Redeploy Illinois Statute

In 2004, the Illinois General Assembly established Redeploy Illinois with bi-partisan legislation, without controversy and without any significant opposition. The legislation encourages the deinstitutionalization of juvenile offenders by establishing Redeploy sites in counties or groups of counties that develop a continuum of local, community-based sanctions and treatment alternatives for juvenile offenders who would be incarcerated if those local services and sanctions did not exist, and that agree to reduce the number of youth incarcerated by at least 25 percent based on the average number of youth incarcerated for the previous three years.

The legislation applies only to youth charged with less serious felonies. The legislation incorporates a number of key principles and best practices in the field of juvenile justice, including Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ); treating youth in the least restrictive manner required to preserve public safety; and creation of a continuum of services and sanctions in every community under local responsibility.

The legislation charged the Illinois Department of Human Services with creating and administering the Redeploy Illinois initiative and convening the Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board.

Redeploy Illinois funding gives counties the financial support to provide comprehensive services to delinquent youth in their home communities instead of sending youth to IDJJ. The funds provided to the Redeploy Illinois sites help fill the gaps in the existing continuum of programs and services for delinquent youth, allowing counties to cost effectively serve youth locally and reduce their reliance on IDJJ. The legislation also created benchmarks (25% reduction) with consequences for failure to reduce juvenile commitments. It encouraged the use of evidence-based programs, required evaluation and required an annual report of outcomes to the General Assembly.

In fall 2004, the Legislature appropriated $2 million dollars to support the initial Redeploy Illinois pilot phase. Since that time, the Redeploy Illinois statute (730 ILCS 110/16.1) has been revised in several ways based on the experience of the pilot programs, and on the advice of the Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board. These modifications include:

  • allowing an adjustment in the 25 percent reduction requirement in certain circumstances (for example, if a county had significantly reduced its youth incarcerations for three years prior to implementing Redeploy Illinois), and
  • allowing the establishment of a special reserve of Redeploy Illinois funds, so that counties with very few IDJJ commitments, for which a 25 percent reduction is not practical, can provide Redeploy Illinois programs and services to individual youth and their families with demonstrated need.