Articles and Reports

An Examination of Traumatic Experiences and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Among a Sample of Illinois Prisoners
July 25, 2017 | Article | Corrections
Research has found nearly all prisoners have experienced a traumatic event in their life and a high proportion suffer from PTSD. Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority and WestCare Foundation (Illinois) researchers surveyed 573 Illinois prisoners to understand the trauma they experienced and explore the relationship between trauma and substance misuse. Researchers found 89 percent of those surveyed had both experienced and witnessed more than one traumatic event during their lifetime. Almost one-fourth of the sample were identified as being symptomatic for PTSD (24 percent). In addition, researchers found a relationship found between greater PTSD symptoms and higher drug use. This article describes survey findings and provides implications for policy and practice in correctional facilities.
By Sharyn Adams, Lily Gleicher, Jessica Reichert, Kaitlyn Konefal, And Dustin Cantrell
Trauma-Informed and Evidence-Based Practices and Programs to Address Trauma in Correctional Settings
July 25, 2017 | Article | Corrections
The prevalence of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is higher among individuals in prison and jail than in the general population. Research has shown a connection between trauma and criminality due in part to the coping mechanisms of aggression and substance misuse after a traumatic event. While the corrections environment itself may cause or exacerbate PTSD symptoms in some individuals, facilities can implement trauma-informed practices to minimize re-traumatization and reduce PTSD symptoms. This article documents the prevalence of trauma and PTSD within this population, and discusses how correctional facilities can implement trauma-informed practices and evidence-based approaches to assist individuals with trauma histories.
By Sharyn Adams, Jaclyn Houston-Kolnik, And Jessica Reichert
An Overview of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders for Criminal Justice-Involved Individuals
July 18, 2017 | Article | Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders (OUD)
There is a national opioid epidemic and one intervention to help those suffering from an opioid use disorder (OUD) is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is the use of medications in conjunction with behavioral therapy as part of a long-term treatment regimen. There are three main MAT medications used today—methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Research has shown MAT, in particular the use of methadone or buprenorphine, is considered an evidence-based practice to treat OUD. Studies indicate those in MAT have better outcomes than those who engage in therapy alone. This article provides an overview of MAT with a focus on use with criminal justice populations.
By Jessica Reichert, Lily Gleicher, And Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar
Juvenile Justice in Illinois, 2015
July 12, 2017 | Article | Juvenile Justice, Juveniles

Juvenile Justice in Illinois, 2015, provides a statistical overview of the juvenile justice system in Illinois across four decision points in which data were available: arrest, detention admissions, active probation caseloads, and new sentence admissions to corrections. Statewide and regional figures are provided with rates spanning from 2011 to 2015. In addition, population, demographic, and offense type information is provided for decision points in which data were available in 2015. Overall, rates for arrest, active probation caseload, detention admissions, and new sentence admissions to corrections have decreased between 2011 and 2015; however, the Central and Southern regions had slight increases in detention admission rates.

By Lily Gleicher
Community Violence Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression
June 21, 2017 | Article | Community Violence
Addressing street-level violence such as murders and aggravated assaults and batteries that occur on the public way and often involve firearms requires a multi-pronged approach. One effective model for addressing street violence, and, in particular, gang-related or group-involved street violence, is the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) Comprehensive Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression Model. The model involves implementing complementary and coordinated prevention, intervention, and suppression activities in a single community. This article provides examples of evidence-based practices and programs that strengthen youth resilience and build social capital and work to reduce threats or perceived threats using the OJJDP model as a framework. The article also highlights how the model is enhanced when community stakeholders consider how trauma has impacted residents and those targeted by intervention and suppression efforts.
By Megan Alderden
Study of Self-Reported Prescription Drug Use Among a Sample of Illinois Prisoners
June 15, 2017 | Article | Substance use disorders, corrections, prison, prescription drug use
While more than half of individuals incarcerated in U.S. jails and prisons meet the diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder, little is known about their misuse of prescription drugs. In this study, Authority researchers, in collaboration with WestCare Foundation Illinois, surveyed 573 state prisoners on prescription drug use to examine prevalence, accessibility, motivation for use, and effects. Forty-six percent of the sample reported using prescription drugs to get high and 20 percent used prescription drugs daily in the year before their incarceration.
