Public Act 098-1032
SB2352 EnrolledLRB098 08113 KTG 38204 b
AN ACT concerning State government.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
Section 5. The Unified Code of Corrections is amended by
adding Article 2.7 of Chapter III as follows:
(730 ILCS 5/Ch. III Art. 2.7 heading new)
ARTICLE 2.7. DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE JUSTICE
INDEPENDENT JUVENILE OMBUDSMAN
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-1 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-1. Short title. This Article may be cited as the
Department of Juvenile Justice Independent Juvenile Ombudsman
Law.
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-5 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-5. Purpose. The purpose of this Article is to
create within the Department of Juvenile Justice the Office of
Independent Juvenile Ombudsman for the purpose of securing the
rights of youth committed to the Department of Juvenile
Justice, including youth released on aftercare before final
discharge.
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-10 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-10. Definitions. In this Article, unless the
context requires otherwise:
"Department" means the Department of Juvenile Justice.
"Immediate family or household member" means the spouse,
child, parent, brother, sister, grandparent, or grandchild,
whether of the whole blood or half blood or by adoption, or a
person who shares a common dwelling.
"Juvenile justice system" means all activities by public or
private agencies or persons pertaining to youth involved in or
having contact with the police, courts, or corrections.
"Office" means the Office of the Independent Juvenile
Ombudsman.
"Ombudsman" means the Department of Juvenile Justice
Independent Juvenile Ombudsman.
"Youth" means any person committed by court order to the
custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice, including youth
released on aftercare before final discharge.
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-15 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-15. Appointment of Independent Juvenile
Ombudsman. The Governor shall appoint the Independent Juvenile
Ombudsman with the advice and consent of the Senate for a term
of 4 years, with the first term expiring February 1, 2017. A
person appointed as Ombudsman may be reappointed to one or more
subsequent terms. A vacancy shall occur upon resignation,
death, or removal. The Ombudsman may only be removed by the
Governor for incompetency, malfeasance, neglect of duty, or
conviction of a felony. If the Senate is not in session or is
in recess when an appointment subject to its confirmation is
made, the Governor shall make a temporary appointment which
shall be subject to subsequent Senate approval. The Ombudsman
may employ deputies to perform, under the direction of the
Ombudsman, the same duties and exercise the same powers as the
Ombudsman, and may employ other support staff as deemed
necessary. The Ombudsman and deputies must:
(1) be over the age of 21 years;
(2) have a bachelor's or advanced degree from an accredited
college or university; and
(3) have relevant expertise in areas such as the juvenile
justice system, investigations, or civil rights advocacy as
evidenced by experience in the field or by academic background.
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-20 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-20. Conflicts of interest. A person may not
serve as Ombudsman or as a deputy if the person or the person's
immediate family or household member:
(1) is or has been employed by the Department of Juvenile
Justice or Department of Corrections within one year prior to
appointment, other than as Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman;
(2) participates in the management of a business entity or
other organization receiving funds from the Department of
Juvenile Justice;
(3) owns or controls, directly or indirectly, any interest
in a business entity or other organization receiving funds from
the Department of Juvenile Justice;
(4) uses or receives any amount of tangible goods,
services, or funds from the Department of Juvenile Justice,
other than as Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman; or
(5) is required to register as a lobbyist for an
organization that interacts with the juvenile justice system.
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-25 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-25. Duties and powers.
(a) The Independent Juvenile Ombudsman shall function
independently within the Department of Juvenile Justice with
respect to the operations of the Office in performance of his
or her duties under this Article and shall report to the
Governor. The Ombudsman shall adopt rules and standards as may
be necessary or desirable to carry out his or her duties.
Funding for the Office shall be designated separately within
Department funds. The Department shall provide necessary
administrative services and facilities to the Office of the
Independent Juvenile Ombudsman.
(b) The Office of Independent Juvenile Ombudsman shall have
the following duties:
(1) review and monitor the implementation of the rules
and standards established by the Department of Juvenile
Justice and evaluate the delivery of services to youth to
ensure that the rights of youth are fully observed;
(2) provide assistance to a youth or family who the
Ombudsman determines is in need of assistance, including
advocating with an agency, provider, or other person in the
best interests of the youth;
(3) investigate and attempt to resolve complaints made
by or on behalf of youth, other than complaints alleging
criminal behavior or violations of the State Officials and
Employee Ethics Act, if the Office determines that the
investigation and resolution would further the purpose of
the Office, and:
(A) a youth committed to the Department of Juvenile
Justice or the youth's family is in need of assistance
from the Office; or
(B) a systemic issue in the Department of Juvenile
Justice's provision of services is raised by a
complaint;
(4) review or inspect periodically the facilities and
procedures of any facility in which a youth has been placed
by the Department of Juvenile Justice to ensure that the
rights of youth are fully observed; and
(5) be accessible to and meet confidentially and
regularly with youth committed to the Department and serve
as a resource by informing them of pertinent laws, rules,
and policies, and their rights thereunder.
