CHICAGO (WAND) - Governor JB Pritzker announced a plan Friday aimed at transforming the state's juvenile justice system over the next four years.
It is called the 21st Century Illinois Transformation Model.
The model focuses on reducing the harm of incarceration by transitioning youth to small, regional residential centers, investing in community wraparound support, and intervention services for justice involved youth.
It also involves increasing financial support for victim services in communities that are disproportionately impacted by violence.
You can read the full plan by clicking HERE.
The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice partnered with the Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Initiative to create the plan.
Governor Pritzker said, "An essential tenet of good governance is recognizing the need to change the laws that have failed the people they serve - some by design. It means doing everything in our power to reverse the tide."
"It's in that spirit that over the next four years, my administration is transforming our juvenile justice system from one that disproportionately harms Black youth, families and communities to a nation-leading, restorative and therapeutic model that supports all Illinois youth, families and communities more equitably," he continued. "We've developed this model based on decades of research - and I'm particularly proud that here in Illinois, we will be working directly with youth and families who have been impacted by the system as it has existed for years."
Larger DJJ facilities will be repurposed for use by the Illinois Department of Corrections to provide additional space and prevent overcrowding in their facilities. Current DJJ staff will continue to work in the department or in similar roles at the DOC.
Phase I of the model marks the beginning of increased community investment in wraparound support, intervention services, and reentry programs for justice involved youth.
Phase II & III are slated to begin next year. They will continue the regional reinvestments and start the process of transferring DJJ's larger facilities to the Illinois Department of Corrections.