By Lily Gleicher, Jessica Reichert, And Dustin Cantrell
Victim Needs Assessment
April 18, 2017 | Article | Victim Services, Victimization
In 2016, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority contracted with Aeffect, Inc. to conduct a statewide victim needs assessment. The study was designed to guide the ICJIA victim services planning process and provide insight into the prevalence of victimization, needs of victims, and their receipt and satisfaction with services. Major findings of the assessment are outlined.
By Tracy Hahn
Reducing Substance Use Disorders and Related Offending: A Continuum of Evidence-Informed Practices in the Criminal Justice System
April 7, 2017 | Article | Criminal Justice, Substance Use Disorders, Evidence-Informed Practices
By Lily Gleicher
Using U.S. Law-Enforcement Data: Promise and Limits in Measuring Human Trafficking
April 4, 2017 | Article | Law Enforcement
Over the past decade, federal, state, and local law enforcement have increasingly been called upon to identify and investigate human-trafficking offenses. Numerous efforts have been put in place to track incidents, arrests, and criminal offenses related to human trafficking. In response to directives from the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (2008), the FBI added two new crime categories to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) to capture commercial-sex acts and involuntary servitude. Additionally, in an effort to improve our understanding of the prevalence of human trafficking in the United States, state legislatures have begun to require the collection of data on human trafficking offenses identified by criminal-justice officials. However, despite the promises of standardized data from law enforcement about human trafficking, the numbers of reported human-trafficking offenses and arrests have been low. In this article, we examine official counts of human trafficking collected by criminal-justice-system data programs. We draw on data from a survey of state crime-reporting agencies and case studies of human trafficking crime reporting conducted in two U.S. states to explore the challenges that local police agencies face reporting human trafficking. Finally, we offer suggestions for improving officially reported data.
By Amy Farrell And Jessica Reichert
Illinois Drug Threat Assessment: A Survey of Police Chiefs and County Sheriffs
March 9, 2017 | Report | Law enforcement
It is important for states to understand current drug and crime trends in order to be proactive. Local law enforcement can provide important contributions in identifying emerging drug and crime trends as frontline officers. To get the local law enforcement perspective, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority administered a survey to Illinois police chiefs and county sheriffs to gain insight regarding drug trafficking in their jurisdiction. Eighty-three police chiefs and county sheriffs responded to the survey, most frequently identifying heroin and prescription drugs as the greatest drug threats in their jurisdictions. Methamphetamine was also reported as the greatest drug threat in the central and southern regions of Illinois. This article is a summary of key findings of the full report.
By Lily Gleicher And Jessica Reichert
Study of self-reported synthetic drug use among a sample of Illinois prisoners
February 17, 2017 | Article | Synthetic Drug Use
Synthetic drug use is a growing public health concern. Synthetics are often cheaper and more readily available than cannabis and amphetamines, making them attractive alternatives to other illicit drugs. In addition, the chemical formulas for these drugs are constantly changing, making them difficult to regulate, and their detection is limited in commonly used drug screenings. Authority researchers partnered with WestCare Foundation to survey 573 state prisoners on synthetic drug use to examine prevalence, accessibility, motivation for use, and effects. Thirty-six percent of respondents reported any synthetic drug use in their lifetime prior to incarceration. Findings suggested a proportion of the criminal justice population engages in synthetic drug use and the findings were consistent with other research on synthetic drug use.
By Lily Gleicher, Jessica Reichert, And Dustin Cantrell
An examination of juvenile sex offenders in the Illinois juvenile justice system
February 14, 2017 | Full Report | Juvenile Sex Offenders
Juveniles adjudicated delinquent for a sex offense can result in lifelong consequences, including sex offender registration. Further, there can be repercussions financially, emotionally, and socially for a juvenile and his/her family that extend throughout the individual’s life. Given the potential negative impact of sex offender registration, it is important to understand the implications of the registry within the larger context of youth development and juvenile justice. This report analyzes characteristics of youth arrested, detained, and admitted to corrections in Illinois in 2014 and associated trends from 2004 to 2014.
