Basic services, 2017

  • Overall

    Locally operated

  • Detention

    Locally operated

  • Probation

    Locally operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

Delinquency services in Illinois are organized at both the state and local level. Secure detention in Illinois is administered locally by either judicial or executive agencies across 23 judicial circuits.

Juvenile probation is administered by county level juvenile courts, but it is subsidized and monitored closely by the state level Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).

The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), a state executive agency, administers commitment to state public facilities and provides reentry services for those youth leaving state facilities.

Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities and provides reentry services for those youth leaving state facilities.

Intake and diversion, 2016

Initial intake and court diversion decision is at the discretion of the prosecutor or the juvenile court intake officer.

Statutory time limits for pre- & post-petition court diversions exist.

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is not allowed in Illinois' juvenile correctional facilities. Confinement for safety concerns are limited to 24 hours or when youth regains self-control, whichever is sooner. A mental health professional is required to assist the youth in regaining control if confinement exceeds 4 hours.  (Adapted from 51 Jurisdiction Survey of Juvenile Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems, 2016. Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest at Lowenstein Sandler LLP)

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

Release decisions for indeterminate commitments to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) are made by the Prisoner Review Board, an independent decision making body. DJJ has the statutory authority to decide when to present the youth to the Prisoner Review Board, which then decides whether to release the youth on parole and what parole conditions will apply to that youth.  

Risk assessment, 2020

Organization 2013 2017 2020
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

Juvenile probation services are administered at the local level in Illinois, with strong funding support and oversight by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC). The AOIC has adopted the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI) for use across Illinois juvenile probation departments and supports a web-based client for the offices to enter and retrieve screening results. The YASI is applied to case-level decisions to assign probation supervision levels and develop probation case plans. The AOIC uses aggregate data collected through the automation platform for planning and ongoing juvenile justice policy research.

Sex offender registration, 2015


Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI)

Mental health screening, 2014

Requires a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

Mental health screening tool used
Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument, 2nd Version (MAYSI-2)

Illinois encourages the use of research-based mental health screening for any agency involved in juvenile justice.  The state encourages the adoption of a strategy by surveying and describing current practices across systems. A statewide Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Initiative (MH-JJ) allows counties to refer mentally ill youth in detention to community-based mental health services. Referrals may come from any juvenile justice contact, including probation officers, court officials and court services. The MH-JJ is operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services since 2000. All youth referred to the system are evaluated through a Screening Assessment and Support Services (SASS) procedure. The Childhood Severity of Psychiatric Illness (CSPI) is the screening instrument of choice. The CSPI is a shortened version of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment instrument.

Several juvenile detention centers have adopted the MH-JJ tool. However, some have adopted the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument, 2nd Version (MAYSI-2) or developed their own tool. In addition to being able to access the MH-JJ, juvenile probation departments statewide screen youth with the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI). While the YASI assists in case planning for youth it does not screen in a manner that can be considered a standardized mental health screen.

The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) uses research-based screening and assessment tools at all reception and diagnostic sites and all facilities have mental health professionals available for emergency and on-going mental health services. The MAYSI-2 is the standardized mental health screening instrument of choice for IDJJ and is required by policy to be administered at facility intake. Because MH-JJ is administered by the Department of Human Services the state absorbs the costs of screening and in assessment for SASS referrals and the cost of the MAYSI-2 is absorbed the IDJJ.

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

    Or collaboration dedicated to coordinating activities around implementing, evaluating, and sustaining EBPs

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

Illinois supports the advancement of evidence-based programs and practices (EBPs) in the juvenile justice system through the State Advisory Group (SAG), which is the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC). The JJC identifies EBPs for implementation and conducts or funds evaluation research to advance the fidelity of EBPs in the state and research on new policies and programs. An important example is Redeploy Illinois, their successful, data-driven incentive program for diverting youth from state commitments to research-based community based programs. The JJC helps to prioritize and support evaluation research for EBPs and requires outcome data reporting for projects they fund and the state's 3-year juvenile justice plan reflects the JJC's commitment to advancing research-based prevention and intervention programs.

The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is also involved in advancing EBPs in its juvenile correctional facility programming and efforts to pilot model reentry programming.

Finally, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) further supports an online EBP portal for both criminal and juvenile justice planning and supports a Center for Sponsored Evaluation research that has a purpose of helping to advance EBPs in both the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Does not publish recidivism consistently over time.

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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