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Community Justice Concept Paper: A Project of the Cook County Juvenile Justice Task Force

NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages
This paper presents a vision for community-based, trauma-informed, restorative justice solutions for youth crime and conflict in Cook County (Chicago) Illinois.
The paper is divided into two sections: "Reinvesting Our Efforts" and "Building a New Paradigm." The first section outlines some of the main limitations of Cook County's current juvenile justice system and provides guidance on how the juvenile justice system can improve its support for youth while making communities safer. This section calls for a reduction in the population of the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, with the savings to be reinvested in the communities with the greatest need for supportive services. The second section of the paper proposes alternatives to the current approach of centralized juvenile detention, which removes youth from family and community supports. This paper recommends the creation of "Restorative Justice Hubs" across Cook County. These would be community centers that holistically address the needs of youth who have committed crime while supporting community residents and crime victims. These hubs will be catalysts for community healing that addresses intergenerational cycles of individual and systemic traumas that often shape criminogenic influences on families and communities.