By Erica Hughes, Lily Gleicher, Susan Witkin, Vernon S. Smith, And Caitlin DeLong
Ad Hoc Victim Services Committee Research Report
January 31, 2017 | Report | Victims
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority convened an Ad Hoc Victim Services Committee in January to review research to identify crime victim needs and service gaps and measure capacity of Illinois victim service providers. The Committee then set funding priorities to address those needs, gaps, and capacity issues. The priorities were later approved by the ICJIA Board and will guide notices of funding opportunity and statewide funding decisions for the next three years.
By Megan Alderden And Jaclyn Houston-Kolnik
Rethinking Law Enforcement’s Role on Drugs: Community Drug Intervention and Diversion Efforts
January 25, 2017 | Article | Law Enforcement
Police administrators across the country are recognizing the need to connect individuals with whom they come into contact in the community to evidence-based treatment to better address the large social and economic burden of substance use disorders (SUD), a chronic and relapsing condition. Police frequently encounter substance using individuals and their families in the community, and often have repeat contacts with individuals suffering from SUD. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of different police agency responses to individuals with SUD that are intended to prevent overdose deaths and divert individuals with SUD away from the criminal justice system and toward appropriate support and treatment.
By Jessica Reichert And Lily Gleicher
National and Illinois Youth Substance Use: Risk Factors, Prevalence, and Treatment
January 9, 2017 | Article | Drugs
During stages of ongoing, yet incomplete, cognitive development, youth may be more inclined to take risks and experiment with drugs and alcohol and are often heavily influenced by their peers, leading to negative outcomes. Nationally and in Illinois, traditionally high drug use categories of marijuana and alcohol appear to be stable or falling and youth use of other drugs remains relatively low.
By Jessica Reichert, Caitlin DeLong, And Kaitlyn Konefal
2016: Our Year in Review
January 6, 2017 | Article | Article
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority took great strides in its mission of improving the administration of criminal justice in 2016. Here is a look back at the agency’s most notable initiatives and achievements for the year.
By Cristin Evans
Housing and Services After Prison: Evaluation of the St. Leonard’s House Reentry Program
December 18, 2016 | Report | Reentry
More than 500,000 individuals are released from prison each year. As they return to their communities, they face obstacles in finding employment and housing, as well as significant debt, outstanding fines, and restitution payments. Two-thirds of this population are arrested again within three years. St. Leonard’s House in Chicago offers voluntary, supportive housing for men exiting prison. Program clients receive housing, substance abuse treatment, psychological services, life skills, mentoring, and education and vocational services. Authority researchers used qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection, as well as quasi-experimental design and advanced statistical analysis, to examine outcomes after program participation, including arrests, convictions, incarcerations, and employment.
By Jessica Reichert, Mark Powers, And Rebecca Skorek
A state and national overview of the opioid and heroin crisis
November 16, 2016 | Article | Drugs
Opioid and heroin use is surging in Illinois communities and across the country with dramatic increases in the number of users and deaths by overdose. Communities, criminal justice practitioners, and public health professionals are struggling to help those suffering from opioid use disorders and, ultimately, save lives. This article provides an overview of the opioid epidemic and its causes, including the link between prescription opioids and heroin.
By Jessica Reichert And Vernon Smith
Preventing Youth Violence: An Evaluation of Youth Guidance’s “Becoming a Man” Program
November 15, 2016 | Article | Juveniles
Preventing youth violence and improving schooling outcomes for disadvantaged youth remain two of our nation’s most urgent challenges. The Becoming a Man (BAM) program is a violence-reduction strategy that uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help participants slow down their thinking in high-stakes situations. An evaluation of the program found improvements in both academic and behavioral outcomes of participating youth.
By University Of Chicago Crime Lab
Reentry support: Lessons learned from community-based programs
October 21, 2016 | Article | Reentry
In 2014, the Reentry Program, one of three components of Illinois’ Community Violence Prevention Program (CVPP) receiving funds through the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, provided services to youth and young adults on parole and aftercare in 21 Chicago area communities in order to assist with their compliance with parole board orders and other aspects of successful community reintegration, such as educational enrollment and employment. Authority researchers examined the Reentry Program component of the Community Violence Prevention Program (CVPP) to ascertain how the program was meeting the reentry needs of Chicago area youth and young adults.
By Idetta Phillips, Christine Devitt Westley, And Jessica Reichert
About Uniform Crime Reporting Program data
September 27, 2016 | Article | Law enforcement
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program is the official source of nationwide crime data and can be used to examine current patterns and trends over time. The Illinois UCR Program provides state-specific data. Those who use the programs to study crime trends should become familiar with the data source, its method of collection, and caveats needed to ensure proper data context.
