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Report of the Judiciary

 

News from the Juvenile Probation and Detention Division

 

The Juvenile Probation and Detention Services Division provides a continuum of services to families of youth who have been referred by law enforcement for delinquent offenses.  Services range from informal diversion from court to highly structured supervision or probation in the community.  The Division also provides in-house residential treatment as well as a secure detention center for more serious and/or chronic juvenile offenders.  More about the individual functions of the Division may be found here.

 


2013

 

DETENTION


As in the past, focus has been placed on all full-time direct care staff assigned to Detention, Intake, and FACE-IT obtaining 40 hours of training as mandated by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Inspection standards and the AOIC as well as part-time and support staff receiving 20 hours. An additional 2 staff attended AOIC Basic Training for Detention Officers which was held in Yorkville in March and 3 Assistant Directors attended the Detention Manager’s Symposium in Champaign in June. 5 staff members were re-certified as in-house trainers in August and 1 new trainer was added to the group. Many staff also took advantage of a series of on-going webinars sponsored by the Office of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)/National Center for Youth in Custody (NC4YC) on topics related to specifically to the Detention population as well as low cost and/or free training offered in the community. Training was completed for all staff in January for the new room monitoring system, Guard 1 Plus, which was purchased and installed in the fall of last year. It has now been installed and is operational in the Intake and FACE-IT units as well, allowing for more efficient recording of room checks as well as enhanced safety of the youth.

 

Unfortunately, services provided by the Girl Scout council were discontinued due to a lack of funding. However, new services have been implemented and other long-standing programs have continued.

 

One of the new community partnerships in Detention and FACE-IT has been with the acclaimed International Brain Education Association (IBREA) who provides 2 volunteers to conduct Dahn Yoga classes with the youth once a week. This type of Yoga is based on releasing energy and brain development resulting in improved physical health, deeper concentration, greater creative power, and increased empathy and cooperative spirit. This program has been embraced by the residents, who are able to use this time to relax and temporarily focus on their minds and bodies instead of the stressfulness of being away from home and their court proceedings. In addition, the Restorative Justice “Peacekeeping Circles” will be implemented this fall upon completion of staff and volunteer training.

 

In May of this year, several Detention residents entered a national poetry contest for incarcerated youth through the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS). We are happy to report that one of the residents won second place and was the recipient of a certificate and monetary award for his submission.

 

Tours of the facility this year included a church youth group chaperoned by Associate Judge Raymond Collins, a group of educators from Stevenson High School accompanied by State Representative Carol Sente, 59th District, interns from various departments in the court system, college classes and several police departments. Early in August, a tour was facilitated for over 30 police officers and social service providers after the bi-monthly Juvenile Officers’ Association meeting which was hosted by the Juvenile Division.

 

The staff driven Wellness Committee continues to oversee the goals and mandates related to the health and physical fitness programming as well as the nutritional needs/requirements of the residents. The requirements of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) have become more stringent in this area and this group of staff has voluntarily assisted with this effort. The Detention garden project, which was designed and developed by staff and residents, has thrived this year, producing bountiful amounts of peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. These vegetables have been served in meals by the kitchen staff which has assisted in a higher quality of nutrition and less costs for food.

 

Special events continue to be celebrated throughout the year. In February, activities were planned around Black History Month which included meals, presentations by staff, Circuit Judge George Bridges, Waukegan Alderman Sam Cunningham and Ed Bates, Director of Education from Daisy’s Resource Center in North Chicago.

 

As always, interns and volunteers have been of great benefit to the daily operations in the Detention Center this year. In 2013 thus far, the Detention Center has had two graduate level interns and 3 undergraduate interns from various schools assisting the youth in all areas of programming. Four more students will intern this fall. In addition, the Detention Center continues to serve as host to approximately 30 volunteers, many of whom have been working with the residents on a long-term basis in various roles including the provision of spiritual education. 

 

The Juvenile Division continues to be a site for the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) and in May, a juvenile court team representing Lake County attended the annual conference in Champaign.

 

In August, Tracy Sompolski, was promoted to Principal  Juvenile Counselor and Chris Siebeneck to Senior Juvenile Counselor through Career Path promotions.

 

Staff changes included a lateral transfer by Juvenile Counselor Brandon Gross to fill a vacancy in the education program and a transition from part-time Juvenile Detention Officer to Juvenile Counselor by Officer Estela Martinez.  2 new Juvenile Counselors, Matt Goebel and Felipe Martinez were hired this summer to fill vacancies in the Detention Center.

 

Superintendent Sue Korpai continues to serve as co-chair of the IPCSA Detention Committee which includes representatives from all 16 Detention Centers in the state, AOIC and several Probation Departments. In addition, representatives from the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission consult with the committee and attend some meetings. A meeting was held in Bloomington in March and at the spring conference in Utica this year with additional meetings planned in mid-September in Bloomington and at the fall conference in Peoria in October. An emphasis this year has been placed on the impact of adding 17 year old felons to the Detention population as of January of 2014 and the program changes that may be necessary to effectively serve the older population. In addition, federal mandates regarding the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and the impact that it may have on local detention centers is being reviewed. Training has been offered through teleconferences and webinars and AOIC is planning a meeting with state officials to specifically discuss the responsibilities of the juvenile detention centers.

 

JUVENILE PROBATION

 

Partnerships

This year opened itself to enhance partnerships with law enforcement departments throughout Lake County with the Juvenile Division.  The Juvenile Division often maintains contact with the Juvenile Officers during their day to day functions however an initiative to enhance the relationships began this year.  A Probation Officer communicates with a selected police department and invites the juvenile police officers to the Juvenile Complex for a meet and greet and tour of the facility.  In turn, Juvenile Division staff visit the police department to do the same.  Zion Police, Highland Park Police and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Mundelein have participated thus far. 

 

GirlWise

The 10th Annual Girl Wise conference was held on 5-4-2013 at the College of Lake County, Grayslake Campus. In addition to Juvenile Division staff, committee members of the conference included agency participation from the Regional Office of Education, the College of Lake County, Omni Youth Services, the States Attorney’s Office, Waukegan High School, Northern Illinois Counsel on Substance Abuse, One Hope United and the Attorney General’s Office. The conference for 2014 is scheduled for the same location on 5-3-2014.


Unit Planning Sessions
The probation unit planning sessions resulted in 19 officer’s work stations being relocated within the unit.  The goal of this move enabled officers that performed similar work functions to share office space together building natural back-up systems for each other.  This effort also improved communication and streamlined the workflow.

 

PCTO

The Positive Community Take Over group (PTCO) had another successful year. Community leaders of North Chicago and representatives of the Court continued to facilitate programming for high risk youth of that community. Probation Officers in collaboration with the school district provided groups to youth on a weekly basis covering topics which included communication, problem solving, victimization, education and employment skills. Parents of the youth also participated in groups to develop additional parenting skills. Upon completion of the program youth participated in a recognition graduation in the Mayor’s City Council Chambers which occurred during the month of May. Attendees of the graduation included Circuit Judge Valerie Boettle-Ceckowski, Associate Judge Sarah Lessman, Director Robert Cesar, Mayor Leon Rockingham, Chief of Police James Jackson, and the residents of the community to support the graduates for their accomplishments.

 

Job Program

During the year thus far the Job Readiness Program has serviced 30 youth.  These youth completed the classroom portion of the program which enables them to be familiar with aspects of obtaining a job.  Of these youth, 13 youth obtained employment through the grant.  Contracted work sites include jobs such as public works departments, grocery stores, restaurants, general maintenance departments and an auto parts business.  


DATA Focus Group
The Juvenile Division’s DATA focus group continued to consider ways to utilize technology to reduce the use of paper and enhance the overall operation.  During this year, many efforts have been made to not only reduce the use of paper but to convert old methods of documenting information to creating newer more efficient methods that staff work to increase efficiency.  Divisional efforts this year include the utilization of a PDF developed by JIS and Psychological Services to submit referrals for services for clients in the community and in detention. 


