Youth locked up in juvenile facilities in Illinois may no longer be thrown into isolation or room confinement as a punishment for their behavior, under a juvenile justice bill Gov. JB Pritzker signed recently.
House Bill 3513, also known as the Procedural Justice for Youth Act, also eliminates mandatory penalties that incarcerate younger teens for longer periods than older youth who commit the same crimes. For example, a youth who has been deemed a “habitual juvenile offender” or “violent offender” will no longer be committed until age 21 but will receive a proportionate extension to their stay in the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. Concurrent sentencing laws have also been clarified to ensure that youth sentencing calculations are applied uniformly across the state.
Doing away with isolation and room confinement puts Illinois in sync with the state’s Juvenile Justice Department’s obligations under a consent decree and with national standards for juvenile facilities.
“Our Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice is continuing its transformational work to build a system that nurtures our young people, supports their growth and fosters a successful return to a welcoming community,” Pritzker said in a statement.
“Passing the Procedural Justice Act is a restorative justice policy that seeks to repair systemic harm by enhancing equity in sentencing for youth and eliminating the use of room confinement as a punitive measure,” said Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton. “This law equips IDJJ with more of the tools necessary to continue its plan to transform this system and reduce the harm of incarceration.”