By Erica Hughes
Juvenile Justice in Illinois, 2014
September 14, 2016 | Report | Juvenile Justice
Juvenile Justice in Illinois, 2014 outlines juvenile justice statistics across the four process points in which data were available: arrest, detention, court, and corrections. Decreases in the statewide figures were noted across all of the data points examined, indicating that fewer youth were entering and moving through the system. This article highlights select key findings from the full report.
By Erica Hughes
Learning about probation from client perspectives: Feedback from probationers served by Adult Redeploy Illinois-funded program models
September 6, 2016 | Report | Probation
Satisfaction with the criminal justice system often reflects the opinions of the public rather than that of the offender. When probation clients are able to provide feedback in a meaningful way, they are less marginalized and alienated from a process attempting to make changes in their behavior and attitudes. Authority researchers interviewed probationers served by Adult Redeploy Illinois program models to gain their perspectives and make recommendations for program enhancement.
By Caitlin DeLong And Jessica Reichert
The impact of employment restriction laws on Illinois’ convicted felons
August 22, 2016 | Article | Convictions
Over the past three decades, at least 1.5 million men and women have been convicted of felony charges in Illinois. Even after they have satisfied their probation or prison sentence, they face a range of collateral consequences-—penalties, disabilities, and other disadvantages imposed as a result of a criminal conviction, some lasting a lifetime.
By Lynne Mock
Drug trends and distribution in Illinois: A survey of drug task forces
August 17, 2016 | Report | Law enforcement
In Illinois, the distribution of controlled substances is a significant problem and task forces were created to combat the distribution of controlled substances at the local level. This study sought to understand the extent of the drug problem in the jurisdictions covered by each drug task force. Authority researchers surveyed 19 Authority-funded drug task forces on types of drugs, frequency, trends, use, and distribution.
By Jessica Reichert
Probable posttraumatic stress disorder in a sample of urban jail detainees
August 11, 2016 | Article | Jails
Jails in the United States house large numbers of detainees who have urgent public and behavioral healthcare needs as well as various serious social, economic, and personal problems. Jails are often the primary (or only) settings for medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse treatment.
By Dawn Ruzich, Jessica Reichert, And Arthur J. Lurigio
24/7 Sobriety Program Summary
July 25, 2016 | Article | Probation
The 24/7 Sobriety Program uses a swift, certain, and moderate sanctioning approach to reduce alcohol and drug-involved driving among individuals who have been previously convicted of driving under the influence. First implemented in South Dakota in 2005, clients served through this program are tested at least twice per day using a breathalyzer test and subject to immediate jail time for positive test results. Evaluations conducted to date have found positive outcomes associated with the program. This article provides a summary of how the program works, prior research findings, and implementation considerations.
By Megan Alderden And Caitlin DeLong
Evaluation of Chicago Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team for Youth training curriculum: Year 2
July 14, 2016 | Evaluation | Law Enforcement
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority awarded several grants to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Chicago to fund Crisis Intervention Training for Youth courses to officers at the Chicago Police Department. The program was the first 40-hour, five-day law enforcement youth crisis intervention training offered in the country.
By Rebecca Skorek And Christine Devitt Westley
Fidelity to the intensive supervision probation with services model: An examination of Adult Redeploy Illinois programs
June 16, 2016 | Article | Probation
Growing public support for prison reform has brought attention to community-based supervision alternatives, including intensive supervision probation for offenders who are at significant risk of being incarcerated. Researchers examined four intensive supervision probation with services programs supported by Adult Redeploy Illinois for fidelity to the evidence-based service model.
By Jessica Reichert, Caitlin DeLong, Risa Sacomani, And Sara Gonzales
Transitional housing for victims of intimate partner violence
May 3, 2016 | Article | Victims
Many victims of intimate partner violence find themselves at increased risk for homelessness as they make efforts to escape violence. The lack of stable, safe, and affordable housing is associated with negative outcomes for these victims. This article describes the relationship between housing instability and victim health and well-being, issues to consider when addressing housing stability for this population, and recommendations for policy and practice.
