Programs and Services

This program offers treatment and rehabilitation to delinquent substance abusing minors who have been charged with nonviolent, drug related offenses. Prosecution, supervision or probation is deferred pending successful participation in the program. Following an assessment, minors who are identified in need of intervention, treatment and supervision are offered the option of participating in the program. Through community-based treatment providers, minors receive substance abuse treatment, group and individual counseling, educational and vocational training, and short-term residential treatment. Minors are tested for use of controlled substances or other addictive substances during the entire period of program participation. By focusing on intervention strategies that address both the potential risk to the community and individual treatment needs of minors and their families, the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Program helps to reduce substance abuse and related crime.
 
This program focuses on expediting the release of minors from the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center who have been designated by the court as R.U.R. (Release Upon Request) to a family member. If no adult comes forward to receive a minor back into the home, probation officers assigned to this program access community-based resources and services to provide early crisis intervention for the minor. Through interviews with the minor and family members, the probation officers work to identify and resolve the impediments to the minor's reunification with his or her family.
The purpose of the Juvenile Sex Offender Program is to rehabilitate minors between the ages of 10 and 17 who have been found delinquent of committing the following offenses: sexual abuse, criminal sexual abuse, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Minors are referred to the program by a judge as a condition of probation or supervision. Staffed by highly skilled probation officers who are trained and experienced in working with sex offenders, the program provides a treatment process that focuses on accepting responsibility, breaking the sexual offense cycle, identifying and exercising internal and external control, and relapse prevention. Probation officers design specific treatment plans which combine individual and group therapy and in-depth contacts with the minor and his or her family each week. Probation officers provide the court with regular reports on each minor's compliance with all components of the probation order.
This program provides juvenile probationers between the ages of 16 and 18 with employment opportunities through public and private sector employers. The program's goal is to expose these minors to a productive work environment and to assist them in developing job readiness skills. Participants must be referred by their probation officers and currently enrolled in vocational, adult alternative or regular high school while maintaining a grade point average of 2.0 or above; have no record of tardiness, cutting classes or suspension; and adapt well within the family setting and the community.
Art Therapy provides treatment for delinquent and/or abused and neglected minors active with the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department. The mission of the Art Therapy Program is to help minors develop constructive outlets for self-expression and to encourage self-awareness, self-esteem and personal growth. The Art Therapy Program provides a safe, non-verbal mode of expression for minors to explore feelings, develop self-control, heighten sensitivity towards victims and change attitudes and patterns of behavior to prevent future delinquent acts. Through a network of public and private community agencies, the Department conducts individual and group Art Therapy sessions at courthouses and community sites throughout Cook County. The sessions are conducted by trained probation specialists with advanced degrees in Art Therapy. These non-traditional probation specialists tailor Art Therapy sessions to address underlying issues affecting the individual, family or community. Minors are referred to the program by probation officers who receive a report on the minors' attendance and participation and on any developmental issues that require follow up. Art created by program participants is displayed at public exhibits as well as throughout the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department.
The Intensive Probation Services (I.P.S.) Division operates community-based supervision programs as dispositional alternatives to the Department of Corrections and provides accelerated casework for minors. I.P.S. requires a three person team of probation officers who are committed to providing comprehensive services and structured supervision to high risk minors and their families within a sound framework of public safety.  In partnership with the community, I.P.S. officers promote opportunities for personal growth and change through expanded services, increased contact and elevated standards of accountability with enhanced expectations of compliance.
Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) is offered through the Advocacy Department within the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department.  Youth are court ordered to participate in this highly structured intervention which focuses on the family and views parents as resources within the home.  MST works with the family to identify the behavior in the home and empowers the parents to independently cope with the issues.  MST therapists are available to families 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week and carry a maximum caseload of five (5) families.  MST is involved with the families on an average of four (4) to six (6) months.

The Juvenile Advisory Council (JAC) is a unique partnership between probation staff and approximately twenty five young men and women who are former court clients who work together to provide a bimonthly Probation Orientation program for youth recently sentenced to a period of court ordered probation or supervision.  An exit interview was also established to obtain feedback about the probation experience to influence programming and policy within the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department.    Click her to view the Cook County Juvenile Advisory Council,” Youth Today, September 2007


Educational Advocacy

The Educational Advocacy initiative seeks to ensure that minors receive the appropriate educational services as guaranteed by federal and state law from the initial stages of their court involvement; supports the goal of reducing truancy and school related technical violations of probation; and increases parental awareness about a child’s educational rights.  Initiated as a pilot in 2005, Educational Advocacy was implemented department-wide in 2006. 

