Continuum of Alternatives to Detention

The Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department's continuum of detention alternative programs earned the Circuit Court of Cook County designation as a model learning sites by the Annie E. Casey Foundation among court jurisdictions nationwide. The following programs enable the court to divert youth from detention into constructive community-based counseling, treatment and residential care.

The Alternatives to detention continuum was developed for use by judges during pre-adjudication through post-dispositional stages of proceedings.  These include: community supervision, home confinement with electronic monitoring, reporting centers, and the staff secure shelter. 

Detention Screening

When a juvenile is arrested and presented by a law enforcement officer for detention, the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department applies an objective risk assessment instrument to determine which juveniles require secure detention for up to 40 hours pending a judicial hearing. 

Home Confinement with Electronic Monitoring (EM)

Home Confinement with Electronic Monitoring Day/Evening can be ordered by the court as an alternative to secure detention for minors who are non compliant with the court’s pre-adjudicatory and pre-dispositional directive or whom have violated post dispositional conditions. 

The department began using GPS technology for electronic monitoring in January 2010.  The GPS bracelets consist of a one-piece unit which must be charged two (2) hours per day.  The department can determine when a minor enters and leaves the home as well as provide the location of a minor every three (3) minutes.

Reporting Centers

The Reporting Centers are community-based alternative detention sites that operate in partnership with sponsoring social service organizations. The centers provide nonviolent minors with highly structured and well supervised group activities during high risk periods. The program's goal is to reduce the likelihood of re-arrest and to allow minors to continue to attend school and remain at home. Juveniles are supervised in five Chicago locations and one suburban location. Staff members offer minors educational activities, recreational programming and life development workshops.  

Staff Secure Shelter 

The Manuel Saura Center was established, in conjunction with Heartland Alliance, to operate a temporary shelter for juveniles who would otherwise be detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention.  Male and female minors who are placed in the shelter include those whose circumstances merit this alternative to detention, minors who have not been successfully reunified with a parent, and detained minors who are within 30 days of placement into a non-secure setting. While at the shelter, minors receive educational instruction, recreation, life skills instruction, counseling and transportation to court and other required appointments.