JR’s Challenge

Probation officers and Juvenile Counselors (11 staff total) continue to be trained as facilitators of JR’s Challenge who provide the experience to youth via a low and high ropes course. Twenty-eight hours of training has been provided to the facilitators thus far this year which includes re-certification and emergency procedures.  The facilitators also attended the Annual Round Table Conference in March.  Thus far, seven low ropes courses and 9 high ropes courses have been facilitated.  Special programming has been provided for the PTCO group and GirlWise with use of the portable equipment.  For the remainder of the year the schedule includes more low and high ropes courses for the youth on probation as well as a complex inter department staff course and eight additional hours of training.

 

Group Reporting
Group Reporting continues to supervise low risk cases with significant success. The satellite offices that are utilized for the meetings are essential given their location in proximity to the probationer’s home.


Interns

During the Fall and Spring Semester of this year, the Juvenile Probation Unit coordinated four internships with college students from various universities.  The students were nearing the completion of their undergraduate degrees and were from schools which included Western Illinois University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The students learned valuable experiences working alongside of a juvenile probation officer and were able to apply the knowledge gained from their class work to practical application.  Some of the Interns that  graduated, continue to volunteer with the Juvenile Division. 

 

POs provide training to others

  • Mario Urbina and Cheryl Sersen provided a workshop to other facilitators of experiential learning centers at the Annual Round Table Conference in March.
  • Associate Judge Nancy Waites and Cheryl Sersen provided a training session to approximately 60 Deans of Students on Teen Dating Violence in April.
  • Mario Urbina and Bill Abernathy facilitated in-house training to re-certify facilitators for the JR’s Challenge course.
  • Michelle Burns provided TRACKER training for staff within the Division.

 

Adoptions
Juvenile probation officers conduct adoption investigations for the Circuit Court.  The Juvenile Court continues to provide for the adoption process at the Juvenile Justice Complex in Vernon Hills.  This enables petitions to complete necessary functions at one location.  The functions of the Adoption process has transitioned smoothly from the main court house in Waukegan to Vernon Hills.


Awards
The Youthful Offender Job Readiness Program received the 2013 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.

 

 

FACE-IT Program

 

Assistant Director, Dr. Michael Fletcher departed from the 19th Judicial Circuit on March 3, 2013.  His successor, Dr. Holly Hinton, a staff psychologist within the 19th Judicial Circuit, accepted the Assistant Director position on March 16, 2013.  Staff Therapist, Ms. Melanie Umphress passed her clinical licensure for social work, adding LCSW to her credentials.  Program Therapist Ms. Monica Vervilos transferred to Adult Probation.  Her vacancy was filled by Ms. Jordana Ballesteros, LPC.        

 

FACE-IT participants continue to participate in Thinking for a Change; Recovery Skills Group; the Seven Challenges Substance Abuse Treatment Program with OMNI Youth Services; the Read for Life Program through the Vernon Area Public Library; and gardening activities with the Lincolnshire Garden Club. 

 

FACE-IT participants had the opportunity to learn about the impact their juvenile offenses had on others through a victim panel that was facilitated by Victim Services Officer, Ms. Courtney Alexander. 

 

Field trips attended in 2013 included: The Chicago Auto Show; The Lincolnshire Marriott Theatre’s productions The Music of Webber; South Pacific; I Love You, You’re Perfect. Now Change;  and Mary Poppins; Cross-country Skiing, Rock Climbing, and Hiking trips through Omni Youth Services’ Wilderness Program; a visit to the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha Temple in Bartlett, Illinois; college tours at the College of Lake County, Northwestern University, and North Park University; and a tour of Medline in Waukegan, Illinois.

 

FACE-IT participants continued to engage in Public Service projects with Partners for Progress, Dog Style (formerly Bombshell Bullies Pit Bull Rescue), and Wildwood Soup Kitchen.  A few participants completed the Job Group; they and others obtained part-time employment at area businesses, including Five Guys, McDonalds, Mariano’s, Taco Bell, Fast Jack’s Carwash, and Lake County Public Works.   

 

FACE-IT Participants attended the Vernon Hills Police Department’s National Night Out on August 6, 2013.  They received medals for their defeat of the Vernon Hills Police Department in the Sand Volleyball Tournament. 

 

FACE-IT participants attended a speaker presentation entitled, “Man Up” at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois.

 

Two new volunteers were welcomed to FACE-IT.  Ms. Nicole Sherbert volunteers with the clinical team and has been assisting in the facilitation of Recovery Skills Group.  Ms. Qamar Habib volunteers as a tutor, providing approximately two hours of her time each week.

 

The Second Annual FACE-IT Holiday Potluck Celebration occurred on December 19, 2013.  FACE-IT staff, participants, and their families all took part in the festive event.

 

Staff at FACE-IT stay abreast of training opportunities offered.  Some of the trainings attended in 2013 included: Gangs: Secret Codes, Signs, and Symbols; Civil Rights Compliance and Enforcement; Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, four-day training; Fostering Resilience in Trauma-Impacted Youth and Families: the Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency Treatment Framework, two-day training; Erin’s Law Conference; Think Trauma; Thinking for a Change; APEX Educational Training; Coaching and Supervisory Skills for Improved Case Outcomes; and Complex Trauma and Delinquency: Working with Youth in Detention.


 


2012

 

DETENTION

 

Throughout the 19th Judicial Circuit, a new level of supervisors, Unit Managers, came aboard in the spring of 2012. Six were specifically assigned to the 24/7 operations including Detention, Intake and the FACE-IT Residential Program. This addition has been extremely beneficial in providing continuous and consistent supervision to line staff and has assisted management in many areas. Enhanced training is one of those. As in the past, all full-time direct care staff assigned to Detention, Intake, and FACE-IT must have 40 hours of training as mandated by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Inspection standards and the AOIC. In addition, all part-time and support staff must have at least 20 hours of training. Unit Managers have worked with their teams to assure that requirement has been accomplished. Training was scheduled throughout the year and included basic topics such as safety, security and control, emergency drills and planning, report writing and documentation and suicide prevention. In addition, several staff participated in sessions for other mandated training such as AOIC Basic Training for Detention Officers, First Aid/CPR and Handle with Care restraint training. 10 staff members were re-certified as in-house trainers in August. Many staff also took advantage of low cost or free training sponsored by community agencies on topics related to the adolescent population as well as webinars and online training. Unit Manager Robert Brothers was selected to attend “Correctional Leadership Development” in July sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections in Aurora, Colorado.

 

A new room monitoring system, Guard 1 Plus, was purchased this year, with installation in Detention and Intake beginning in August. Plans are also underway to install and utilize this system in the FACE-IT program allowing for more efficient recording of room checks as well as enhanced safety of the youth.

 

The APEX digital learning program continues to be utilized within the Detention Center and the FACE-IT program and has proved to be very beneficial to the youth. The curriculum is continuously being updated providing many new course options and levels of academics for the wide age and intellectual range of youth detained. They can work at their own pace and learn at their own level of functioning, allowing them to earn credits that transfer to their home schools. Some residents have been able to complete the requirements for 8th grade, high school and even prepare for the GED test when court ordered.

 

The Detention Center continues to benefit from various community partnerships which have afforded many opportunities for the youth in residence. The local Girl Scout Council has continued to facilitate, along with staff, twice weekly gender specific groups which focus on teen-oriented issues and activities. This service has been made available through a grant specifically designed for females in juvenile detention.

The Vernon Area Library, named one of the best in the country, continues to provide valuable services to the Detention Center. Volunteers work with the residents on a bi-weekly basis, facilitating a short story discussion based on books that have been read as a group previously. These books have been made available through grant money which the library has assisted in obtaining on a regular basis. In addition, volunteers have continued to replenish the shelves in the main library area and in the living areas (pods) with new and gently used books and resource materials based on the interests and requests of the residents. The continuous addition of new materials has resulted in a noticeable increase in reading and enthusiasm by the residents in what can be a stressful environment.

