Department of Juvenile Justice Unveils Its Strategic Operating Plan for 2015


Governor Rauner attends in support of the Department

Chicago – March 24, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — On Friday afternoon, Governor Bruce Rauner joined the Director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ), Candice Jones, at an event to unveil the Department’s operational plan to reduce recidivism of juvenile offenders. Also in attendance:

Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul, 13th District;

Illinois State Representative, Elaine Nekritz, 57th District;

Illinois State Representative, Will Guzzardi, 39th District;

Paula Wolff, Director of the Illinois Justice Project;

Adam Gross, Housing Director at Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI); and

Ryan Shanahan, Research Director & Chansi Powell, Senior Program Associate from the Vera Institute of Justice

The event also included members of the IDJJ Executive Team who discussed the various initiatives outlined in the plan and their implementation. The IDJJ Executive Team members addressing the plan:

Heidi Mueller – Deputy Director of Programs

Eva Moore – Deputy Director of Aftercare

Jesse Montgomery – Deputy Director of Operations

Governor Rauner acknowledged, “This is a challenge; we will face it together,” speaking of the need to reestablish Illinois as a champion for juvenile justice. He recalled Illinois’ place in the history of juvenile justice. “Illinois had the first juvenile court in the country, recognizing the differences between youth and adults nearly 100 years ahead of the United States Supreme Court, and I want to see this state become a leader on this issue once again,” said Governor Rauner.

The governor’s appearance today at the unveiling of the Department’s operational plan comes just one day after his visit to the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles where he toured the facility and met with staff and youth.

Director Jones is thankful to the Governor for his support of the IDJJ in taking the time both yesterday and today to show his commitment to improving the juvenile justice system in Illinois.

This Operating Plan is the result of a six-month strategic planning initiative funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and it focuses on implementing a range of national best practices and evidence-based programs in Illinois’ juvenile justice facilities. The presentation of the operational plan focused on five core priorities:

Right-Size: Reduce the use of secure custody for low risk youth

Rehabilitate: Improve programs to meet the needs of high-risk youth

Reintegrate: Improve programs to ensure successful reentry

Respect: Create a safe and respectful environment for youth and staff

Report: Increase transparency and accountability

“This plan establishes a concrete action agenda that will advance the Department on a clear path to protecting public safety,” said Director Jones. “We are pleased to work with the Governor and legislators like Senator Raoul and Representative Nekritz to see this plan fully realized in our juvenile justice system.”

Lanetta Haynes Turner, Executive Director of the Cook County Justice Advisory Council, attended the presentation in a show of support for the Department’s plan from her office and the office of Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle. “President Preckwinkle supports the Department of Juvenile Justice’s policy agenda and their work to reform the juvenile justice system in Illinois. We are working hand in hand with them to ‘right-size’ the system through their current legislative package (SB 1560) and our partnership with Representative Nekritz on HB 172 to end the automatic transfer of children to adult court,” said Ms. Turner.

“I am encouraged by the level of support we are seeing from the Governor, from legislators and our partners across the state. It is my sincere hope that the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice will transform the juvenile justice system in Illinois into one that will serve as a model for states,” said Director Jones.

The Department of Juvenile Justice will report progress of this operating plan midway through the year and on a continuing basis thereafter.

A copy of the IDJJ 2015 Operating Plan Summary is available at


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