IL Broken Parole System Traps Young Offenders
The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission released a report Tuesday recommending changes to the juvenile justice system that will emphasize rehabilitation and support alternatives to incarceration — a focus shift the commission predicts will produce massive savings for the state’s Department of Juvenile Justice.
The commission highlighted holes in the parole system that stack the odds against young people, who often aren’t made aware of their rights or obligations and reenter jail on technicalities.
The report also found that once juveniles labeled “rehabilitated” are released back into their communities, the current program, which is based on adult parole models, misses steps that could help keep young adults from falling back into the corrections system.
“An essential measurement of any juvenile ‘reentry’ system is whether youth returning from incarceration remain safe and successful within their communities,” the report reads. “By this fundamental measure, Illinois is failing.”