 

6 staff members toured the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center in June and viewed their Restorative Justice programming which incorporates “Peacekeeping Circle” groups. These groups are facilitated by volunteers and staff and focus on problem solving and goal setting to assist the youth in Detention in making a successful transition to the community. The intention of this visit was to gain more insight into the program, considered to be a model in the State, and plan for the implementation of such in Lake County.

 

The staff driven Wellness Committee continues to oversee the goals and mandates related to the health and physical fitness programming as well as the nutritional needs/requirements of the residents.

Interns and volunteers have been a valuable resource in the Detention Center this year as always. They assist with individual and group counseling/activities, crisis assessments, tutoring, and daily programming. In 2012, the Detention Center had two graduate level interns and six undergraduate interns from various schools in Illinois and Wisconsin. In addition, the Detention Center, served as host to approximately 30 volunteers, many of whom have been working with the residents on a long-term basis. Three of the volunteers were the recipients of the “Volunteer of the Year” award in April as a group for the Juvenile Division. These volunteers were first year students from the local seminary, University of St. Mary’s on the Lake in Mundelein, IL and served the entire school year by providing one-on-one spiritual counseling for the youth in Detention.

 

Tours were facilitated throughout the year for college classes, court personnel including Judges, and community educators.

 

In 7-2-12, The Hulse Detention Center hosted a meeting with a work group consisting of select members of the IPCSA Detention Committee (including Sue Korpai, Superintendent), the Illinois Department of Corrections, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority to discuss and complete the revised inspection standards to be submitted to the Governor’s office soon thereafter.

 

The Juvenile Division continues to be a site for the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) and in November, a juvenile court team representing Lake County attended the annual conference in Bloomington.

 

Staff from the Detention Center continue to be part of the DATA group which meets bi-monthly with representatives from all units in the Juvenile Division and in collaboration with JIS. Last year, the transition to digital documentation from labor intensive and costly written documentation/logging through the use of the TRACKER database was completed in Detention.  This year, the transition has begun for the FACE-IT residential program. This continues to promote teamwork and is a major step towards “integrated justice” by allowing all units to obtain and share information with immediate accessibility at their work stations.

 

2 Juvenile Counselors, Johnny Selph (Principal) and Smita Sutaria (Senior) participated in the Career Path process and were successfully promoted this year.

 

3 new staff were hired during the year including a Juvenile Counselor, full-time Juvenile Detention Officer and a part-time Juvenile Detention Officer.

 

Three Juvenile Counselors were chosen were named “Employees of the Month” for 2012. These included Dennis McMahan in January, Adam Kohl in April and Paul DiJulio in July.

 

Superintendent Sue Korpai continues to serve as co-chair of the IPCSA Detention Committee which includes staff from all 16 Detention Centers in the state, AOIC, several Probation Departments, and representatives from the Pathways Juvenile Justice initiatives. Meetings were held at both the spring and fall conferences this year as well as a meeting in Bloomington in September, all with excellent participation.

On 12-06-12, the Detention Center had their annual Department of Juvenile Justice inspection which was completed by Inspector Robert Catchings and Ron Smith and Dick Walsh of the Juvenile Justice Commission with positive feedback and results.

 

JUVENILE PROBATION

 

Volunteers

During this year, the Juvenile Division continued to benefit from the community members that volunteer their time to support the work we do with youth and families we service.   Community members that are interested in volunteering complete an application through the College of Lake County before they are assigned to the Juvenile Division.  This year volunteers continued to support programs in Probation such as the Orientation Group, compliance calls, Group Reporting and the Girlwise Conference.  Volunteers are a valuable part of the Organization and their work with youth and families is very beneficial to the overall mission of the Probation Unit.

 

Girlwise

The 9th Annual Girl Wise conference was held on 4-28-2012 at the College of Lake County, Grayslake Campus. Committee members of the conference included agency participation from the Regional Office of Education, the College of Lake County, Omni Youth Services, the States Attorney’s Office, Waukegan High School, Northern Illinois Counsel on Substance Abuse, One Hope United and the Attorney General’s Office. The conference for 2013 is scheduled for the same location on 5-4-2013.

 

PCTO

The Positive Community Take Over group (PTCO) had another successful year. Community leaders of North Chicago and representatives of the Court continued to facilitate programming for high risk youth of that community. Probation Officers in collaboration with the school district provided groups to youth on a weekly basis covering topics which included communication, problem solving, victimization, education and employment skills. Parents of the youth also participated in groups to develop additional parenting skills. Upon completion of the program youth participated in a recognition graduation in the Mayor’s City Council Chambers which occurred during the month of May. Attendees of the graduation included Circuit Judge Valerie Boettle-Ceckowski, Associate Judge Sarah Lessman, Director Robert Cesar, Mayor Rockingham, The Chief of Police, and the residents of the community to support the graduates for their accomplishments.

 

Job Program

In 2012 the Job Readiness Program serviced 34 youth.  These youth completed the classroom portion of the program which enables them to be familiar with aspects of obtaining a job.  Of these youth, 20 youth obtained employment through the grant.  Contracted work sites include jobs such as public works departments, grocery stores, restaurants, and general maintenance departments.   

 

Orientation Group

Juvenile Probation provides an Orientation Group to moderate and high risk youth and families as they become part of the Juvenile Court. The group is facilitated by probation officers with the support of volunteers assigned to the Juvenile Division. Youth and families were able to ask questions as to concerns they may have that will hinder a successful experience. As well, the role of the assigned probation officer is discussed in detail so that the probation officer can be viewed as a resource to the youth and parents. This year the group was also offered to families that speak Spanish as their primary language. Spanish speaking probation officers and volunteers will facilitate a similar program.  Surveys are completed following the group which has shown positive impact for both minors and parents that have participated in the experience.

 

JR’s Challenge

The JRs Challenge Program was provided to court ordered youth during the past year. Probation officers and Juvenile Counselors are trained facilitators who provide the experience to youth via a low and high ropes course. During the experience youth learn skills such as building self-esteem, problems solving and setting pro-social goals for their future. The courses were scheduled from March through October. The Juvenile Division continued to partner with Omni Youth Services who provided experiential adventure trips which included rock climbing, caving, canoeing and camping experience to youth. In exchange for these services, Omni Youth Services benefited by having their clients participate in the JRs Challenge Program. This partnership will continue next year.

DATA Focus Group

 

The Juvenile Division has created a focus group to enhance the use of technology to reduce the use of paper and become more efficient.  The Probation Unit continues to seek new ways to accomplish this goal of the Division.  During this year, many efforts have been made to not only reduce the use of paper but to convert old methods of documenting information to creating newer more efficient methods that staff work to increase efficiency.  The efforts specific to the Probation Unit include:

  • Compliance Letters-Letters were generated from software to reduce staff time and increase communication with clients that owe monies to the Court.  This effort aided in the increase in collections.
  • Violation of Probation-The process of how violation petitions were documented was streamlined to be more timely via the data entry process.
  • Restitution-Developed data entry procedures to capture restitution reserved.
  • Social Investigation-Developed a format to capture the new legislation requirements for cases being recommended for the Department of Juvenile Justice.
  • Updated Social Investigations-Modified this format to include all police contacts as opposed to only ones back to the last investigation.

Divisional Efforts include:

  • Duplication of names and agencies in the data base was corrected by changing a form in the data base.
  • JAVA updates were made throughout the Division.
  • Resource codes were updated to reflect correct agencies that provided the services.  This enabled reports to be generated capturing accurate data.
  • Modified TRACKER data base to capture an individual’s provider name versus just the agency so that documentation was more specific.  This reduced the paper log entries necessary.
  • Documentation methods were modified so that AOIC reports were accurately generated.

