3) discuss the draft MOU with each of the sites and gather their feedback as well as level of involvement in JDAI.
    Overall, the site representatives said that they agreed with the JDAI principles and are committed to reducing the number of youth in detention. Many of the sites lack a collective body in place to carry on this work, so it can be very challenging for them. Sites expressed that the idea of signing an MOU that asks them to be responsible for various tasks could be met with resistance from the site stakeholders. Many expressed that it is difficult to build on this work without the financial resources and support that they previously had received through JDAI.
    Stephanie said that 80% of the sites are implementing two of JDAI's best practices-a risk assessment and detention alternatives. So, she said that these sites are not really doing JDAI and do not have JDAI Steering Committees who are looking at data and discussing what it takes to run the system most effectively. There is no governing body overseeing this work. There are no plans or consistency. The sites do see the benefit for a state risk assessment though, but they need to be incentivized to move forward.
    Stephanie recommended that we pivot. She suggested focusing on mandating or codifying a risk assessment which could have a significant impact on the number of admissions to juvenile detention and average length of stay for youths in detention. The state has a variety of resources to support what is currently happening. Susan can provide the sites with relevant and meaningful data. The Casey Foundation has a new training online platform. Stephanie said that it is worthwhile to minimally support the sites but that adding new counties would not be a successful strategy.
  6. Statewide Strategy Discussion
    Commissioner Hill said the only way to sell JDAI to county boards is to stress how fully implementing JDAI can save the county additional dollars. He stressed we should give them concrete information on the savings. Stephanie said that we need to be careful with this strategy since detention admissions are already decreasing; the argument may not be as strong. She said that the point of the discussions with sites wasn't to sell JDAI but to take the temperature. Commissioner Hill added that all we have to do is argue that we could continue to reduce the number of youth in detention thereby saving additional county dollars.
    Chairman Velasquez summarized the discussion and articulated four different strategies that the JDAI Committee suggested. He also noted that it would take a great deal of effort to move the needle by focusing too locally and not at a broader level. Below are the proposed strategies:
    1. Crunching the Numbers--Utilize our juvenile detention data and calculate the costs savings to the state of the reduced reliance on detention. These figures could make a greater impact on stakeholders.
    2. Marketing to the Executive Branch--Concentrate on education and communication to the executive branch and focus on county board members. Emphasize that the state is moving in the right direction and can continue that trajectory.
    3. Expands Efforts to the Legislature--Pursue a policy resolution in efforts to adopt and implement a statewide standardized risk assessment. Consider the possibility of collaborating with an advocacy organization like the Juvenile Justice Initiative to commission a study that promulgates the benefits of a statewide risk assessment and offers recommendations to the General Assembly.
    4. Outreach to Judiciary-Develop a communications strategy on the value of and need to incorporate juvenile detention best practices within the judicial branch. One starting point would include presenting juvenile detention and commitment data to members of the Illinois Justice Leadership Council.
  7. Next Meeting
    January 3, 2017
  8. New Business
    None Noted.
  9. Adjourn
    Chairman Velasquez motioned to adjourn. Commissioner Hill seconded the motion. Meeting adjourned at 10:47 a.m.