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"In 2010, an ambitious model for social change emerged in Chicago that aimed to connect detained youth and those at risk for incarceration (“at-risk youth”) to rigorous and engaging arts instruction, infused with social and emotional learning goals. Dubbed the Arts Infusion Initiative, the Chicago Community Trust (“the Trust”) spearheaded and funded this five year, $2.5 million demonstration while earning cooperation from the local detention facility, public school system, community policing office, and community arts program leaders to integrate arts programming into youths’ school and after school environments. Since its launch, the Arts Infusion Initiative has served more than 2,000 youth at an average annual cost of $700 per teen, linking them to high performing arts instruction associated with significant increases in social and emotional learning. This report marks the first large-scale evaluation of the Arts Infusion Initiative which was designed to: (1) assess the degree to which the project, as an emergent model for social change, was achieving its intended purposes and (2) generate actionable information for promoting effective Arts Infusion practices while redirecting those that have been less effective" (p. 3). Six chapters comprise this evaluation: introduction; importance of the Arts Infusion Initiative; components of the Arts Infusion Initiative; evaluation methods; seven key findings; and recommendations for promising practices. Two of the key findings are: Arts Infusion youth participants had statistically significant improvements in their social and emotional learning skills; and Arts Infusion programs were successful in "exposing at-risk youth "to new skills and technologies, providing confidence building experiences that opened their minds to a positive future" (p. 5).

Arts Infusion Initiative, 2010-15 Cover

“The goal of this study was to learn the extent to which programs incorporate the components of restorative justice and provide an inventory of organizations implementing programs using restorative justice practices in Illinois” (p. 4). Sections of this report include: key findings; introduction; literature review; methodology; findings regarding organizations using restorative justice, restorative justice in action at Ogle County Probation, restorative justice in action at Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, and measuring use of restorative justice; and conclusion. Appendixes include: an inventory of Illinois restorative justice programs; and reliability and validity of restorative justice programs.

An Inventory Cover

While this report comments on issues related to youth who sexually offend in Illinois, its recommendations are applicable to any state. “The increased availability of high-quality, reliable, youth-specific research findings presents an exceptional opportunity to align law and practice with expert consensus about best practices for responding to youth sex offenses. Most importantly, research over the last few decades has conclusively established that youth are highly amenable to treatment and highly unlikely to sexually reoffend. Research also indicates that strategies used with adults—principally sex offender registries and residency/employment restrictions—are not only unnecessary as applied to youth, but also counterproductive, as they often jeopardize victim confidentiality and can interfere with youth rehabilitation to an extent that undermines the long-term safety and well-being of our communities. In recognition of this research and the vital need to identify evidence-based best practices with regard to this very serious issue, the General Assembly charged the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission with making recommendations to ensure the effective treatment and supervision of youth who are adjudicated delinquent for a sex offense” (p. 6). While some of Illinois’ practices related to sex offending by youth are based on “what works” research, some are not. Thus, the Commission has made three recommendations to align law, policy, and practice with research on effective interventions for juvenile sex offenders: Recommendation 1--Develop and implement professional best practice standards and provide current, objective, and evidence-informed training for professionals who work with youth offenders and victims of sexual abuse; Recommendation 2--Equip courts and communities to intervene effectively with individualized, community-based, family-focused services and supervision; and Recommendation 3--Remove young people from the state’s counter-productive sex offender registry and the categorical application of restrictions and collateral consequences. This website provides access to: the full report (150 pages); the report without Appendices (61 pages); the Executive Summary; the Fact Sheet; the Press Release; and audio from the March 25, 2014 Report Release Conference Call.

