Children in Custody

During the past decade, reforms of the juvenile justice system in Illinois have resulted in a dramatic reduction in the number of youth locked up in Illinois prisons. However, more work is needed to lower the number of youth in prison, provide more education and rehabilitation services to incarcerated children and to provide a successful transition for youth from prison back to their home communities. 

In its 2016 report “Rehabilitative Release of Youth from Illinois Prisons,” CFJC recommended the Illinois Juvenile Court Act should be aligned with national practice standards, enabling the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice to transition youth to community supervision using timely, responsible release procedures supported by due process protections. These reforms will optimize public safety, motivate youth, maintain family ties, hold IDJJ accountable for case planning, facilitate quality community programming, and reduce costly release delays that keep too many youth in prison for too much of their lives.