Speaking Up for Children—Juvenile Justice

Illinois PTA has teamed up with Juvenile Justice Initiative and several other associations to share our positions on Juvenile Justice with Governor Bruce Rauner. Through a recently sent letter, we have encouraged the governor to support:Large Group of Children Celebrating

  • The expansion of Redeploy Illinois, an effective community-based alternative to incarceration.
  • Returning to the judiciary the authority to make the decision whether to prosecute a youth as an adult as recommended by the Illinois Supreme Court.
  • Eliminate the commitment of youth charged with misdemeanors to the Department of Juvenile Justice, utilizing Redeploy Illinois to reduce the costly incarceration of juveniles for low-level offenses.
  • Shorten the length of time youth are on aftercare parole, replacing the requirement that youth be on parole until 21 with reasonable, risk-based standards.
  • Implement the two federal court consent decrees to eliminate the solitary confinement of children and safeguard the decreased population trend.
  • Addressing racial disparities by ensuring a well-trained and resourced counsel system for youth throughout prosecution; encouraging the elimination of the school-to-prison pipeline; and removing juvenile arrests from all criminal databases.

Members of these associations are ready to meet with the governor or members of his staff to discuss how the implementation of juvenile justice policies can have a positive effect on our communities. Here is the full text of the letter.