VanPeltAtRiskSenator Patricia Van Pelt’s legislation allowing Cook County communities to participate in the Redeploy Illinois program passed through the Senate today.

Redeploy Illinois is designed to provide services to youth who are at high risk of being imprisoned. To use this program, a county enters into an agreement with the Department of Human Services (DHS) to reduce juvenile incarceration by 25 percent. The county then receives funds to use for community based services and treatments. Services include substance abuse and mental health treatment, therapy, education and employment assistance.

Currently the program is only available on a countywide scale. House Bill 2401 allows smaller geographic areas to participate without requiring the whole of Cook County to meet the 25 percent reduction goal. This opens the program to specific police districts, municipal districts and other well-defined geographic areas. 

“This program has effectively provided services to at risk youths, keeping them out of the juvenile justice system,” Van Pelt said. “It saves money and has a positive impact on the children of Illinois. We have seen remarkable progress in other counties thanks to Redeploy Illinois and children in Chicago deserve a chance to participate.”

Redeploy Illinois has been implemented in other counties since 2006 and has worked to reduce the number of youths committed to state facilities. In counties where the program has been implemented the number of commitments has dropped by 50 percent. According to DHS, the program has saved the state $40 million in avoided incarceration costs.

The bill now goes to the governor for approval.

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