(c) The following cases shall be reported immediately to
the Director of Juvenile Justice and the Governor:
(1) cases of severe abuse or injury of a youth;
(2) serious misconduct, misfeasance, malfeasance, or
serious violations of policies and procedures concerning
the administration of a Department of Juvenile Justice
program or operation;
(3) serious problems concerning the delivery of
services in a facility operated by or under contract with
the Department of Juvenile Justice;
(4) interference by the Department of Juvenile Justice
with an investigation conducted by the Office; and
(5) other cases as deemed necessary by the Ombudsman.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the
Ombudsman may not investigate alleged criminal behavior or
violations of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act. If
the Ombudsman determines that a possible criminal act has been
committed, or that special expertise is required in the
investigation, he or she shall immediately notify the
Department of State Police. If the Ombudsman determines that a
possible violation of the State Officials and Employees Ethics
Act has occurred, he or she shall immediately refer the
incident to the Office of the Governor's Executive Inspector
General for investigation. If the Ombudsman receives a
complaint from a youth or third party regarding suspected abuse
or neglect of a child, the Ombudsman shall refer the incident
to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline or to the State Police
as mandated by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.
Any investigation conducted by the Ombudsman shall not be
duplicative and shall be separate from any investigation
mandated by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. All
investigations conducted by the Ombudsman shall be conducted in
a manner designed to ensure the preservation of evidence for
possible use in a criminal prosecution.
(e) In performance of his or her duties, the Ombudsman may:
(1) review court files of youth;
(2) recommend policies, rules, and legislation
designed to protect youth;
(3) make appropriate referrals under any of the duties
and powers listed in this Section;
(4) attend internal administrative and disciplinary
hearings to ensure the rights of youth are fully observed
and advocate for the best interest of youth when deemed
necessary; and
(5) perform other acts, otherwise permitted or
required by law, in furtherance of the purpose of the
Office.
(f) To assess if a youth's rights have been violated, the
Ombudsman may, in any matter that does not involve alleged
criminal behavior, contact or consult with an administrator,
employee, youth, parent, expert, or any other individual in the
course of his or her investigation or to secure information as
necessary to fulfill his or her duties.
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-30 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-30. Duties of the Department of Juvenile
Justice.
(a) The Department of Juvenile Justice shall allow any
youth to communicate with the Ombudsman or a deputy at any
time. The communication:
(1) may be in person, by phone, by mail, or by any
other means deemed appropriate in light of security
concerns; and
(2) is confidential and privileged.
(b) The Department shall allow the Ombudsman and deputies
full and unannounced access to youth and Department facilities
at any time. The Department shall furnish the Ombudsman and
deputies with appropriate meeting space in each facility in
order to preserve confidentiality.
(c) The Department shall allow the Ombudsman and deputies
to participate in professional development opportunities
provided by the Department of Juvenile Justice as practical and
to attend appropriate professional training when requested by
the Ombudsman.
(d) The Department shall provide the Ombudsman copies of
critical incident reports involving a youth residing in a
facility operated by the Department. Critical incidents
include, but are not limited to, severe injuries that result in
hospitalization, suicide attempts that require medical
intervention, sexual abuse, and escapes.
(e) The Department shall provide the Ombudsman with
reasonable advance notice of all internal administrative and
disciplinary hearings regarding a youth residing in a facility
operated by the Department.
(f) The Department of Juvenile Justice may not discharge,
demote, discipline, or in any manner discriminate or retaliate
against a youth or an employee who in good faith makes a
complaint to the Office of the Independent Juvenile Ombudsman
or cooperates with the Office.
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-35 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-35. Reports. The Independent Juvenile Ombudsman
shall provide to the General Assembly and the Governor, no
later than January 1 of each year, a summary of activities done
in furtherance of the purpose of the Office for the prior
fiscal year. The summaries shall contain data both aggregated
and disaggregated by individual facility and describe:
(1) the work of the Ombudsman;
(2) the status of any review or investigation undertaken by
the Ombudsman, but may not contain any confidential or
identifying information concerning the subjects of the reports
and investigations; and
(3) any recommendations that the Independent Juvenile
Ombudsman has relating to a systemic issue in the Department of
Juvenile Justice's provision of services and any other matters
for consideration by the General Assembly and the Governor.
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-40 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-40. Complaints. The Office of Independent
Juvenile Ombudsman shall promptly and efficiently act on
complaints made by or on behalf of youth filed with the Office
that relate to the operations or staff of the Department of
Juvenile Justice. The Office shall maintain information about
parties to the complaint, the subject matter of the complaint,
a summary of the results of the review or investigation of the
complaint, including any resolution of or recommendations made
as a result of the complaint. The Office shall make information
available describing its procedures for complaint
investigation and resolution. When applicable, the Office
shall notify the complaining youth that an investigation and
resolution may result in or will require disclosure of the
complaining youth's identity. The Office shall periodically
notify the complaint parties of the status of the complaint
until final disposition.
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-45 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-45. Confidentiality. The name, address, or
other personally identifiable information of a person who files
a complaint with the Office, information generated by the
Office related to a complaint or other activities of the
Office, and confidential records obtained by the Office are not
subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The
Office shall disclose the records only if required by court
order on a showing of good cause.
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-50 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-50. Promotion and Awareness of Office. The
Independent Juvenile Ombudsman shall promote awareness among
the public and youth of:
(1) the rights of youth committed to the Department;
(2) purpose of the Office;
(3) how the Office may be contacted;
(4) the confidential nature of communications; and
(5) the services the Office provides.
(730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-55 new)
Sec. 3-2.7-55. Access to information of governmental
entities. The Department of Juvenile Justice shall provide the
Independent Juvenile Ombudsman unrestricted access to all
master record files of youth under Section 3-5-1 of this Code.
Access to educational, social, psychological, mental health,
substance abuse, and medical records shall not be disclosed
except as provided in Section 5-910 of the Juvenile Court Act
of 1987, the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
Confidentiality Act, the School Code, and any applicable
federal laws that govern access to those records.