Frequently Requested Reports and Publications


“Rehabilitative Release of Youth from Illinois Prisons” recommends the removal of bureaucratic barriers to the successful reentry of youth to their home communities.

“Illinois is out of step with the rest of the nation and with what juvenile justice experts and research have determined are best practices for successfully transitioning youth from prison back to home communities,” according to the report issued by CFJC in 2016. “To advance public safety by correcting this failing and improving opportunities for youth to have successful lives, Illinois should remove responsibility for youth prison release decisions from the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. Instead, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice should be empowered to make the decisions using timely, responsible release procedures supported by due process protections.”

Illinois is the only state in the country that gives an adult-focused parole board the power to release youth. The other 49 states, representing 95 percent of national commitments to state secure confinement, use other mechanisms.

Read the full report with appendix (pdf)


Written in partnership with CFJC, “Burdened for Life: The Myth of Juvenile Record Confidentiality and Expungement in Illinois” was released in 2016 by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.  The report explains that Illinois laws and policies governing the treatment of court and arrest records of youth “threaten public safety, produce substantial unnecessary costs, and impede young people’s ability to transition to productive adulthood."

Although state law long has emphasized the principle that a youth’s mistakes should not brand that child for life, Illinois youth have been harmed by the erosion of confidentiality protections and the extreme difficulty and expense of erasing a record through the expungement process, according to the report.

In Illinois, tens of thousands of juveniles are arrested each year, and the largest majority of those arrests by far are for non-violent offenses. Over the last decade, only three of every 1,000 arrests – less than one-third of one percent of juvenile arrests – were expunged in Illinois, the study determined.

Read the full report (pdf)


Prepared in 2015 by CFJC, the “Illinois Juvenile Collateral Consequences Checklist” provides attorneys, judges and other juvenile justice professionals with information on the short and long term consequences of juvenile adjudications of delinquency in Illinois.

It is the juvenile defense attorney’s responsibility, prior to proceeding with an adjudicatory hearing or admissions colloquy, to explain to his or her client these potential future consequences of a finding of guilt in juvenile court. Such consequences, known in the law as “collateral consequences,” might take the form of a penalty, disability or disadvantage imposed on an individual as a result of the adjudication.

The Illinois Juvenile Collateral Consequences Checklist (pdf)


After a year of intensive data analysis and file review assisted by CFJC students and staff, the “Illinois Juvenile Reentry Improvement Study” was issued by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission. The report includes an unprecedented amount of data and insight into the juvenile release, reentry, and revocation systems.

Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission Youth Reentry Improvement Report (pdf)

For Teens

Read our graphic novel 

english spanish
English (pdf) lea nuestra novela gráfica en español (pdf) 

Learn about the rights of Illinois youth in the juvenile justice system. Made with the help of the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Action Network of the Models for Change Initiative. We've distributed 100,000 copies already!

For Parents


Read our parent handbook

Need a guide through the juvenile justice process for your family? Learn along with The Juvenile Justice System: A Guide for Families in Illinois (pdf).