IV. Redeploy Illinois
Since the project began in 2005, the Redeploy Illinois program for juveniles has incentivized local jurisdictions to divert Illinois youth from the state youth prison system and has helped provide local programming that has been more successful at treating the problems that have contributed to criminal behavior. Nearly 2,500 youth have been diverted from prison over the past nine years. These diversions have helped allow the state to close three juvenile prisons and avoid more than $15 million in spending in a single year. Because of the success of the juvenile Redeploy program, Adult Redeploy Illinois was created in 2010 and has diverted more than 2,500 adults and resulted in cost avoidance of $75 million.
Do you support the expansion of these Redeploy Illinois programs? Are there other programs that you support that would improve both the scope and effectiveness of diversion programs?
I support fully funding and expanding Juvenile and Adult Redeploy programs, and believe that restorative justice and mediation should be central components of our approach to keep Illinoisans out of the state correctional system. Such efforts should be aligned with other human services and educational programs in our communities, guided by evidence-driven practices, and sensitive to cultural and situational needs. We must also take on cycles of disinvestment that contribute to over-policing and mass incarceration. This should include fully funding our schools—including making our colleges and universities tuition-free—expanding job training and apprenticeship programs, and passing a capital bill to create jobs.
Yes, I fully support Redeploy Illinois and I would increase our investment in such a successful program. Beyond Redeploy Illinois, I would support the expansion of services identified by the community itself to help address the impacts of violence or lack of opportunity, including through programs such as the work of the Safer Foundation, A Safe Haven and in instances where there is proven track record of success, Ceasefire.
The best diversion efforts that reduce criminal behavior are having well resourced schools with extended day and summer programs, small business investments, and larger scale economic development projects prevalent within our at-risk communities. A great education and good job opportunities are among the most effective opportunities that will help disrupt the cycle of crime or violence before it begins. Beyond such investments, it is most critical that the affected communities themselves have the support and assistance from their local and state governments to identify the programs that will be most relevant and impactful for their communities.
I support the expansion of Redeploy Illinois. I support programs that keep families intact by diverting youth involvement with the juvenile justice system and want to expand evidence-based youth diversion programs that address mental health, substance use, trauma, and other needs that may lead to negative outcomes. I also support partnering with municipalities in the use of restorative justice as an alternative to prosecution and incarceration of adolescents.