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“Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 1998: Balanced and Restorative Justice in Illinois.”

Maher, Amy
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) Compiler 18(3): 1, 9-15, 20.

Four juvenile justice professionals offer their perspectives on Illinois’ Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 1998, which contains a purpose and policy section that adopts a balanced and restorative justice (BARJ) model for the State’s juvenile justice system. The strength of the BARJ model, according to one Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office representative, is that it involves a community-oriented response to juvenile crime that gives primary emphasis to restoring the well-being of the victim and repairing the harms caused to the community. The approach would allow victims greater participation in the outcome of their cases and provide an opportunity for juvenile offenders to better understand the impact of their actions on victims and the community. Specific issues addressed by the four juvenile justice professionals are the new language used under the BARJ model, the implications of the more extensive reporting and record-keeping at various stages of the juvenile justice system, the sentencing options that blend a juvenile sentence with an adult sentence, the transfer of juveniles to adult criminal court, and the use of county juvenile justice councils to advise county boards on the status of juvenile delinquency prevention programs available in a jurisdiction.


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