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Police Use of Formal and Informal Station Adjustments for Juveniles in Illinois

NCJ Number
On Good Authority Volume: 6 Issue: 4 Dated: November 2002 Pages: 1-4
Timothy Lavery
Date Published
November 2002
4 pages
This report summarizes the findings of a survey concerning the use of formal and informal station adjustments for juvenile offenders in Illinois.
The author explains that in Illinois police officers have the option of issuing station adjustments for juvenile offenders in lieu of sending the juvenile to court. These station adjustments are issued for less serious offenses and carry specific provisions that must be met by the juvenile. In 1998, the Juvenile Justice Reform Provisions made changes to Illinois station adjustment laws that require officers to issue either formal or informal station adjustments. This report summarizes the results of a survey meant to determine how officers were handling the new guidelines. Sixty-nine Illinois police officers responded to the random survey, which revealed that officers were not distinguishing between formal and informal station adjustments despite the new guidelines. According to the report, there were two main reasons officers failed to distinguish between formal and informal station adjustments. First, most officers who responded to the survey claimed ignorance of the 1998 juvenile reform provisions and, second, many law enforcement agencies might not consider the distinction useful and thus, ignore it. This report also lists the six factors that the Illinois Juvenile Court Act considers important when determining whether an offense should carry a formal or an informal station adjustment. Copies of the full evaluation are available from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority’s Research and Analysis Unit.