Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $21,095)
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is the Designated State Agency for the purposes of receiving Title II funds. As such, IDHS will be the recipient of PREA funds and will pass through those funds to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ).
IDJJ has made significant progress in addressing sexual victimization within its facilities. A 2013 Bureau of Justice Statistics report on sexual victimization in youth correctional facilities designated as one of four states with overall sexual abuse rates in youth correctional facilities exceeding 15%. Since that time, IDJJ has implemented the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) through policy and practice. In addition to PREA reporting procedures and youth education, IDJJ has instituted a number of other reforms to protect youth in custody, including adopting, pursuant to statute, the Office of Independent Juvenile Ombudsman. IDJJ has reduced its facility footprint to five, rather than eight secure facilities, providing secure custody to 145 youth in 2022.
The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (Commission), the State Advisory Group, will utilize all funds from this solicitation to support IDJJ’s efforts to support ongoing PREA compliance. Funds will be used to purchase additional cameras and digital video recorders for four of its facilities – IYC Chicago, IYC Harrisburg, IYC St. Charles and IYC Warrenville. Video surveillance is a critical tool for investigating alleged PREA violations; additionally, the presence of video surveillance creates an environment of accountability and safety. The additional cameras will provide new or improved coverage of areas of the facilities which lack cameras.