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Governor Rauner Signs Juvenile Justice Reform Legislation

Posted by Admin On August - 6 - 2015

SPRINGFIELD, IL –Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) Director Candice Jones commended Governor Bruce Rauner for signing a package of local and state juvenile justice reform bills into law yesterday as part of the administration’s plan to support comprehensive criminal justice reform.

“These measures greatly improve our ability to right-size juvenile justice in Illinois,” said Director Jones. “Along with our partners, we are taking significant steps to support rehabilitative opportunities for Illinois youth.”

Director Jones thanked Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s office and applauded the General Assembly for their bi-partisan support of the reforms. The approved legislation will take effect January 1, 2016.

The legislative reforms are as follows:

SB 1560 (Chief Sponsors – Sen. Kwame Raoul and Rep. Elaine Nekritz) – Amends Illinois law to “right-size” the IDJJ population and to improve departmental efficiencies in four ways:

  • Misdemeanants – Redirects juvenile misdemeanants from IDJJ commitment and clarifies the prohibition of commitment for low-level offenses.
  • Pending criminal case youth – Retains pending criminal case individuals at the county level following a new adult criminal charge.
  • Length of aftercare supervision – Adjusts the length of time a youth will be on aftercare to be proportional to the offense under adult sentencing guidelines.
  • Court documents – Expands which documents must be provided by the courts upon commitment to IDJJ, ensuring consistency in reporting.

HB 3718 (Chief Sponsors – Sen. Kwame Raoul and Rep. Elaine Nekritz) – Reduces the number of juveniles who are automatically transferred to adult court by allowing a juvenile court judge to have flexibility in their decision for youth ages 15 and younger.

HB 2567 (Chief Sponsors – Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Robyn Gabel) – Increases the minimum age that youth can be held in a county detention facility unless other services are not available.

HB 3141 (Chief Sponsors – Sen. Dale Righter and Rep. Chad Hays) – Clarifies and consolidates the reporting requirements of IDJJ to the Governor and General Assembly to ensure transparency and accountability.

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