 

Unit Planning Sessions

 

The unit also began “Planning Sessions” with staff in the probation unit to enable them to have input as to changes that would enhance the operations of probation.  The process involved small group work every four to six weeks.  The unit identified an initial overall list of changes worthy of discussion.  The list was prioritized and categorized as to internal and external control.  Changes that have occurred thus far from this process include:

  • The unit developed a back-up plan for each other based on work assignments.
  • Reorganized the unit work stations which included sixteen staff.
  • Modifications were made to the office coverage schedule to maximize efficiency reducing the number of staff involved in a particular case.
  • Case planning module was determined to be ineffective through this process.
  • A position paper was developed for targeting high risk cases.
  • The unit meetings were reduced in number based on staff input.
  • The process allowed for the group to reach a consensus as to whether or not an issue of worthy of discussion. 

 

Group Reporting

Group Reporting continues to supervise low risk cases with significant success. With the use of volunteers, one probation officer is able to supervise cases throughout the county at satellite offices. Probationers are able to meet expectations, remaining delinquent free and being successfully terminated from probation. This program has saved time for probation officers to spend more time with the higher risk youth. In addition, this form of supervision has been cost effective for the Circuit without decreasing the success rate.

 

Interns

This year the Juvenile Probation Unit coordinated seven internships with college students from various universities.  The students were nearing the completion of their undergraduate degrees and were from schools which included Western Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, Villanova University and Arizona University.  The students learned valuable experiences working alongside of a juvenile probation officer and were able to apply the knowledge gained from their class work to practical application.  The probation unit benefits greatly from the work completed by the students during the internship.

 

Adoptions

Juvenile probation officers conduct adoption investigations for the Circuit Court.  The year 2012 was the first full year of the Adoption cases being heard in the Juvenile Court having transitioned from the main court facility in Waukegan. The administration staff of the Juvenile Division performed the function of informing outside agencies and attorneys when ordered by the court. This transition enabled petitioners to accomplish all necessary tasks at one location.

 

Awards 

Juvenile Probation Officers Lori Sandquist and Courtney Alexander received the Distinquished Service Award at the Annual Banquet for the Illinois Probation Court Services Association.  Joe Kelroy, Assistant Director, received the William Albertson Award.  Jan Hanson, Probation Officer, and Adam Kohl, Principal Juvenile Counselor, received the Employee of the Month Award during the year of 2012.

 

FACE-IT

 

FACE-IT participants continue to participate in Thinking for a Change; Seven Challenges Substance Abuse groups with OMNI Youth Services; the Read for Life Program through the Vernon Area Public Library; and weekly gardening activities with the Lincolnshire Garden Club.  Gardening activities included Eagle Scouts participation in the laying of mulch in the Victory Garden; and outings to Ryerson Woods and Didier Farms.


Field trips attended in 2012 included: The Lincolnshire Marriott Theatre’s productions, Legally Blonde, The Pirates of Penzance, Hero, and Dream Girls; Pin Stripes Bowling; Rock climbing and caving trips in Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin, through OMNI Youth Services’ Wilderness Program; and a visit to the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha temple in Bartlett, Illinois.


FACE-IT participants continued to engage in Public Service projects with Partners for Progress, Bombshell Bullies Pit Bull Rescue, and Wildwood Soup Kitchen. 


FACE-IT participants enrolled in and completed the Pre-Employment Program curriculum (Job Group).  One of the participants obtained full-time employment at Lake County Public Works as a result of his completion of Job Group. 


Two participants obtained their GED.


A parent group graduation was held on April 11, 2012.  In order to successfully complete the group, parents were required to attend at least 12 of the 14 sessions and to complete the Low Ropes of Junior’s Challenge Course. 


The two FACE-IT Program Therapists participated in the Low and High Ropes Courses of the Junior’s Challenge Course.


Two new volunteer tutors joined the team.


Recovery Skills Group, a Substance Abuse curriculum was implemented within the FACE-IT Program in December, 2012.


One participant was employed part-time at Portillos in Vernon Hills, Illinois.


The FACE-IT holiday potluck occurred on December 20, 2012.  FACE-IT staff, participants and their families were invited to attend.


The annual FACE-IT holiday luncheon occurred at the Golden Corral in Gurnee, Illinois on December 13, 2012.


FACE-IT Assistant Director, Dr. Michael Fletcher participated in the NIC Executive Excellence Program.


FACE-IT Assistant Director, Dr. Fletcher received his certification as an Illinois Certified Partner Abuse Intervention Professional (ICPAIP).

  


2011

 

DETENTION

 

Training continued to be a priority in 2011. All full-time direct care staff assigned to Detention, Intake, and FACE-IT must have 40 hours of training as mandated by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Inspection standards and the AOIC. In addition, all part-time and support staff must have at least 20 hours of training. Weekly training was scheduled throughout the majority of the year and focused on areas such as safety, security and control, emergency drills and planning, report writing and documentation and suicide prevention. All staff were scheduled to participate in sessions for other mandated training including First Aid/CPR, Handle with Care restraint training, Ethics, and Confidentiality and Legal Issues. Many staff also took advantage of low cost or free training sponsored by community agencies on topics related to the adolescent population. Principal Juvenile Counselor Dennis McMahan was selected to attend “Correctional Leadership Development” in May sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections in Aurora, Colorado.

 

The APEX digital learning program continues to be utilized within the Detention Center and the FACE-IT program and has proved to be very beneficial to the youth. They can work at their own pace and learn at their own level of functioning in a wide range of course offerings. Many youth have earned credits that transfer to their home schools and a few have been able to complete the requirements for 8th grade, high school and even prepare for the GED test when court ordered.

The Vernon Area Library, which has recently been named one of the best in the country, continues to provide valuable services to the Detention Center. Volunteers work with the residents on a bi-weekly basis, facilitating a short story discussion based on books that have been read as a group previously. These books have been made available through grant money which the library has assisted in obtaining on a regular basis. In addition, volunteers have re-stocked the shelves this year in the main library area and in the living areas (pods) with new and gently used books and resource materials; based on the interests and requests of the residents. The acquisition of new materials has resulted in a noticeable increase in reading and sense of enjoyment in what can be a stressful environment.

 

The Detention Center was fortunate to host some very interesting speakers this year. In March, award winning author, Simone Elkeles visited, who has written three series of novels for teens based on her personal experiences growing up in the area. This presentation was sponsored by the Vernon Area Library, who also purchased several volumes of Ms. Simone’s books for use in the Detention Center and FACE-IT program.

 

In coordination with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, Second Lieutenant, Alfred Rascon made a riveting presentation to the residents regarding his career in the Army focusing on his mission in Viet Nam in 1966. His heroic efforts as a medic to his Reconnaissance Platoon in the jungles of Long Khanh Province resulted in his being awarded the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton many years later. This presentation was made possible through the efforts of staff from Medline Corporation in Mundelein.

 

Finally, in December, the Detention residents were the fortunate recipients of a visit and presentation by Eddie Bocanegra, Northeastern Illinois University social work student and star of the recently acclaimed documentary, “The Interrupters”. Mr. Bocanegra spoke about his life as a gang member which eventually landed him a prison sentence for murder and his road to success. He is currently a community activist with the violence prevention and intervention group Ceasefire as well as an artist and motivational speaker.

 

The Detention Center continues to benefit from various community partnerships which have afforded many opportunities for the youth in residence. This year, beginning in May, the local Girl Scout council has facilitated twice weekly gender specific groups which focus on teen-oriented issues and activities. This service has been made available through a grant specifically designed for females in juvenile detention.

 

The Wellness Committee continues to oversee the goals related to the health and physical fitness programming as well as the nutritional needs/requirements of the residents. This year, three residents’ artwork was published in a calendar distributed statewide by the Illinois State Board of Education. The top winner received a $100 savings bond of which he was very appreciative.

 

Interns and volunteers have been a valuable resource in the Detention Center this year as always. They assist with individual and group counseling/activities, crisis assessments, tutoring, and daily programming. In 2011, the Detention Center had two graduate level interns and three undergraduate interns and approximately 30 volunteers, many of whom have been working with the residents on a long-term basis.

