PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chief Judge Evans selects superintendent for juvenile detention center

Released On 02/06/2015

Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans announced today that he has accepted the recommendation of a court advisory committee and selected Leonard Dixon as superintendent of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC). Leonard Dixon, a nationally recognized expert in juvenile detention who most recently served as the executive director for the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility, Department of Children and Family Services in Detroit, Michigan, will start his new position as JTDC superintendent on February 9, 2015.

“I agree with the unanimous selection of the court’s advisory committee that Leonard Dixon is the most qualified individual to continue the transformation of the JTDC started by the federal court,” said Chief Judge Evans. “He has impressed me with his extensive knowledge and compassionate approach to troubled, at-risk children as well as with his considerable track record for getting results.”

Evans continued, “My charge to Leonard Dixon is to remember, first and foremost, that these are our children who are being placed in detention. I will expect him to pursue a focused course of action that will make the JTDC a national model for providing educational and career opportunities to minors in an environment that is free from violence and intimidation.

“I want placement in the JTDC to be regarded, not as a dead end for forgotten children, but instead as the first step toward helping them toward a brighter future,” Evans added.

The Circuit Court of Cook County Committee on the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center was established by Chief Judge Evans in September 2014, by General Administrative Order 2014-10 and is a racially diverse body made up of 15 individuals from the fields of juvenile justice, medical and mental health, law, education, labor and employment, and includes elected officials and the judiciary. Following a nationwide search conducted by the court, the committee engaged in a rigorous evaluation over an eight-week period of the 45 individuals who applied for the position as well as of several candidates later recruited by the committee. See attachment for a list of committee members.

On August 14, 2007, the federal court transferred the administration of the JTDC from Cook County’s executive branch of government to a transitional administrator (TA), Earl Dunlap. On January 1, 2008, the Illinois General Assembly transferred control of the JTDC to the chief judge.

Chief Judge Evans said, “We are grateful to Mr. Dunlap for the many successful reforms he made under the federal court’s supervision, and we are determined to continue on that path of progress.”

Superintendent Leonard Dixon said, “I am a firm believer that if you don’t like or love people, you can’t help them. I believe as a leader for JTDC, I am compelled to a moral imperative to exhibit those skills of elevating the human spirit and organizing human endeavors in ways that inspire behaviors that are above the level that people even expect of themselves. I want to help the kids and staff to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves. This is what I did in my previous roles as a leader in juvenile detention and will continue to do so in Cook County, the place where juvenile justice began. I am honored to lead JTDC and with the help of the community, courts, legislative bodies and the staff, we can make this facility a national model.”

Dixon added, “My philosophy is simple: if your kid or my kid can’t be helped in our facility, then no kid should be in the facility.”

The JTDC is one of the largest juvenile detention centers in the country, providing temporary secure housing for children awaiting adjudication or sentencing because they pose a threat to the community and have a history of failing to appear for court dates. Minors also serve short sentences in the JTDC.

The JTDC’s operating budget for 2015 approved by the Cook County Board of Commissioners is $53.3 million. There are approximately 700 employees who work at the JTDC.

Leonard Dixon will report to the Chief Judge and will be responsible for the administration and management of all operations of the JTDC, including custody, medical/mental health services, social services, fiscal services, maintenance services, human resources, labor relations and other services. He will also manage the transition of the JTDC from the TA Earl Dunlap to the court.

Leonard Dixon’s resume and photo are attached.

NEWS MEDIA AVAILABILITY SCHEDULED: Chief Judge Evans will introduce Leonard Dixon to the juvenile justice community, the judiciary and elected officials at a reception at noon Thursday, February 19, 2015, in the Juvenile Court Center Auditorium, 1100 South Hamilton Avenue, concourse level, in Chicago. At that time, Chief Judge Evans and Leonard Dixon will hold a press conference. For information on how news media cameras can gain access to the building, contact Rose Mary Marasso, Office of Chief Judge, at 312.603.6553 and rosemary.marasso@cookcountyil.gov.

For more information, contact:

Chief Judge Timothy Evans: 312.603.6000, timothy.evans@cookcountyil.gov

Carl C. Bell, M.D., Selection Committee Chair, 773.633.5450, bell-carl@att.net

Circuit Court of Cook County Committee on the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center

The members of the committee are:

Carl C. Bell, M.D.,

Staff Psychiatrist, Outpatient Family Practice Clinic and Consultation and Liaison Psychiatrist, Medical/Psychiatric Unit, Jackson Park Hosp.

Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health, Coll. of Med., Univ. of Ill. (Chicago) (ret.)

Hon. Richard R. Boykin, J.D.

Commissioner, Cook Co. Bd. of Commissioners, 1st Dist.

Beverly J. Butler, Ed.D.

Special Assistant for JTDC Transition, Office of the Chief Judge

Chicago Public Schools, Teacher and Administrator (ret.)

Frances G. Carroll, Ed.D.

Chicago Public Schools, Teacher and Administrator (ret.)

Member, Bd. of Trustees at the Univ. of Ill. (ret.)

Eugene Griffin, J.D., Ph.D.

Director of Research, ChildTrauma Academy

Lead Developer, Mental Health Training Curriculum for Juvenile Justice, MacArthur Fdn./Models for Change and the Nat’l Ctr. for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice

Ass't Prof., Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern Univ. Feinberg Sch. of Med.

Edward Harrison, M.B.A.

President and CEO, Nat’l Commission on Correctional Health Care (ret.)

Marisel A. Hernandez, M.A., J.D.

Partner, Jacobs Burns Orlove & Hernandez

Commissioner, Chicago Bd. of Elections

Trial Attorney, U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (ret.)

Trial Attorney, Nat’l Labor Relations Bd. (ret.)

Samuel V. Jones, J.D.

Professor, The John Marshall Law School

Police Officer and Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps (ret.)

U.S. Marines (ret.)

Corporate Counsel for Labor and Employment, Blockbuster, Inc. (ret.)

Senior Counsel, AT&T Corp. (ret.)

James D. Montgomery, Sr., J.D.

Managing Partner, James D. Montgomery & Associates, Ltd.

Assistant United States Attorney, Northern Dist. of Ill. (ret.)

Corporation Counsel, City of Chicago (ret.)

Member, Univ. of Ill. Bd. of Trustees

Fellow, Int'l Acad. of Trial Lawyers

Michael J. Rohan, M.A., M.S.

Director, Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department, Cir. Ct. of Cook Co. (ret.)

Interim Director, Juvenile Court Clinic for Forensic Clinical Services, Cir. Ct. of Cook Co. (ret.)

Instructor/lecturer, Loyola Univ., Chicago Police Acad., Univ. of Ill. (Chicago), and the Annie E. Casey Fdn.

Sr. Catherine M. Ryan, O.S.F., M.B.A., J.D.

Exec. Dir., Maryville Academy, City of Youth

Chief, Juvenile Justice Bureau, Cook County State's Attorney (ret.)

Bryan H. Samuels, M.P.P.

Exec. Dir., Chapin Hall Ctr. for Children, Univ. of Chicago

Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (ret.)

Chief of Staff, Chicago Public Schools (ret.)

Director, Ill. Department of Children and Family Services (ret.)

Hon. Larry Suffredin, J.D.

Commissioner, Cook Co. Bd. of Commissioners, 13th Dist.

Chair, Legislation and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee and Rules and Administration Committee, Cook Co. Bd. of Commissioners

Hon. Michael P. Toomin, J.D.

Presiding Judge, Juvenile Justice Division, Cir. Ct. of Cook Co.

previous assignments: Judge, Ill. Appellate Ct., First Dist.; felony trial judge and Supervising Judge, Criminal Division, Cir. Ct. of Cook Co.



Paula Wolff, M.A., PhD.,

Director, Ill. Justice Project

Chair, Bd. of Trustees, City Coll. of Chicago

Member, Bd. of Trustees, Univ. of Chicago Med. Ctr.

Member, Bd. of Trustees, Univ. of Chicago

President, Governors State Univ. (ret.)

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