Union Co. receives $200,000 juvenile justice grant | News
UNION COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced Thursday that Union County has received a $200,000 juvenile justice grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services to establish a Redeploy Illinois program site.
The grant funds will be used to provide services to youth between the ages of 13 and 18 in Union, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope and Saline counties who are at high risk of commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
The Redeploy Illinois program provides counties throughout Illinois with funds to administer a wide array of additional services including case management, court advocacy, education assistance, counseling and crisis intervention. The initial $200,000 grant will be used to provide services during 2014 and will be eligible for renewal on an annual basis in subsequent years.
According to the Illinois Department of Human Services, research has found that non-violent youth are less likely to become further involved in criminal behavior if they remain in their home communities and receive appropriate services to address underlying needs such as mental illness, substance abuse, learning disabilities, unstable living arrangements and dysfunctional parenting. These services will now be available in the six counties to fill gaps in the juvenile justice system with the goal of reintegrating non-violent juvenile offenders into their communities and reducing juvenile incarceration rates, instead providing services shown to effectively decrease the juvenile’s likelihood to engage in further criminal activity.
Use of community based services is also a more cost effective option than incarceration—juvenile incarceration in Illinois costs approximately $80,000 per year for each juvenile, while providing community based services for that same youth average approximately $4,000 per year. Unfortunately, many counties in Illinois lack the resources to provide comprehensive youth services at the local level, and this lack of available services often leave law enforcement and courts with limited options other than commitment to a juvenile correctional facility. The Redeploy Illinois program exists to provide these needed services at the local level and reduce the reliance on juvenile corrections.
Redeploy Illinois has seen dramatic results in other parts of Illinois—during 2010 participating counties reduced juvenile justice commitments by 53 percent as compared to pre-Redeploy commitment numbers. According to the Department of Human Services, that reduction in juvenile justice commitments translated to a more than $9 million dollar cost avoidance for the State of Illinois.
“In speaking with State’s Attorneys throughout Illinois, I was amazed at the dramatic results of the Redeploy Illinois program,” Edmonds said. “Some counties have seen 90 percent reductions in juvenile incarceration. If Redeploy can help even a few non-violent youth offenders back onto the right path and keep them away from a future of crime and prison, then it will be a worthwhile program for Southern Illinois. I am very appreciative of the Union County Board of Commissioners, as well as the judges, state’s attorneys and public defenders in all six counties for working to bring this program to the First Judicial Circuit.”
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