Chief Judge Evans establishes blue ribbon committee of experts to advise on best practices for juvenile detention

Released On 04/14/2021

In order to ensure best practices for the treatment of juveniles confined at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans has established a blue ribbon committee of experts to examine current JTDC procedures and outcomes, especially as they relate to room confinement.

            “We want the best possible results for the young people who are detained at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center while awaiting the outcome of their cases. We want juveniles at the facility to have an opportunity to become better educated, better adjusted, and better able to become healthy and productive members of society once they leave the facility,” said Judge Evans. “To this end, we have asked esteemed members of our medical and justice communities to examine procedures at the JTDC and figure out what is being done right and what can be done better.”

            The appointment of the committee comes ahead of the submission on Thursday, April 15 to the Cook County Board of a report by the JTDC Advisory Board that makes recommendations concerning the Center. The report was requested by the board and follows a board hearing last December. The recommendations include holding hearings to examine how “punitive confinement” is currently used and stopping the use of “punitive confinement.” Citing independent reviews of the facility, JTDC leadership says that, as a matter of policy, punitive confinement is not used extensively at the center and is used only as a last resort.

The committee will gather information from other juvenile facilities around the country to determine best practices, as well as examine current academic research on the impact of trauma on the minds of young people.

            The committee, which is in formation, will be chaired by Dr. Gene Griffin, a clinical psychologist and expert on childhood trauma with extensive experience working with children involved in the criminal justice system. He is a member of the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership and the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition, and also chaired the Health Committee for the Cook County Chief Judge’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center transition committee. A former Cook County assistant public defender, Dr. Griffin is a retired assistant professor with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

            Others on the committee were also members of the JTDC transition committee and are leaders in the health, education, juvenile justice advocacy, and legal communities. They include:


James D. Montgomery, Sr., J.D., committee co-chair

Managing Partner, James D. Montgomery & Associates, Ltd.
Assistant United States Attorney, Northern Dist. of Ill. (ret.)
Corporation Counsel, City of Chicago (ret.)


Paula Wolff , M.A., Ph.D., committee co-chair

Policy Advisor, Illinois Justice Project
Former Senior Executive, Chicago Metropolis 2020 and Metropolis Strategies (leader of the Justice and Violence Group)
Former President, Governors State University
Co-chair, Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Public Safety Transition Policy Committee


Honorable Larry Suffredin, J.D.

Commissioner, Cook County Board of Commissioners, 13th District
Chair, Legislation and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee and Rules and Administration Committee, Cook Co. Bd. of Commissioners


Honorable Richard R. Boykin, J.D.

Former Commissioner, Cook County Board of Commissioners, 1st District
Bridge Builders Consulting & Legal Services, LLC
Former Equity Partner, Barnes & Thornburg, LLP
Former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Danny Davis


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, Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois (ret.)


Edward Harrison, M.B.A.

President and CEO, National Commission on Correctional Health Care (ret.)


Marisel A. Hernandez, J.D.

Chairwoman, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
Attorney, Jacobs, Burns, Orlove and Hernandez


Samuel V. Jones, J.D.

Professor, UIC John Marshall Law School
Police Officer and Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps (ret.)
U.S. Marines (ret.)


Dr. Barbara Radner, Ph.D, M.S.T.

Educational Consultant
Former Executive Director, Polk Bros. Foundation Center for Urban Education, DePaul University Chicago


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

Director, Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department, Circuit Court of Cook County (ret.)
Interim Director, Juvenile Court Clinic for Forensic Clinical Services, Circuit Court of Cook County (ret.)
Instructor/lecturer, Loyola University, Chicago Police Academy, University of Illinois at Chicago and the Annie E. Casey Foundation


Bryan Samuels, M.P.P.

Executive Director, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, a policy research center dedicated to improving the lives of children, families and communities

Dr. Robert T. Starks

Professor Emeritus
Founder, Harold Washington Institute for Research and Policy Studies
Northeastern Illinois University’s Jacob Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, Politics and Economic Development
Chairman, Black United Fund of Illinois

Honorable Michael P. Toomin, J.D.

Presiding Judge, Juvenile Justice Division, Circuit Court of Cook County
Previous assignments: Judge, Illinois Appellate Court, First District; felony trial judge and Supervising Judge, Criminal Division, Circuit Court of Cook County



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