Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Illinois needs new department for juvenile justice

Monday, October 17, 2005
Daily Southtown
Editorial

THE ISSUE: A proposal is being considered to break off the juvenile justice system from the Illinois Department of Corrections. Proponents argue youths can be better rehabilitated in a system separated from one that primarily deals with adults.
WE SAY: A new department should be established for juvenile justice. In other states, such departments have proven to be more effective.

In 1969, Illinois officials decided to save money by merging the state's juvenile justice system into the adult Department of Corrections. The rest of the country, meanwhile, has been moving in the opposite direction, and today, 40 states have separate juvenile justice systems.

Critics of the Illinois system say it doesn't work. In fact, rather than rehabilitating youngsters, the system may be teaching them how to be criminals. Paula Wolff, a senior executive at the civic group Chicago Metropolis 2020, described the state's system as "messed-up public policy." Juvenile offenders who enter the state's correctional system "become more like a criminal and more likely to be in the system as adults," Wolff said.

Recidivism statistics support that view. Juveniles who are ordered into the state's correction system have a re-arrest rate of 47 percent, and may have an even higher recidivism rate as adults. In contrast, juvenile offenders in Missouri, which created a separate juvenile justice department years ago, have a recidivism rate of 8 percent. The difference, according to advocates for a separate juvenile justice system in Illinois, is that Missouri and states with similar systems emphasize rehabilitation, education and treatment programs, both during incarceration and after the youngsters are released. In Illinois, where the adult prison population is expanding far faster than the juvenile population, the juvenile population is getting short shrift, and because of budget pressures on the Department of Corrections, rehabilitation and education are no longer emphasized.

Later this month, a coalition of Illinois groups is hoping to persuade the Illinois House of Representatives to support a measure already approved by the Senate that would bring Illinois in step with most of the country by creating a Department of Juvenile Justice. We hope House Speaker Michael Madigan will allow the bill to be considered during the veto session in late October.

Legislators are being pressured not to advance the proposal by the unions representing Department of Corrections employees. They say a new department would require a costly new bureaucracy. Most likely they also fear the proposal will cost some of their members their jobs if a new juvenile division requires different kinds of training. An emphasis on rehabilitation likely would require different training, but advocates for the change say the legislation would ensure current employees an opportunity to get the training and keep their jobs. And they argue that, in the long run, the current system is far more costly than it needs to be. According to Tim Carpenter, state director of the group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, told the Daily Southtown that incarcerating one juvenile in Illinois costs $65,000 a year, while in Missouri the cost is less than $10,000 a year.

But the real issue is effectiveness, and the Illinois system clearly is not working the way we need it to work. When almost half of the youngsters who go through the system can be expected to go back, the system is failing.

We urge Madigan and his colleagues in the House to call the measure for consideration. It has been kicking around the Legislature for almost two years, and that's too long. It is in everyone's interest to place the emphasis on rehabilitation in the juvenile justice system; the best first step in that direction is to take the kids out of the adult corrections department so the new mission can clearly be targeted.



Recent Headlines

Cook County jail inmates demolishing abandoned buildings
Thursday, November 20, 2104
Northwest Indiana Times

Preckwinkle wins easy approval of $4 billion budget
Friday, November 14, 2104
Chicago Tribune

Juvenile detention worker charged with body-slamming teen
Monday, November 03, 2104
Chicago Tribune

Northwestern attorneys present closing arguments in Cook County Jail lawsuit
Friday, November 21, 2014
Daily Northwestern

Cook County Nets $5.1m In Revenue Following Property Tax Monitoring
Friday, November 21, 2014
CivSource

2015 Unsung Heroine Award Call for Nominations
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Set to Launch Military and Veterans Discount Program
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Board Approves 2015 Budget
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Progress Illinois

Tales differ on conditions at Cook County Jail
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pays Brown's Chicken killer; prison system wants a cut
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Mission Hills' Residents Try to Protect 40 Year Old Planned Unit Development at Two Public Meetings This Week
Monday, November 10, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Veterans Day Ceremony to be Held at Brookfield Zoo
Monday, November 10, 2014
Patch

Cook county Land Bank to sell first two homes to developers
Sunday, November 09, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Stormwater project costs $2 Million more than expected
Saturday, November 08, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County uncovers $9.4 Million in fraudulent exemptions
Saturday, November 08, 2014
Government Technology

Molly Glynn's husband sues Forest Preserve District in actress's death
Friday, November 07, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Husband of Chicago actress killed by falling tree sues forest preserve
Thursday, November 06, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Unopposed, Suffredin looks to fourth term on Cook County Board
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Pioneer Press

Cook County Enacts Energy Benchmarking Ordinance
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Illinois County Magazine Fall/Winter

Energy Benchmarking Ordinance Approved at Cook County Board Meeting
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Cook County Blog

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP