Illinois expands community-based program for juvenile offenders
January 27, 2009
Source: Juvenile Justice Initiative/Models for Change Illinois
Based on efforts of a broad coalition including Models for Change grantees and partners, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to expand a state program that supports community-based alternatives to incarcerating juvenile offenders, a specific goal of the Models for Change initiative. The Assembly voted to change the status of Redeploy Illinois from a pilot program to a specific line item in the state budget and increase funding to expand it to more counties. The Initiative worked to educate officials about the benefits of the program, which helps counties provide comprehensive services in their home communities for young offenders. Research shows that non-violent youth are less likely to become further involved in criminal behavior if provided counseling and other services. The bill will go to the governor within 30 days; he is expected to sign it.
Issue(s): Alternatives, Evidence-based practices
Elizabeth (Betsy) Clarke of the Juvenile Justice Initiative discusses reform efforts in Illinois and the process of informing legislative action.