Synthetic drug use is a growing public health concern. Synthetics are often cheaper and more readily available than cannabis and amphetamines, making them attractive alternatives to other illicit drugs. In addition, the chemical formulas for these drugs are constantly changing, making them difficult to regulate, and their detection is limited in commonly used drug screenings. Authority researchers partnered with WestCare Foundation to survey 573 state prisoners on synthetic drug use to examine prevalence, accessibility, motivation for use, and effects. Thirty-six percent of respondents reported any synthetic drug use in the 12-months prior to incarceration. Findings suggested a proportion of the criminal justice population engages in synthetic drug use and the findings were consistent with other research on synthetic drug use.
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority convened an Ad Hoc Victim Services Committee in January to review research to identify crime victim needs and service gaps and measure capacity of Illinois victim service providers. The Committee then set funding priorities to address those needs, gaps, and capacity issues. The priorities were later approved by the ICJIA Board and will guide notices of funding opportunity and statewide funding decisions for the next three years.
Police administrators across the country are recognizing the need to connect individuals with whom they come into contact in the community to evidence-based treatment to better address the large social and economic burden of substance use disorders (SUD), a chronic and relapsing condition. Police frequently encounter substance using individuals and their families in the community, and often have repeat contacts with individuals suffering from SUD. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of different police agency responses to individuals with SUD that are intended to prevent overdose deaths and divert individuals with SUD away from the criminal justice system and toward appropriate support and treatment.
During stages of ongoing, yet incomplete, cognitive development, youth may be more inclined to take risks and experiment with drugs and alcohol and are often heavily influenced by their peers, leading to negative outcomes. Nationally and in Illinois, traditionally high drug use categories of marijuana and alcohol appear to be stable or falling and youth use of other drugs remains relatively low.
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority took great strides in its mission of improving the administration of criminal justice in 2016. Here is a look back at the agency’s most notable initiatives and achievements for the year.
More than 500,000 individuals are released from prison each year. As they return to their communities, they face obstacles in finding employment and housing, as well as significant debt, outstanding fines, and restitution payments. Two-thirds of this population are arrested again within three years. St. Leonard’s House in Chicago offers voluntary, supportive housing for men exiting prison. Program clients receive housing, substance abuse treatment, psychological services, life skills, mentoring, and education and vocational services. Authority researchers used qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection, as well as quasi-experimental design and advanced statistical analysis, to examine outcomes after program participation, including arrests, convictions, incarcerations, and employment.
Opioid and heroin use is surging in Illinois communities and across the country with dramatic increases in the number of users and deaths by overdose. Communities, criminal justice practitioners, and public health professionals are struggling to help those suffering from opioid use disorders and, ultimately, save lives. This article provides an overview of the opioid epidemic and its causes, including the link between prescription opioids and heroin.
Preventing youth violence and improving schooling outcomes for disadvantaged youth remain two of our nation’s most urgent challenges. The Becoming a Man (BAM) program is a violence-reduction strategy that uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help participants slow down their thinking in high-stakes situations. An evaluation of the program found improvements in both academic and behavioral outcomes of participating youth.
In 2014, the Reentry Program, one of three components of Illinois’ Community Violence Prevention Program (CVPP) receiving funds through the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, provided services to youth and young adults on parole and aftercare in 21 Chicago area communities in order to assist with their compliance with parole board orders and other aspects of successful community reintegration, such as educational enrollment and employment. Authority researchers examined the Reentry Program component of the Community Violence Prevention Program (CVPP) to ascertain how the program was meeting the reentry needs of Chicago area youth and young adults.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program is the official source of nationwide crime data and can be used to examine current patterns and trends over time. The Illinois UCR Program provides state-specific data. Those who use the programs to study crime trends should become familiar with the data source, its method of collection, and caveats needed to ensure proper data context.
Juvenile Justice in Illinois, 2014
outlines juvenile justice statistics across the four process points in which data were available: arrest, detention, court, and corrections. Decreases in the statewide figures were noted across all of the data points examined, indicating that fewer youth were entering and moving through the system. This article highlights select key findings from the full report
Satisfaction with the criminal justice system often reflects the opinions of the public rather than that of the offender. When probation clients are able to provide feedback in a meaningful way, they are less marginalized and alienated from a process attempting to make changes in their behavior and attitudes. Authority researchers interviewed probationers served by Adult Redeploy Illinois program models to gain their perspectives and make recommendations for program enhancement.
Over the past three decades, at least 1.5 million men and women have been convicted of felony charges in Illinois. Even after they have satisfied their probation or prison sentence, they face a range of collateral consequences-—penalties, disabilities, and other disadvantages imposed as a result of a criminal conviction, some lasting a lifetime.
In Illinois, the distribution of controlled substances is a significant problem and task forces were created to combat the distribution of controlled substances at the local level. This study sought to understand the extent of the drug problem in the jurisdictions covered by each drug task force. Authority researchers surveyed 19 Authority-funded drug task forces on types of drugs, frequency, trends, use, and distribution.
Jails in the United States house large numbers of detainees who have urgent public and behavioral healthcare needs as well as various serious social, economic, and personal problems. Jails are often the primary (or only) settings for medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse treatment.
