Providing a Viable Alternative to Youth Incarceration
Youth incarceration costs the state of Illinois over $100 million per year. More than a quarter of these youth, who are nonviolent, are commonly sent to correctional facilities for evaluation to determine their rehabilitation needs.
Research shows that there is a better way. The Children’s Home + Aid Redeploy Illinois Children program targets youth who are being considered for an evaluation or a commitment to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) between 13 and 18 years of age. Redeploy provides a biographical psychosocial assessment along with a psychological or mental health assessment on each youth in an attempt to identify deficits and strengths. Enrolled youth receive intensive case management services, and have access to a caseworker 24 hours a day.
Redeploy also contracts with One Hope United for Family Functional Therapy which is an evidence based program with a high rate of success. Additionally, the program utilizes a Court and Community Liaison who is able to link families and youth to resources who have not been involved in the juvenile justice system before or have had very limited involvement.
A Local Approach
Research shows that non-violent offenders are more likely to succeed when rehabilitation is provided in their own community. This requires the Counties Redeploy is involved in to have a working collaboration with juvenile justice stakeholders and service providers. Redeploy brings together multiple service providers as a team approach with each youth. This collaboration is very helpful in eliminating waiting lists and other barriers to youth and their families needing immediate services. Redeploy also works closely with the St. Clair County Youth Coalition, St. Clair County Juvenile Justice Council and the Madison County Juvenile Justice Council, which also provide local oversight for the program. In addition, there is a stakeholder’s meeting that convenes on a monthly basis to examine areas of concern and progress.
Redeploy uses Illinois Department of Human Services funds that are diverted from incarcerating youth to providing interventions and resources to them in their own community. It costs Illinois anywhere from $85,000 to $100,000 on annual basis to house youth in the IDJJ. These youth have a 54% failure rate. It costs Illinois $3,000 to $9,000 per youth to provide community based interventions through Redeploy with an over 79% success rate.