U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Juvenile Recidivism in Illinois: Examining Re-Arrest and Re-Incarceration of Youth Committed for a Court Evaluation

NCJ Number
Jordan Boulger; Lindsay Bostwick; Mark Powers
Date Published
August 2012
46 pages
This study by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority examined re-arrest and re-incarceration rates in the State for youth committed for a court evaluation.
Key findings from the study include the following: demographically, 89 percent of youth incarcerated for court evaluations were male, about 50 percent were African-American, and the average age was 15.5 years old at admission and 15.8 at exit; almost two thirds were incarcerated for court evaluation for a non-violent offense; youth incarcerated for court evaluations averaged about 4.6 prior arrests, with only 3 percent having been previously incarcerated; of the youth in the sample, 86 percent were re-arrested within 3 years of release. While overall, 93 percent re-arrested within 6 years; the highest rate of re-arrest was among drug offenders (93 percent) while sex offenders had the lowest (80 percent); class 4 offenders had the highest overall re-arrest rate at 93 percent, while misdemeanants had the lowest (81 percent); and overall, 59 percent of the sample was re-incarcerated as either a juvenile or an adult, with 36 percent re-incarcerated within a year after release. This study was conducted due to the unique situation of these youth. Youth incarcerated for a court evaluation in Illinois are not formally committed to the State's Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and are thus are better suited to participate in prevention and intervention programs. By determining the re-arrest and re-incarceration rates of these youth, corrections officials and policymakers would be able to more effective diversion programs for keeping these youth out of the juvenile justice system. Data for the study came from a sample of all youth released from Illinois DJJ facilities during fiscal years 2005 through 2007, and included only those released from a facility after a new court commitment. Tables, figures, and references