On July 31, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton announced the 21st Century Illinois Transformation Modela new plan that aims to transform the state's juvenile-justice system over the next four years.
The model focuses on reducing the harm of incarceration by transitioning youth to small, regional residential centers; investing significantly in community wraparound support and intervention services for justice-involved youth; and increasing financial support for victim services in communities that are disproportionately impacted by violence.
The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice ( DJJ ), in partnership with the Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Initiative, utilized decades of evidence from across the country, and within its own system, to create the plan.
Larger DJJ facilities will be repurposed for use by the Illinois Department of Corrections ( DOC ) to provide additional space and prevent overcrowding in their facilities. Current DJJ staff will continue to work in the department or in similar roles at the DOC.
Phase I of the model marks the beginning of increased community investment in wraparound support, intervention services and reentry programs for justice-involved youth. Additional investments are planned for victim services in communities that are disproportionately impacted by violence and disinvestment.
Phases II and III, slated to begin next year, will continue the regional reinvestments and start the process of transferring DJJ's larger facilities to the DOC.
More information about the plan can be seen at www2.illinois.gov/idjj/Pages/Transformation.aspx .