The Redeploy Illinois program saves the State far more than just taxpayer dollars.
Every year, thousands of Illinois teenagers enter the juvenile justice system by engaging in risktaking and/or illegal behavior. The effect of incarceration on the lives of these youth and their families is devastating and the cost to the state is enormous.
In 2005, when the Redeploy Illinois program began, 1,725 youth on average were being housed in Illinois juvenile correctional facilities at a per-capita annual cost of $70,827 per youth. Since 2005, the cost of a juvenile commitment has increased yearly to $111,000 in 2014. The cost per youth continues to increase as the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) has been increasingly successful in reducing its overall youth population in facilities every year since the Redeploy program began.
Redeploy Illinois began as a pilot project in four sites and 15 counties in 2005 and by the end of CY2014 had expanded to 12 sites covering 42 counties, with 16 of those counties beginning in 2014. A competitive bid resulted in three new sites covering eight counties and an additional eight counties were added as a result of the Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board (RIOB) encouraging existing sites to expand. Collectively, these programs have provided individualized intensive services to more than 2,500 youth during this nine-year period. The successful implementation of this program has resulted in these 42 counties reducing commitments to IDJJ by 58% from their baselines. These services have resulted in 1,793 fewer youth being committed to IDJJ over the program’s first nine years and saving Illinois taxpayers more than $88 million in unnecessary incarceration costs.
In financial terms, in 2014, the average per-capita annual cost to serve a youth in the Redeploy Illinois program was $5,912. This is approximately 5.3% of the per-capita annual cost to house a youth in an IDJJ facility ($111,000). During the 2014 project period, sites redeployed 296 youth saving Illinois taxpayers nearly $15 Million in unnecessary incarceration costs.
In 2014, the RIOB made a commitment to improving data collection for the program. Several gains were made in this area and will continue to be made into the future. The RIOB and staff have been working with providers to track the prevalence of identified mental health, substance abuse, trauma, chronic truancy and other issues experienced by the youth involved in this program and the extent to which programs have been able to provide services to address those needs. Further, data collection has begun in an effort to measure the positive impacts the Redeploy Illinois program is achieving with regards to reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors in the youth served.
From the human perspective, the approximately 2,500 youth served in the program over the past nine years have been provided with a second chance at becoming contributing, law-abiding citizens of their respective communities. In 2014, 483 of the 506 youth referred to the Redeploy program were provided with this second chance. Beyond saving dollars, the program mends
lives and saves families.
The passage of Public Act 98-0060 addressed a significant barrier to implementation of the Redeploy Illinois program in Cook County and as a result, the Redeploy Board was able to reengage the county in discussions. In 2014, each Redeploy program site met or exceeded the minimum 25% reduction requirement while the analysis of detention data did not indicate that detention was not being utilized in lieu of IDJJ commitments.
Evidence increasingly supports the conclusion that Redeploy Illinois provides a significant return on investment in terms of financial and human resources. The Redeploy Illinois Annual Report presents data, analysis, and findings substantiating this claim. Further, the report highlights efforts related to expansion in new counties and presents the program’s activities and highlights during both Fiscal Year and Calendar Year 2014.