Improving Illinois’ Response to Sexual Offenses Committed by Youth: Recommendations for Law, Policy, and Practice Cover

"Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI) was designed as a response to the high numbers of non-violent offenders incarcerated in Illinois’ prisons at great cost to the state. Participating ARI counties divert non-violent offenders from prison and into community corrections programs. These programs are less expensive than prison and designed to be more effective at reducing recidivism" (p. i). Sections of this report include: key findings; introduction; about Adult Redeploy Illinois; methodology; findings—client data; findings—program planning; findings—program implementation; findings—client interviews; implications for policy and practice; and conclusion. "With 127 diversions, the DuPage County ARI program exceeded its goal of reducing prison commitments of the non-violent target population by 25 percent. Probation officers reported offering clients evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral supervision and services. Overall, clients highly regarded the ARI program and their probation officers" (p. iii).

Performance Incentive Funding for Prison Diversion: An Implementation Study of the DuPage County Adult Redeploy Illinois Program Cover

Findings are reported for why 17-year-olds should be in juvenile court: their brain development, behavior, and the law; safety benefits; and economic benefits. An analysis is also presented regarding the impact of raising the age in Illinois: predicted effect; impact of raising the age for misdemeanors; eight steps for registering system responses to jurisdiction change—investigation and arrest, diversion programs and community-based services, prosecution/court proceedings/plea arrangement, detention, probation, sentencing, incarceration, and recordkeeping and expungement; and the broader themes of disproportionality and discretion, clear guidelines for implementation, and transfer and accountability. “To promote a juvenile justice system focused on public safety, youth rehabilitation, fairness, and ?scal responsibility, Illinois should immediately adopt legislation expanding the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include 17-year-olds charged with felonies … It is counterproductive and cruel to impose the lifelong collateral consequences of felony convictions on minors who are likely to be rehabilitated. Illinois can achieve better long-term outcomes for 17-year-olds, public safety, and the state economy by expanding juvenile jurisdiction. In doing so, it is critical to ensure the juvenile justice system is robust, by adequately funding and supporting diversion, probation, and community-based services, as well as the public educational, health, and human service infrastructure upon which many at-risk youth must rely. E?orts at reducing the extent of youth contact with the juvenile justice system by focusing on front-end services are working; in order to be most e?ective, however, these services must be fully-funded, available, and extended through all developmentally-appropriate ages” (p. 60).

Raising the Age Cover

<p>The development and implementation of the Cook County Sheriff's Department of Women's Justice Services (DWJS) is discussed. This bulletin is comprised of these sections: introduction; background; the decisionmaking process; decision point mapping example -- custody/release; creating the DWJS; gender-responsive innovations; meeting the healthcare needs of women offenders in Cook County; and challenges and accomplishments.</p>

Responding to Women Offenders: The Department of Women's Justice Services in Cook County, Illinois Cover

If you work with justice-involved juvenile, you need to read this bulletin. "Incarcerated youth die by suicide at a rate two to three times higher than that of youth in the general population. In this bulletin, the authors examine suicidal thoughts and behaviors among 1,829 youth ages 10 to 18 in the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL (p. 1). Findings are presented for: hopelessness; thoughts about death and dying; thoughts about suicide; suicide plan; telling someone about suicidal thoughts; suicide attempts; and psychiatric disorders that may increase the odds of suicide attempts. Additional discussion concerns demographic characteristics and suicide risk, and psychiatric disorders and suicide risk. Based on the results, detention facilities need to systematically screen juveniles for suicide risk within 24 hours of arrival if not sooner, and increase the availability of psychiatric services.

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth Cover

“Comprehensive, accurate, and reliable data are needed to guide the development of innovative juvenile justice policy. NJP provides empirical evidence that communities can use to develop and provide appropriate services within detention centers. Because the study is longitudinal, it also provides information about the long-term outcomes of these youth after they leave detention. Findings from NJP [Northwestern Juvenile Project] … provide important information on how to facilitate successful reentry into the community and successful transition to adulthood for youth in the juvenile justice system” (p. 3). Sections of this overview of NJP include: highlights; background; differences between NJP and other longitudinal studies of psychiatric disorder among detained youth; NJP’s overall approach and goals; sampling and interview methods; considerations for measurement; key areas of measurement; overview of selected findings for characteristics of youth in detention and key outcomes of study participants; and summary.

The Northwestern Juvenile Project Cover
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