The 24/7 Sobriety Program uses a swift, certain, and moderate sanctioning approach to reduce alcohol and drug-involved driving among individuals who have been previously convicted of driving under the influence. First implemented in South Dakota in 2005, clients served through this program are tested at least twice per day using a breathalyzer test and subject to immediate jail time for positive test results. Evaluations conducted to date have found positive outcomes associated with the program. This article provides a summary of how the program works, prior research findings, and implementation considerations.
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority awarded several grants to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Chicago to fund Crisis Intervention Training for Youth courses to officers at the Chicago Police Department. The program was the first 40-hour, five-day law enforcement youth crisis intervention training offered in the country.
Growing public support for prison reform has brought attention to community-based supervision alternatives, including intensive supervision probation for offenders who are at significant risk of being incarcerated. Researchers examined four intensive supervision probation with services programs supported by Adult Redeploy Illinois for fidelity to the evidence-based service model.
Many victims of intimate partner violence find themselves at increased risk for homelessness as they make efforts to escape violence. The lack of stable, safe, and affordable housing is associated with negative outcomes for these victims. This article describes the relationship between housing instability and victim health and well-being, issues to consider when addressing housing stability for this population, and recommendations for policy and practice.
Each year a notable number of children are exposed to violence in their homes and communities. This exposure can result in negative health and well-being consequences. Safe from the Start (SFS) programs were funded to provide treatment services and supportive referrals to children exposed to violence and their families. This report provides an overview of the Illinois Safe from the Start program, program outcomes, and implications for policy and practice.
Court evaluations, new commitments, and technical violations are three ways in which youth may be admitted to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, the state’s juvenile corrections agency. This article is the first of a three-part series examining the use of incarceration to address juvenile delinquency in Illinois. Admissions to IDJJ for court evaluations is examined, including admission trends and the impact court evaluation admissions have had on the profile of committed youth.
InfoNet is a web-based data collection and reporting system used by rape crisis centers across Illinois. Developed by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority in collaboration with the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) and other agencies, InfoNet is used by ICASA’s network of 33 rape crisis centers. The system tracks victim characteristics and services provided using unique identifiers and offers data to inform local and statewide policy and planning.
Detailed statewide statistical data is needed to inform juvenile justice policy decisions. The Illinois Criminal History Record Information System has been used with some success, but its full potential for statistical purposes has not been systematically evaluated. This report provides such an assessment, focusing on the completeness of the juvenile arrest and court information collected by the CHRI System.
Last year, 45 percent of the 28,612 Illinois Department of Corrections inmates screened for substance abuse upon prison entry were deemed in need of treatment.
The Authority hit many highs in 2015, kicking off new and exciting initiatives, improving the agency’s web presence, and offering a variety of new research to support criminal justice reform.
Urban violence is a major public health concern and at epidemic levels in some neighborhoods, directly impacting the mental health of its residents (Morris, n.d.). The rate of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among urban populations is estimated to be around 31 percent, higher than the PTSD rate among returning Iraq war veterans of 17 percent.
Drug courts emerged in the 1990s to address serious drug offending while improving offender outcomes and reducing incarceration costs. Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority researchers examined drug courts funded by Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI) in five counties. Data to measure the 10 key components was collected after 18 months of program implementation (August 2012 to July 2013). ARI applies evidence-based, data-driven, and result-oriented strategies to curb prison overcrowding and enhance public safety.
More than 2.4 million people are confined in correctional facilities across the United States. Each year, more than half a million inmates are released from prison and return to their communities. The formerly incarcerated face many obstacles as they reenter the community, such as finding employment and housing, and paying outstanding fines, restitution, and other debts.
Mental health courts serve the challenging and extensive service needs of people who have a serious mental illness and are involved in the criminal justice system. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority awarded a grant to Loyola University Chicago to assess the operation of these courts in Illinois.
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority’s InfoNet data system is key to targeted, effective services for victims of interpersonal violence across Illinois.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office implemented its alternative sentencing-focused Deferred Prosecution Program in February 2011. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority awarded a grant to the Loyola University Chicago to evaluate the program in 2013. The program became the model for the Offender Initiative Program, enacted by state law (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.3) in 2013 to promote public safety, conserve resources, and reduce recidivism.
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority researchers conducted an evaluation of the Community Violence Prevention Program’s Youth Employment Program. The program, which ended in August 2014, sought to increase job readiness skills, build relationships with a caring adult, improve attitudes toward employment and violence, increase self-esteem and conflict resolution skills, and offer community service and engagement.
More than 2.4 million people are confined in the U.S. in state and federal prisons, juvenile corrections, and jails. Each year, more than half a million individuals are released from prison and return to their communities. After leaving prison, offenders with criminal records face obstacles such as difficulty finding employment and housing, significant debt, outstanding fines, and restitution payments.
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority researchers conducted an evaluation of the Community Violence Prevention Program’s (CVPP) Parent Program. The program, which ended August 2014, sought to increase protective factors to reduce child maltreatment by employing and training nearly 1,000 Chicago-area parents to lead service projects to help other parents in 20 communities.
Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI) applies evidence-based, data-driven, and result-oriented strategies to curb prison overcrowding and enhance public safety. Since 2010, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (Authority) has administered grant funding for ARI and offered research, evaluation, and technical assistance to the program.