 

Staff from the Detention Center are part of the DATA group team which meets bi-monthly with representatives from all units in the Juvenile Division and in collaboration with JIS. This year, the transition to digital documentation from labor intensive and costly written documentation and logging through the use of the TRACKER database was completed in Detention.  This was able to happen with great teamwork and concentrated effort and has been deemed a huge success by staff. This venture is a major step towards “integrated justice” allowing all units to obtain and share information with immediate accessibility at their work stations.

 

Six Juvenile Counselors, Brandon Rauen, Michael Randell, Mario Tellez, Jenny Marrero, Bret Webster and Donna Chiovari participated in the Career Path process and were successfully promoted this year.

 

Six Juvenile Detention/FACE-IT staff members were named “Employees of the Month” for 2011. These include Darrin Taylor, Smita Sutaria, Jenny Marrero, Kristen Perez, Johnnie Wroten and Dennis McMahan. Dennis was also nominated for the Circuit’s “Leadership and Excellence” annual award.

 

Superintendent Sue Korpai continues to serve as co-chair of the IPCSA Detention Committee which includes staff from all 16 Detention Centers in the state, AOIC, several Probation Departments, and representatives from the Pathways Juvenile Justice initiatives. Meetings were held at both the spring and fall conferences this year as well as a meeting in Bloomington in September, all with excellent turn-outs. Sue was also chosen to be part of the team with Department of Juvenile Justice and Department of Corrections with only two other superintendents in the state to finalize the recent draft of the Inspection Standards for Juvenile Detention facilities in Illinois.

 

On 12-6-11, the Detention Center had their annual Department of Juvenile Justice inspection which was completed by Inspector Robert Catchings and two representatives from the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission. Positive feedback was received that day and the final report will be available in early 2012.

 

JUVENILE PROBATION 

 

Probation officers are required to obtain twenty hours of training during the year.  Some of these hours are mandatory and the others are chosen by staff as it relates to their particular case load.  During this year, training was provided on a variety of topics to probation officers.

 

Mandatory training events included ethics, confidentiality, legal issues and CPR/1st Aid.  Facilitators of the JRs Challenge program attended a Round Table conference.  Other topics that were not mandatory included training workshops at the Illinois Probation and Court Services Association Conference which included a variety of topics such as sex offender issues, trends with new drugs that offenders are using, and youth as violent offenders.  Other training topics included bullying, TRACKER database, how the brain forms new habits, legal updates on domestic violence, street gangs in Lake County, the effects of trauma on children and Thinking for Change 3.0 cognitive behavioral programming. 

 

During this year, a compliance probation officer was assigned to Juvenile Probation in an effort to increase court ordered fee collection.  This officer has established a work flow to communicate with youth and families following court and via the mail.  In addition to this process, volunteers continue to make reminder phone calls to parents regarding upcoming court hearings.

 

The Girl Wise conference was held on 4-30-2011 at the College of Lake County, Grayslake Campus.  Committee members of the conference included agency participation from the Regional Office of Education, the College of Lake County, Omni Youth Services, the States Attorney’s Office, Northern Illinois Counsel on Substance Abuse, Waukegan High School, One Hope United and the Attorney General’s Office.  A grant was secured this year by the States Attorney’s Office which allowed the committee to obtain supplies for this year’s conference in addition to future conferences.  The conference for 2012 is scheduled for the same location on 4-28-2012.

 

The Positive Community Take Over group (PTCO) had another successful year.  Community leaders of the community of North Chicago and representatives of the Court continued to facilitate programming for high risk youth of that community.  Probation Officers in collaboration with the school district provided groups to youth on a weekly basis covering topics which included communication, problem solving, victimization, education and employment skills.  Parents of the youth also participated in groups to develop additional parenting skills.  Upon completion of the program youth participated in a recognition graduation in the Mayor’s City Council Chambers which occurred during the months of April and November.  Attendees of the graduations included Circuit Judge Boettle-Ceckowski, Associate Judge Sarah Lessman, Director Robert Cesar, Mayor Rockingham, Chief of Police Michael Newsome, Chief of the Lake County Jail Jennifer Witherspoon, Principal of Yeager School Nicole Johnson and the residents of the community to support the graduates for their accomplishments.

 

Juvenile Probation/Detention Services completed its year of providing employment programming to youth through the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG).  The grant enabled the Division to hire a part-time employment specialist to facilitate the employment curriculum, secure job sites and placement of youth in these sites throughout the year.  A supplemental grant was also secured which enabled the programming to be enhanced via acquisition of additional supplies and computer hardware and software.  During 2011, 69 youth participated in the employment curriculum and 25 were placed in employment positions which enabled them to pay court ordered restitution and fees to successfully their probation.  In addition, two youth were hired as permanent employees of the Lake County Public Works.  This grant enables employers to utilize youth in positions where funding has been cut given the difficult economic times and expand their workforce.  The grant has been extended through 2012 and it is hopeful that is will be a staple for youth we service in Lake County.

 

Juvenile Probation provides an Orientation Group to youth and families as they become part of the Juvenile Court.  The group is facilitated by probation officers with the support of volunteers with the Division.  The Orientation Group is a one night session that enlightens youth and families what they can expect during their time with the Juvenile Court.  Youth and families are able to ask questions as to concerns they may have that will hinder a successful experience.  As well, the role of the assigned probation officer is discussed in detail so that the probation officer can be viewed as a resource to the youth and parents.  A new group is being offered in 2012 for clients that specifically speak Spanish.  Spanish speaking probation officers and volunteers will facilitate a similar program.

 

Programming via JRs Challenge was provided to youth during the past year.  Probation officers and Juvenile Counselors are trained facilitators who provide the experience to youth via a low and high ropes course.  During the experience youth learn skills such as building self-esteem, problems solving and setting pro-social goals for their future.  The courses were scheduled from March through October.   The Juvenile Division partnered with Omni Youth Services who provided experiential adventure trips which included rock climbing, caving, canoeing and camping experience to youth.  In exchange for these services, Omni Youth Services benefited by having their clients participate in the JRs Challenge Program.  This partnership will continue next year.

 

Volunteers continue to provide valuable hours to the probation unit in many different areas.  In partnership with the College of Lake County, volunteers are screened and trained prior to beginning their service.  These hours are dedicated to various programs and to assist probation officers in their daily work.  Currently volunteers hours are being utilized in the orientation group, daily office duties, employment programming, compliance calls, Girl Wise conference and victim services.  Orientation workshops are conducted periodically with new volunteers to familiarize them to the Juvenile Division.  Services provided by volunteers are truly appreciated by the Courts as well as the youth and families they service.

 

Juvenile probation has made strides to complete written work electronically striving towards a paperless system.  This past year the unit successfully transitioned from hand written case notes to completing all court reports and logging of case notes electronically.  As part of a focus group speared by the Director of the Juvenile Division, other units as well are incorporating available technology into their day to day functions.  A goal for the Probation Unit next year is to include case plans with this process.

 

Group Reporting continues to supervise low risk cases with significant success.  With the use of volunteers, one probation officer is able to supervise cases throughout the county at satellite offices.  Probationers are able to meet expectations, remaining delinquent free and being successfully terminated from probation.  This program has saved time for probation officers to spend more time with the higher risk youth.  In addition, this form of supervision has been cost effective for the Circuit without decreasing the success rate.

 

The Juvenile Probation Unit provided internships to six college students during the year.  Students were interested in pursuing a career as a probation officer and as part of the internship they performed tasks such as report writing, completing documentation, communicating with youth and families and other tasks as assigned.  The interns were students of Western Illinois University, Illinois State University and Westwood College.  The students participated as part of their curriculum and received college credit for their experience with the Division.

