Research Report

Examining the Extent of Recidivism in Illinois After Juvenile Incarceration

Published: April, 2019

Despite the juvenile justice system’s shift from punitive-oriented to rehabilitation-oriented correctional approaches, post-commitment youth recidivism continues to be a significant issue. While the number of incarcerated juveniles in Illinois has consistently decreased over the years, the recidivism rate remains high. To better understand the extent of Illinois youth recidivism, researchers measured three-year rearrest and reincarceration rates among a sample of youth released from state juvenile correctional facilities. Over the three-year period post-release from the juvenile state correctional facilities, 87 percent of youth were rearrested, 55 percent were recommitted to a state juvenile correctional facility, and 54 percent were committed to an adult correctional facility. While Illinois has made efforts to reform juvenile justice in the state, recidivism remains high for those who are sentenced to a juvenile correctional facility. These rates likely reflect that youth committed to juvenile corrections generally have more complex needs and require more intensive, individualized, wrap-around programs and services to be successful in the community.