All in Juvenile Justice News

Detainee rate for youth of color dropping in Johnson County, but work remains to eliminate disparities

The DMC sub-committee found that the failure to appear in court rate for youth of color was double that of white youths, a factor that contributed to the lower rate of reduction in detentions for youth of color. In fact, 66 percent of the youth in detention for failure to appear over a two years period were youths of color. The county juvenile services office has since revised that process to make it easier for youths to appear in court, thereby “dramatically” reducing numbers.

Progress in Juvenile Justice: 2017

Like many of the challenges facing the nation’s collective corrections system, such as overcrowding and sentencing disparities, these issues arose mostly in response to the “get tough on crime” political environment that emerged in the 1980s in response to rising crime rates and spreading drug-related violence. The pendulum has begun to swing back toward moderation, and in 2017 several state legislatures passed significant reforms to their juvenile justice systems. 

Illinois House weighs bill to allow young adult misdemeanor cases to be heard in juvenile court

ROCKFORD — Young adults charged with misdemeanor crimes could have their cases transferred to juvenile court under legislation being considered by the Illinois House.

A bill co-sponsored by state Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, would give judges the authority to decide whether 18-, 19- and 20-year-old defendants should have their misdemeanor cases heard in juvenile court.

Transforming Juvenile Probation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation presents its vision for transforming juvenile probation into a focused intervention that promotes personal growth, positive behavior change and long-term success for youth who pose significant risks for serious offending. Nearly a half-million young people are given some form of probation annually and it serves as a critical gatekeeper to determine whether young people are placed in residential institutions. Probation plays a significant role in perpetuating the vast overrepresentation of African-American, Latino and other youth of color in our nation’s justice systems.