 

Juvenile probation officers conduct adoption investigations for the Circuit Court.  During this year, the entire adoption process for the Circuit was transferred from the Family Court Division to the Juvenile Court.  Departments affected by this transition included the Circuit Clerk’s Office and the Division of Juvenile Probation/Detention Services.  The Juvenile Court Judges will hear all adoption petitioned to the Court in Vernon Hills.  The administration staff of the Juvenile Division will perform the function of informing outside agencies and attorneys when ordered by the court.  This transition will enable petitioners to accomplish all necessary tasks at one location.

 

Awards presented to probation officers this year included the following:

Claudia Gilhooley received the Distinguished Service Award via the Illinois Probation and Court Services Association.

Mario Urbina received the Juvenile Justice Award via the Juvenile Officers Association.

Scott Francke received the Employee of the Month Award from Chief Judge Victoria Rossetti for the Month of February.

 

FACE-IT

 

FACE-IT staff hosted a graduation for eleven participants who successfully completed the Residential and Aftercare portions of the program.


FACE-IT staff hosted a holiday luncheon for participants at Old Country Buffet.


FACE-IT participants continue to participate in Thinking for a Change Groups; Aggression Replacement Training (ART) and the Seven Challenges Substance Abuse groups with OMNI Youth Services; the Read for Life Program through the Vernon Area Public Library; and weekly gardening activities with the Lincolnshire Garden Club, including Eagle Scouts participation in the laying of mulch in the Victory Garden; and outings to Ryerson Woods and Didier Farms.


FACE-IT participants continued to engage in Public Service projects with Partners for Progress, Bombshell Bullies Pit Bull Rescue, and Wildwood Soup Kitchen. 


Participants took part in an overnight camping trip, a canoeing trip along the Mississippi River, and a caving trip at Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin through OMNI Youth Services’ Wilderness Program.  Other FACE-IT field trips included: the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temple in Bartlett, Illinois as a means of increasing their cultural diversity; The Lincolnshire Marriott Theatre for Guys and Dolls, Short, and For the Boy: Second World War Music; Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois; and Medline SPT Plant at North Point in Waukegan, Illinois.


FACE-IT participants attended a Black History Month Presentation hosted by Secure Detention and presented by the North Chicago Police Department.


FACE-IT participants also had the unique opportunity to work with Mr. Jerry Angelo of the Chicago Bears.  Mr. Angelo volunteered his time, participating in Life Skills groups with participants during the Bears’ off-season.  This relationship with the Bears’ management led to one participant being chosen to work at the Chicago Bears’ Training Camp during the summer of 2011. 


FACE-IT participants attended a presentation by Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, Dr. Col. Alfred V. Rascon in Secure Detention.  For more information on Dr. Col. Rascon’s courageous acts that led to his Medal of Honor, please visit the following link: http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/3397/rascon-alfred-v.php


FACE-IT participants enrolled in and completed the Pre-Employment Program curriculum (Job Group). Three participants engaged in temporary gainful employment with the Lake County Fielders upon completion of the group.  Three other participants were gainfully employed, two at Chuck E. Cheese and one at Buffalo Wild Wings.


One participant successfully completed his GED.    


One participant was recognized as an individual winner for the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems for his poster on abstaining from alcohol use. 


FACE-IT Assistant Director, Dr. Michael Fletcher attended the NIC Executive Excellence program in Aurora, Colorado.

 


2010

 

DETENTION

 

Meetings are underway with the College of Lake County-Judicial Services Division to establish a community service education program, as a resource for the Branch Courts, for juveniles who are charged with local ordinance violations.

 

Juvenile Division tours for appropriate groups are conducted by Division staff on a regular basis. In 2010, tours included a visiting judge and probation officer from Japan, officers from the Lake County Bar Association, Court Administration interns, States' Attorneys' office interns, IPCSA Detention Committee, Waukegan Police Department Citizen Action Program, and various college criminal justice classes.

 

All full-time staff direct care staff assigned to Detention, FACE-IT, and Intake must have 40 hours of training per AOIC requirements and IDOJJ standards. This past year a concerted effort was made to conduct more in-house training and to take advantage of free/low cost training offered in the community. As a result, training mandates were met and staff have been able to enhance their knowledge and skills. Training included such topics as:

 

Leadership, Bullying, Mental Health issues, Officer Safety training, Youth Suicide Prevention, COOP, Gangs, Ropes Course facilitation, Handle with Care (restraint technique) facilitation and refreshers, Legal Issues in Detention, and Aggression Replacement Therapy (ART). In addition, several staff members attended the IPCSA conferences in April and October, during which annual recognition awards were presented to all seven that attended.
 

The APEX Learning program was launched in the Detention Center and FACE-IT residential program classrooms. APEX is a digital learning curriculum that allows students to be placed in the appropriate level of academic coursework and progress on an individual basis to earn credits that can be transferred to their community schools. Nine computer stations for students were added to each of the three classrooms in the Detention Center for completion of studies and testing. A marked decrease in behavioral issues has also been observed and documented. Statistics regarding this change are being collected and should be available in the upcoming year.

 

Educational staff members have attended several continuing education workshops and credit classes sponsored by the Regional Office of Education to meet their certification requirements, keep current in their field and to interact with their peers in the community.

 

The Detention Center continues to benefit from the services of and great relationship with the Vernon Area Public Library. The library has assisted in obtaining a substantial grant for the Detention Center and FACE-IT residential program which will be used for the purchase of new books in the near future.

 

The "Read Me a Story" program was implemented in February with very positive feedback. This program was modeled after the "Read to Me" international program which is currently available to mothers and fathers in the Lake County Jail. Specifically, the juvenile program is offered to teen parents and youth with siblings up to age eight that are detained in the Detention Center and FACE-IT residential program. The youth are able to pick out new books that are obtained primarily through donations and grant funds and record a CD by reading the book out loud. These CD's and a copy of the book are sent to the family home where the children/siblings can listen to them and maintain a personal connection with their relative in the Detention Center. Since the program's inception, 39 youth have participated in the program having recorded and sent 55 books to family members.

 

Wellness programming has gradually been added in several areas of the Detention Center including health classes, physical education and the nutrition/food services. Information and workshops have been provided by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and local health department for employees to be better able to serve the needs of the residents. The Detention Center and residential program were audited by the ISBE in June with very positive results. In addition, a grant was obtained to purchase new equipment for the dining room.

 

In addition to the specialized services listed above, volunteers, post graduate and undergraduate student interns are another valuable resource utilized by the Detention Center and Juvenile Division as a whole on a continuous basis. The Detention Center utilized the services of 5 interns and over 15 volunteers this year.

 

An internal COOP (Continuity of Operations Plan) was completed for the Detention Center in conjunction with the entire 19th Judicial Circuit as mandated by the Illinois Supreme Court. In addition, Detention Center staff participated in mock emergency scenarios with the other collar county Detention Centers in order to be prepared in the case of a real disaster. This included extensive work with the facilities in Winnebago, Kane and DuPage Counties which has continued into the current year.

 

The Detention Center along with the other units in the Juvenile Division embarked upon a new venture focusing on reducing paperwork and the sharing of information. This includes digital documentation in the division's database program "Tracker" rather than traditional utilization of hard copy logging of all facility activity and will eventually include report writing. This project has enabled the Detention Center to get on board with the Circuit's "green" movement and results in more efficiency in terms of time and cost. Beginning this year, this effort is also a "SMAART" project for the Juvenile Division.

 

INTAKE

 

Custody and noncustody referrals for 17 year olds misdemeanants were received as of 01-01-2010 due to a new law enactment. this brought an increase in the number of annual referrals received. 

 

Computer generated reports have been developed that will aid in monitoring the impact of 17 year old misdemeanants to the juvenile justice system.

 

The Supervisor On-Call manual was submitted for review and approved.

 

As part of a cross training effort to utilize staff resources effectively, Home Detention personnel are assisting in the supervision of high priority/risk probation cases. In addition, Home Detention is checking on Home Confinement clients with more stringent interim orders. Lastly, Home Detention began to assist with the supervision of minor's on home Passes from the FACE-IT residential program.

