Skip to Main Content

Welcome to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice

Welcome to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice

Featured Articles

  1. Article number 1 - Governor Bruce Rauner announced today he has appointed the Independent Juvenile Ombudsman.
  2. Article number 2 - Department of Juvenile Justice Honors Employees
  3. Article number 3 - Governor Rauner Visits the Illinois Youth Center at St. Charles
  4. Article number 4 - IDJJ Unveils 2015 Strategic Plan
  5. Article number 5 - IDJJ Performance Based Standards
  6. Article number 6 - “Read to a Dog” Program Increases Literacy
  •  Governor Bruce Rauner announced today he has appointed the Independent Juvenile Ombudsman.

    For Immediate Release
    Friday, July 31, 2015
     
    Contact
    Catherine Kelly
     
    Governor Announces Appointments
     
    SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner announced today he has appointed the Independent Juvenile Ombudsman. He has also made appointments to the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership and the Illinois Finance Authority.
      
    Name: Kathleen Bankhead
    Position: Independent Juvenile Ombudsman
     
    Governor Bruce Rauner has named Kathleen Bankhead the Independent Juvenile Ombudsman. Her extensive and diverse background in criminal justice makes her an excellent candidate for this position.
     
    Bankhead has been with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office since 1990. She began her career as an assistant state’s attorney in the juvenile justice division, and now serves as an assistant state’s attorney for the South Side Community Justice Center. In this role, Bankhead prosecutes adult felony offenses. She also collaborates with other government agencies, community organizations and residents to prevent and solve problems. 
     
    In addition to her work at the State’s Attorney’s Office, Bankhead is an engaged member of the community. She is Vice President of the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice, President of the Thornton Township High School Alumni Legacy Fund and a member for the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission Disproportionate Minority Contract Subcommittee. She is also a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Cook County Bar Association and the National Black Prosecutors Association.
     
    Bankhead holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Bradley University and a law degree from ITT Chicago-Kent College of Law. She lives in Markham.
  •  Department of Juvenile Justice Honors EmployeesDepartment of Juvenile Justice Honors Employees

    ​On May 5, 2015, the Department of Juvenile Justice joined the Department of Corrections at a ceremony to recognize the departments' past and present heroes.  The ceremony honored the memory of IDOC and IDJJ fallen heroes who died in the line of duty. The agencies also recognized the outstanding contributions of their current employees. 

    Aftercare Specialist Adriana Morales at the IDJJ Aurora Office was named the IDJJ 2015 Aftercare Specialist of the Year. Featured in the picture on the right are IDJJ Director Candice Jones, Aftercare Specialist Adriana Morales, and IDJJ Deputy Director for Aftercare Eva Moore. Morales works diligently to match youth with services that will result in a positive experience for them and the community at large. Her professionalism and commitment to the job make her a valuable employee of the department in its mission to support the successful reentry process of youth back to their families and communities.
     
    Juvenile Justice Specialist William Sievers from the Illinois Youth Center at Pere Marquette was named the IDJJ 2015 Juvenile Justice Specialist of the Year. Featured in the picture on the left are IDJJ Director Candice Jones, Juvenile Justice Specialist William Sievers, and IDJJ Deputy Director for Operations Jesse Montgomery. Sievers serves as a role model to youth and staff, and demonstrates years of knowledgeable experience working with youth.
  •  Governor Rauner Visits the Illinois Youth Center at St. Charles

    In March, Governor Rauner spent time visiting youth and staff at the Illinois Youth Center at St. Charles. He met with representatives from the Student Council in the school library and toured classrooms and living quarters to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing youth and the Department.

  •  IDJJ Unveils 2015 Strategic PlanIDJJ Unveils 2015 Strategic Plan

    ​“Improving Youth Outcomes” outlines the Administration’s approach to strategic planning and leveraging public private partnerships in juvenile justice, and a deliberate strategy for improving public safety in the State of Illinois.  The IDJJ’s Operating Plan is the result of a six-month strategic planning initiative funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Plan focuses on implementing a range of national best practices and evidence-based programs in Illinois’ juvenile justice facilities.  Click here for the press release.

  •  IDJJ Performance Based Standards

    The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) has partnered with the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) to utilize Performance Based Standards (PBS), a data-driven improvement model grounded in research that holds juvenile justice agencies to the highest standards for operations, programs and services. PBS was launched in 1995 by the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

    The Department receives PBS reports for each of its six facilities. The reports are based on a review of internal metrics, and surveying a random sampling of youth and staff at each facility. The reports cover a range of issue, including: Health, Safety, Family Engagement, and Programming. Additionally, the reports compare the Department’s outcomes to juvenile justice agencies across the country.
  •  “Read to a Dog” Program Increases Literacy

    The Illinois Youth Center at Warrenville has begun hosting "Read to a Dog" program with the Naperville Area Humane Society as a cognitive behavioral therapy tool.  The program features volunteer trainers and their pets that allow each reader to have a positive experience reading aloud to a nonjudgmental, loving "person." After the student reads, the dog and trainer share rewards from the experience that include bookmarks, color pages, stickers, and a note from the dog.