In 2008, Educational Advocacy expanded its scope to include the Reentry Unit.  This unit’s focus is to help those youth who are in the detention center and not previously enrolled in school reenter into an appropriate educational setting after release from the detention center.  Currently, the Reentry Officers provide assistance to youth and families who reside in the Lawndale, Austin, Pilsen, Roseland and Englewood communities of Chicago.  Educational Advocacy also provides services as requested by the judge, assistant state’s attorney and assistant public defender.

The Educational Advocacy initiative seeks to ensure that minors receive the appropriate educational services as guaranteed by federal and state law from the initial stages of their court involvement; supports the goal of reducing truancy and school related technical violations of probation; and increases parental awareness about a child’s educational rights.  Initiated as a pilot in 2005, Educational Advocacy was implemented department-wide in 2006. 

In 2008, Educational Advocacy expanded its scope to include the Reentry Unit.  This unit’s focus is to help those youth who are in the detention center and not previously enrolled in school reenter into an appropriate educational setting after release from the detention center.  Currently, the Reentry Officers provide assistance to youth and families who reside in the Lawndale, Austin, Pilsen, Roseland and Englewood communities of Chicago.  Educational Advocacy also provides services as requested by the judge, assistant state’s attorney and assistant public defender.

Using a 12-week intervention model, the officers in the unit engage minors in life skill discussions with the goal of building skills and competencies in the area of anger management.  The unit also provides a cognitive based curriculum to youth who have been referred for anger management.  Pre and post tests as well as assessments are given to minors to determine success in providing skills and knowledge. 
Bridges to Manhood is a 14 week educational and intervention  program to build skills in the areas of manhood and fatherhood.  The interactive curriculum was created by Dr. Jeffrey Johnson of the National Center for Community Leadership.   
This program is dedicated to servicing children in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services who are currently on probation.  These children typically have been severely traumatized and/or abused or neglected, have attachment issues and have usually had multiple placements.  Many of their delinquency issues are a result of the manifestation of their trauma issues.  They are often seen as “difficult” cases that require specialized knowledge.  The Special Services Probation Officers are trained to service this population.  Services provided include specialized intensive casework, advocacy, counseling and treatment. 

The Cook County Dually Involved protocol has been developed to define practice for court-involved children and youth within the Cook County Juvenile Probation and Court who are also wards of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The protocol creates a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) whose purpose is to conduct a refined assessment process which takes into consideration strengths, needs and risks of the target population and their family; prepare joint recommendations for the court; develop recommended case plans; and participate in care management. This new protocol is intended to enhance public safety, reduce recidivism, provide evidence-based and cost-effective interventions, and reduce duplication of services. It also is intended to interrupt the trajectory of deeper involvement in the juvenile justice and child protection systems for the target population.

In July 2008, HB 291/PA 95-0642 passed and allows judges to commit youth to the Department of Children and Family Services who are under their 15th birthday at the time of sentencing. When delinquent behavior continues, stabilization services are unsuccessful and relative placement is unavailable or inappropriate, this may lead to an increase in commitments to DCFS.  The use of targeted services for parents and youth or both should help reduce the need for residential placement through DCFS. A protocol was established so that the decision and placement process is efficient and warranted.   By referring a case to the Placement Evaluation Workgroup (PEW), the goal is to ensure community safety, competency development, victim consideration, and the best interest of the minor.  The case is staffed with DCFS, Juvenile Probation, the Public Defender, State’s Attorney and any other agency involved with the case. A recommendation is given to the Judge and a decision is made. 

In the past youth have been committed to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on delinquency petitions for a variety of reasons.  These reasons may warrant removal from the parents and commitment to DCFS for placement by DCFS in a relative home, a foster
home, a group home or residential treatment center.  Youth that were eligible in the past had to be committed before their 13th birthday but could remain in the DCFS system until their 21st birthday.  The main differences between these youth and the neglected/abused youth are that
there does not have to be a finding of neglect, abuse or dependency on the parent nor a finding of reasonable efforts to prevent the placement. Another difference is the Juvenile Justice Judge retains jurisdiction of the case.
 

Two Intensive Probation Services (IPS) officers currently work with the Chicago Police Department to monitor all shootings which involve juveniles. The officers obtain the information immediately after the shooting has occurred and determine if the victim or offender is involved with the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department. The officers obtain the police report; write a summary of the incident and forward copies to the field probation officer, supervisor, deputy chief  and director. The Chicago Police seek to provide a directed intervention to the victim or those involved in the shooting so as to avoid retaliation.  The Chicago Public Schools work with the Chicago Police Department to provide a safe space to host the discussion.   Other useful information is also disseminated to staff such as gang conflict alerts and officer safety alerts.

LINK here to the two PDF files Juvenile and Probation GSST stats

Masters level probation officers provide assessments and individual therapy to clients placed on probation or supervision.  The unit also provides group counseling, anger management, trauma group therapy as well as grief group therapy. 

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