 

On June 7, 2010 Joe Kelroy, Lynette Hampton and Mary Marsolek presented an overview of The Juvenile Court System at a SEDOL therapist workshop.

 

An operation manual for Intake staff was completed.  This manual provides step by step instructions in completing tasks and will aid in the training of new employees.

 

A computerized version of the Referral Screening was completed which replaced the three-part carbonless paper form.

 

KITCHEN

 

The Wellness Committee has developed a newly designed informational pamphlet.

 

All direct care staff (Intake, Detention and FACE-IT) have completed the required annual ISBE school based child nutritional program "Civil Rights Compliance and Enforcement Training for Frontline Staff".  All staff have reviewed and discussed the ISBE PowerePoint presentation titled "And Justice for All".

 

Active operational review and re-evaluation continues in conjunction with ISBE technical assistance. The following activities were implemented:

 

Resubmitting the annual nutrition program evaluation application in order to participate in the After School Snack Program Reimbursement.
Developing and implementing a tracking process for After School Snacks.
Creating a "Hazard Analysis and Critical Thinking Control Point" (HAACP) plan to assure nutrition standards are maintained.
 

Kitchen staff and operations passed a random inspection by The Lake County Health Department.  In addition, a sanitation and safe food handling training was an added component to the visit.

 

A Federally funded National School Lunch Program grant application was submitted for updated equipment was approved for $5,082.00. A milk cooler, refrigerator and shelving for a walk-in refrigerator were purchased with the funds.

 

The Illinois State Board of Education conducted their audit (June 8 and 9) with positive feedback and minimal areas of concern. The inspection was successfully completed.

 

Applicants for the part-time kitchen position were interviewed. Record checks were completed and the selected candidate accepted the position.

 

A standardized operating procedure guide has been created for non-kitchen personnel.

 

A comprehensive policy and procedure manual for "Managing Life Threatening Food Allergies" is being comprehensively reviewed by all Assistant Directors.

 

JUVENILE PROBATION

 

During this year, the following training topics were provided to probation officers:

 

·    experiential learning conference for JR’s Challenge facilitators, underage drinking and its effects on the brain, mandatory COOP (emergency planning) training, bullying and mental health training, performance management training, officer safety training, substance abuse training and the Family Violence Symposium.

 

  J Juvenile and Adult staff have begun joint meetings to review and revise existing materials in an effort to develop a comprehensive field officer safety manual that can be used by both divisions.  

 

Positive Community Take Over (PTCO) held graduation for youth involved in the program in January and July of this year.  Notable attendees included Circuit Judge Valerie Boettle-Ceckowski, Associate Judge Sarah Lessman, Director Robert Cesar, Mayor Rockingham, Principal Daniel McDermott, Chief of Police Michael Newsome and the residence of the community to support the graduates of their accomplishments.

 

JOB GROUP- The first cycle of Job Group was scheduled which was made possible through the Accountability Block Grant.  The grant allows for youth on probation to receive pre-employment training and possible placement in actual employment.  The grant paid wages of youth who successfully participated in the classroom curriculum.  Program staff continually recruit new job sites to partner with the grant.  During this year youth were successfully placed in jobs after their participation in the curriculum. The Juvenile Accountability Block Grant had a site visit by the Grant Supervisor during the summer months.  The review was positive and comments by the grant staff suggested that the program could be a model for the state with continued success. The grant was renewed for the upcoming year.

 

GIRLWISE- The Girlwise conference was held on 4-24-10 at the Grayslake campus at CLC. As in previous years, the attendance was very good with both Junior High and High School age girls in attendance.  The collaboration with community stake holders included the Regional Office of Education, the College of Lake County, Omni Youth Services, States Attorney’s Office, Safe Place, NICASA Waukegan High School, One Hope United and the 19th Judicial Circuit.  The next annual conference is scheduled for 4-30-2011.

 

THINKING 4 CHANGE- Group began in Waukegan at the College of Lake County on 10-18-10 and is scheduled to end 3-21-11.  Targeted areas of programming focus on social skills, problem solving and self-change skills.  Upon completion of the program youth will have developed skills to correct thinking errors to ultimately avoid further delinquent behavior and family/community issues.

 

Orientation Group is provided to new cases on a monthly basis.  Youth and families receive information from probation staff and volunteers regarding parental expectations, probation officer’s role and youth expectations during their involvement with the court system.

 

JR’s Challenge programming provided groups throughout the summer months on a weekly basis.  Groups were also facilitated during the Spring and Fall dependent on the weather conditions.

 

Effective 1-1-10, Juvenile Probation/Detention Services began receiving delinquent referrals on 17 year old minors who committed a misdemeanor offense prior to their 18th birthday.  Felony cases continue to be referred to the adult system. 

 

The service plans for a probation case are documented in the TRACKER database.  This process was updated to accurately reflect court ordered services for juvenile probationers and family. Data entry training was completed in all areas that probation staff are expected to enter for their cases. The Juvenile Complex "focus group" for TRACKER met bi-weekly to plan and strategize goals for the division with the use of TRACKER.

 

Volunteer orientation was held in January and October of 2010 for new volunteers.  During the orientations, assignments for volunteering were discussed with potential volunteers.  Assignments to the Division included office duties and participation with supervision of the low risk case load.   

 

During this year, three college interns successfully completed their internship requirements for graduation with the probation unit.

 

DCFS Placements- Since the legislative change in age (from 13 to 15 years old) that allows the court to commit minors to DCFS, the estimated savings to the country is in excess of $648,000 at the close of 2010 (1.3 million since 2008). Fourteen youth have been committed as part of their probation sentence with ten being residentially placed.

 

OMNI Youth Services- Juvenile Probation partnered with OMNI Youth Services who provided a free rock climbing experience on 6-9-10 at Devils Lake, Wisconsin.  Seven probation cases attended the outing.

 

In an effort to more effectively supervise low risk offenders, a low risk caseload was established and assigned to one probation officer.  In addition to volunteers' participation with the probation officer, cases are met with at three locations in Lake County that include the Branch Courts in Park City and Round Lake Beach as well as the Juvenile Complex in Vernon Hills.  The supervision strategy has allowed for increased supervision for moderate and high risk youth.  Through the use of satellite offices, court resources are more accessible to the families of youth on probation.

 

Probation officers Tim Ulrich , Shannon LeFevour, Karin McLafferty, Mario Urbina and Cheryl Sersen received the Distinguished Service Award from Illinois Probation and Court Services Association.

 

Juvenile Probation Officer, Lorenzo Bess, was recognized by the North Chicago Exchange Club on 8-31-10 for his work with youth in North Chicago.

 

Joseph Kelroy, Assistant Director, continued his involvement as co-chair of the sex offender committee of the Illinois Probation and Court Services Association. 

 

FACE-IT

 

The APEX Learning Program was implemented within the FACE-IT Program in June, 2010.


FACE-IT participants completed The Thinking for a Change Program.  Thinking for a Change (T4C) is an integrated, cognitive behavioral change program that was developed by Barry Glick, Ph.D.; Jack Bush, Ph.D.; and Juliana Taymans, Ph.D. in cooperation with the National Institute of Corrections for use with juvenile and adult offenders.  T4C includes cognitive restructuring, social skills development, and development of problem solving skills.  It is designed for delivery to small groups in 25 lessons. 


FACE-IT participants enrolled in and completed the Pre-Employment Program curriculum (Job Group), which helps prepare them to obtain and maintain gainful employment.  Youth who complete the curriculum are placed in positions within area businesses and paid wages via the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant.


FACE-IT participants participated in weekly Aggression Replacement Training (ART) and Seven Challenges Substance Abuse groups with OMNI Youth Services.  They also attended several outings through the OMNI Youth Services’ Wilderness Program, including rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, and an overnight camping and rafting trip.


