SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Director Candice Jones commended Gov. Bruce Rauner for signing a package of local and state juvenile justice reform bills into law Aug. 4 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,” Jones said. “Along with our partners, we are taking significant steps to support rehabilitative opportunities for Illinois youth.”
Jones applauded the General Assembly for its bipartisan support of the reforms. The approved legislation will take effect Jan. 1.
The legislative reforms are as follows:
SB 1560 — Amends Illinois law to “right-size” the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice 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 — Reduces the number of juveniles automatically transferred to adult court by allowing a juvenile court judge to have flexibility in their decision for youth age 15 and younger.
HB 2567 — Increases the minimum age that youth can be held in a county detention facility unless other services are not available.
HB 3141 — Clarifies and consolidates the reporting requirements of IDJJ to the governor and General Assembly to ensure transparency and accountability.