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Implementation Evaluation of the Juvenile Justice Reform Provisions of 1998; Part One: Surveys of Juvenile Justice Professionals

NCJ Number
Timothy Lavery; Philip Stevenson; Megan Alderden; Charese Jackson
Date Published
March 2002
290 pages
This report presents findings from a survey of juvenile justice professionals in Illinois in order to determine whether the guiding philosophy ("balance and restorative justice") of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Reform Provisions of 1998 are being implemented in practice.
The Reform Provisions included a new purpose and policy statement that adopted balanced and restorative justice (BARJ) as a guiding philosophy for juvenile justice policy and practice. The BARJ philosophy seeks to balance the needs of juvenile offenders, juvenile crime victims, and the community. The juvenile justice professionals surveyed were state's attorneys with juvenile caseloads, public defenders with juvenile caseloads, juvenile probation officers, juvenile intake officers, juvenile police officers, juvenile court judges who hear delinquency cases, and circuit court clerks. The survey targeted these professionals in each of the State's counties. Generally, the survey found that none of the BARJ-related and non-BARJ-related changes in the Reform Provisions were being implemented with regularity by survey respondents. The survey findings suggest at least three reasons for this. First, in some instances changes are not being implemented because they are not perceived as being necessary by juvenile justice practitioners. Second, some juvenile justice professionals reported being skeptical about the overall utility of the Reform Provisions, describing the provisions as unnecessary legislative change. Third, juvenile justice professionals reported fairly low levels of general familiarity with the Reform Provisions and with BARJ. 29 tables and 7 figures and appended Reform Provisions changes, survey instruments, coding categories, and frequency of survey responses by profession