Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority Summer 2007
Juvenile reform, specialized services help fuel fight against probationer recidivism
By Jessica Ashley
Probation at center of state juvenile
After years of support for harsher punishments for juvenile offend- ers that include incarceration and increased transfers of juveniles to adult criminal court, juvenile correctional systems have found themselves overburdened and overcrowded. In most Illinois counties, juveniles are often securely detained before trial and committed after trial, in part a result of fiscal incentives encouraging local communities to rely on incarceration for juveniles.
When county justice systems commit youth to corrections facilities, associated costs are paid by the state. While this produces a short-term savings to that county, studies have shown that community-based programs are more cost-effective over time. According to the Justice Policy Institute, costs of locked confinement in a state institution in the United States can run in excess of $60,000 annually. The average annual cost to incarcerate a juvenile offender in an Illinois correctional institution was $70,827 in state fiscal year 2005. In comparison, community supervision or services typically cost $10,000 or less to provide.
Juvenile justice reform initiatives in Illinois
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