Young people involved in the juvenile justice system require different supervision strategies upon reentry. For example, young people who are at high risk of reoffending require more strict supervision than those who are low risk. Conversely, applying high levels of supervision to low-risk youth can have negative consequences on both the young person involved and his or her community. In order to improve outcomes for youth who are returning home to their communities, it is important to promote tailored, evidence-based services to meet each individual’s needs.

To this end, Vera’s Center on Youth Justice (CYJ) is partnering with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) to revise and promote more targeted services for aftercare, including parole and probation. After working closely with Vera in 2014 on a strategic plan that identified key statewide juvenile justice reform goals, IDJJ named aftercare as one of their top five priorities. Types of support provided include education, mental health, youth workforce development, life skills, and placement. The project—funded in partnership with the Public Welfare Foundation— focuses on enhanced aftercare and data-driven, evidence-based case management to promote greater support and better outcomes for youth in aftercare.

Project Objectives

  • To ensure that youth released from detention are given access to the full breadth of services and supports available.

  • To ensure that youth successfully reenter the community and do not return to IDJJ custody.