FACE-IT participants’ parents completed a 14-week parenting group facilitated by the FACE-IT Program Therapists.  A parent group graduation was held on May 26, 2010. 


For the past five years the FACE-IT Program has enjoyed a strong professional relationship with the Lincolnshire Garden Club.  Together, they developed the Victory Garden on the Depke property.  Eagle Scouts helped to enhance the project by building three picnic tables within the garden.  The Lincolnshire Garden Club continues to facilitate gardening activities with FACE-IT participants on a weekly basis during gardening season and on a monthly basis during the remainder of the year. 


FACE-IT participants engaged in Public Service projects with Partners for Progress, Bombshell Bullies Pit Bull Rescue, and Wildwood Soup Kitchen during 2010.  One participant was then employed by Bombshell Bullies.


During the summer of 2006, Oprah’s Angel Network awarded a grant to The Vernon Area Public Library.  This grant fostered a new partnership with the 19th Judicial Circuit, FACE-IT Participantial Program and the Vernon Area Public Library.  FACE-IT also became a member of the Great Stories, now Read for Life, program. The FACE-IT participants are provided with their own copies of the books read.  They complete an average of one book per month, and are joined for a book discussion by library staff.  At the conclusion of 2010, participants were reading the 54th book. Also in coordination with the Vernon Area Library, The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation awarded a $2000 grant to purchase new books for Detention and FACE-IT participants.


FACE-IT participants visited Medline Industries for a tour of the facility, an open discussion with staff, and pizza.


FACE-IT participants attended the following Marriott Theater performances during 2010: Once On This Island, A Chorus Line, and The Music Man.


FACE-IT Assistant Director, Dr. Michael Fletcher, presented at the IPCSA Fall Training Conference in Peoria, Illinois. 


Lead Teacher for the Juvenile Division, Jack Cantor, received the “Court Services Award” for 2010.

 


2009

 

DETENTION

 

Changes were implemented that included increasing computer-based learning projects, individualized placement in math, and a more intensive “homework hour” in the evening designed to assist residents in preparing for their transition to the community. In addition, new report cards/progress reports were designed and are now available for court hearings and other involved parties including parents. These reports are eventually sent to the home school districts with information about grades, behavior, and a calculation of actual credits depending on the length of stay.

 

Donations of equipment and services have continued to provide many fitness options for the P.E. program. Residents had the opportunity to participate in bi-monthly yoga classes taught by a community volunteer who is a certified instructor. This was a very popular activity and seemed to contribute to a calmer atmosphere and decreased stress level resulting in an overall healthier environment.

 

Detention Center staff and interns continue to facilitate life-skills co-ed groups with residents during the morning and evening shifts. Many staff were trained in the “Thinking for a Change” cognitive learning program as well as “Motivational Interviewing” which are both evidenced bases practices which assists greatly in designing effective and improved programming for the detention residents.

 

The Detention Center utilized the services of 5 interns and over 15 volunteers this year.

 

INTAKE

 

JIS Division assisted in the facilitation of a joint training on the new process for photographing Intake and probation Youth. With the camera being installed Intake began the process and Probation followed.  A written procedure was completed and approved. Instructions and the policy were distributed to all Intake personnel.

 

Deputy Superintendent completed a 40 hour Domestic Violence Prevention/intervention Training facilitated by A Safe Place to enhance service provided to youth referred by law enforcement for domestic violence offences.

 

Juvenile Intake along with Adult Probation met with various Police Departments to discuss officer safety strategies in communities experiencing an uptick of violent crime. 

 

A warrant monitoring process has been implemented.  Intake receives all delinquent juvenile warrants issued by the court and the active list that the Lake County Sheriff's Department has in an effort to ensure that all parties have the same information.  This has helped maintain an accurate number of cases for all parties and the Clerk's office.

 

KITCHEN


A Kitchen manual was completed and a staff training program was implemented.  It was noted by ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) that no other facility in the area had a procedural manual.  

 

A suprise inspection by The Lake County Health Department was conducted and the inspection was a success (no violations). It should also be noted that all other private establishments are phoned and pre-advised of an inspection date.  Because this is a Lake County facility our inspections remain a surprise.

 

JUVENILE PROBATION

 

All sworn probation officers are mandated by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts to receive 20 hours of training annually.  The goal of training is to ensure staff is familiar if not certified to facilitate Evidence Based Practices.  During the year the following topics were provided to probation officers:

 

Motivational Interviewing, Thinking 4 Change, probation unit in-service on policy and procedure, officer safety training, management budgets webinar, truancy, testifying in court, Rosecrance Adolecent Substance Abuse Program-unit meeting overview, emergency safety and risk management training provided to lead workers and supervisors, working with females, Vista dual-diagnosis/intensive out-patient, lockout, recertification-CPR and First-aide.
 

The Juvenile Court Act is based on a restorative justice model mandating services to youth and families to develop competencies with the goal of avoiding delinquent behavior in the future as well as strengthening family systems.  Probation officers make referrals for services to outside agencies as well as facilitating groups themselves.  Currently probation officers facilitate the following programs.

  • Positive Community Take Over (Programming for boys and their families who reside in   North Chicago).
  • Thinking 4 Change (22 week group program to address thinking errors).
  • JRs Challenge (Experiential learning utilizing a low and high ropes course).
  • Girls Group (Gender specific programming for girls on probation).
  • Orientation Group (New cases to probation-Volunteers co-facilitate with probation officers).
  • Girl Wise (Collaborative effort between community, schools and Court to offer a one day work shop for junior high and high school age students in Lake County).
     

The Division of Juvenile Probation/Detention Services is in constant review of its practice to ensure efficient methods and timely service.  During this year, the juvenile probation unit modified certain procedures to go “Green” by utilizing the electronic data base (TRACKER) for case notes of probation officers.  TRACKER has vast capability that will further enhance probation officers in performing their jobs.  These enhancements will include report writing, timeliness of documentation, mailings, referral processing and many more. 

 

An additional procedure for Juvenile Probation was to obtain a picture of each youth on probation as part of their file.  This picture was taken electronically via the TRACKER system to ensure proper identification of minors.

 

The volunteer program is coordinated via the College of Lake County.  During the year on-going orientations occurred with new community members that have an interest in volunteering with the Division.  This year, juvenile probation had volunteers perform work in the unit which included office support, co-facilitation of orientation for new probationers, supporting community groups and working with victims of juvenile crime. 

 

The Internship program allows for college students to gain a career related experience with the 19th Judicial Circuit.  During this year, the Probation Unit partnered with the University of Wisconsin- Parkside which enabled students to obtain college credits and learn the job of a Juvenile Probation Officer.

 

The Juvenile Probation/Detention Services Division maintains interaction and professional relationships with other organizations that promote Juvenile Justice.  Probation officers are members of various community organizations to enhance dialogue with the goal of reducing juvenile delinquency and strengthening the family system.  These organizations include:

  • Illinois Probation and Court Services Association
  • Lake County Juvenile Officer’s Association
  • Juvenile Justice Council
  • School Resource Officer’s Meeting
  • Lake County Gang Task Force

 

Our involvement with these groups has enhanced communication between disciplines as well as offer training opportunities for juvenile probation officers.

 

Prior to 6-1-08, the Juvenile Court Act allowed for minors under the age of 13 to be committed to DCFS as a sentencing alternative.  Effective 6-1-08, the statute included minors under the age of 15.  Juvenile probation has utilized this law change with regards to youth that exceed community based plans and are being considered for residential treatment or commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice.  By the end of 2009, juvenile probation had serviced many youth via this law change at a savings to the County in excess of $500,000. 

 

As a measure to expand the accessibility of probation officers to the probationers they supervise, juvenile probation officers began to schedule time at the Branch Courts in Park City and Round Lake Beach.  This expansion enabled probation officers to have office time in the areas they supervise.

 

 
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News from the Juvenile Probation and Detention Division