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
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  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.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



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

Assessor's Office mails Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption applications.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Phone scammers pretending to be Cook Co. sheriff’s official
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle addresses role of King's legacy in 2017
Friday, January 13, 2017
Daily Herald

Cook Circuit to get three new judges
Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Talks Reform Plans
Thursday, January 12, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Explore Cook County's natural beauty in winter during FPCC's Winter Exploration Days
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County leaders urge Obamacare sign-ups as Republicans plan teardown
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Ernest Brown, former high-ranking Chicago cop, dies
Sunday, January 08, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Report: Cook County Exceeds Emission Reduction Goals
Sunday, January 08, 2017
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Suburban police chief fights raising bar for felony theft charges
Sunday, January 08, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Ernest Brown, former CPD official, dead after possible heart attack at South Loop eatery
Saturday, January 07, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Weapons made from inhalers recovered after Cook County Jail fight
Friday, January 06, 2017
Chicago Tribune

What Obamacare Repeal Could Mean to Patients of Cook County Hospitals
Thursday, January 05, 2017
Chicago Tonight WTTW

Serve the Community during Forest Preserves’ Annual Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thursday, January 05, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

Preckwinkle names fourth chief of staff in 16 months
Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board Prez Preckwinkle names new chief of staff
Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Letter: Preckwinkle: 'There is no place in my administration for retribution'
Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Letter: Earned sick leave means employees won't choose between getting well and keeping a job
Monday, January 02, 2017
Chicago Tribune

60 Cook County deputies under investigation for possibly lying about hours worked
Monday, January 02, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Sheriff's office looking into whether deputies lied about work hours
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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