By Caitlin DeLong, Megan Alderden, Jennifer Hiselman, And Tracy Hahn
Addressing Child Exposure to Violence
April 12, 2016 | Article | Child Abuse
Each year a notable number of children are exposed to violence in their homes and communities. This exposure can result in negative health and well-being consequences. Safe from the Start (SFS) programs were funded to provide treatment services and supportive referrals to children exposed to violence and their families. This report provides an overview of the Illinois Safe from the Start program, program outcomes, and implications for policy and practice.
By Caitlin DeLong And Megan Alderden
The use of incarceration to address juvenile delinquency: Court evaluation admissions to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
March 16, 2016 | Article | Juvenile Corrections
Court evaluations, new commitments, and technical violations are three ways in which youth may be admitted to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, the state’s juvenile corrections agency. This article is the first of a three-part series examining the use of incarceration to address juvenile delinquency in Illinois. Admissions to IDJJ for court evaluations is examined, including admission trends and the impact court evaluation admissions have had on the profile of committed youth.
By Megan Alderden
An examination of Illinois sexual violence victims
March 7, 2016 | Article | Victims
InfoNet is a web-based data collection and reporting system used by rape crisis centers across Illinois. Developed by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority in collaboration with the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) and other agencies, InfoNet is used by ICASA’s network of 33 rape crisis centers. The system tracks victim characteristics and services provided using unique identifiers and offers data to inform local and statewide policy and planning.
By Jennifer Hiselman
Assessing the quality of Illinois Criminal History Record Information System data on juveniles
January 22, 2016 | Article | Juveniles
Detailed statewide statistical data is needed to inform juvenile justice policy decisions. The Illinois Criminal History Record Information System has been used with some success, but its full potential for statistical purposes has not been systematically evaluated. This report provides such an assessment, focusing on the completeness of the juvenile arrest and court information collected by the CHRI System.
By Christine Devitt Westley
Drug-addicted offenders and treatment needs in Illinois
January 21, 2016 | Article | Offenders
Last year, 45 percent of the 28,612 Illinois Department of Corrections inmates screened for substance abuse upon prison entry were deemed in need of treatment.
By Sharyn Adams
2015: Our year in review
January 15, 2016 | Spotlight | ICJIA
The Authority hit many highs in 2015, kicking off new and exciting initiatives, improving the agency’s web presence, and offering a variety of new research to support criminal justice reform.
By Cristin Evans
Male Survivors of Urban Violence and Trauma
December 17, 2015 | Article | Jails
Urban violence is a major public health concern and at epidemic levels in some neighborhoods, directly impacting the mental health of its residents (Morris, n.d.). The rate of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among urban populations is estimated to be around 31 percent, higher than the PTSD rate among returning Iraq war veterans of 17 percent.
By Jessica Reichert
Women and reentry: Evaluation of the St. Leonard’s Ministries’ Grace House Program
December 8, 2015 | Research Report | Prison reentry
More than 2.4 million people are confined in correctional facilities across the United States. Each year, more than half a million inmates are released from prison and return to their communities. The formerly incarcerated face many obstacles as they reenter the community, such as finding employment and housing, and paying outstanding fines, restitution, and other debts.
By Jessica Reichert
Fidelity to the evidence-based drug court model: An examination of Adult Redeploy Illinois programs
December 8, 2015 | Article | Courts
Drug courts emerged in the 1990s to address serious drug offending while improving offender outcomes and reducing incarceration costs. Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority researchers examined drug courts funded by Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI) in five counties. Data to measure the 10 key components was collected after 18 months of program implementation (August 2012 to July 2013). ARI applies evidence-based, data-driven, and result-oriented strategies to curb prison overcrowding and enhance public safety.
By Jessica Reichert
Mental Health Courts in Illinois
October 22, 2015 | Article | Prosecution and Courts
Mental health courts serve the challenging and extensive service needs of people who have a serious mental illness and are involved in the criminal justice system. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority awarded a grant to Loyola University Chicago to assess the operation of these courts in Illinois.
By Tracy Hahn
InfoNet: Putting data to work
August 24, 2015 | Spotlight | Victims
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority’s InfoNet data system is key to targeted, effective services for victims of interpersonal violence across Illinois.
By Cristin Evans
An evaluation of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Deferred Prosecution Program
August 20, 2015 | Article | Prosecution and Courts
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office implemented its alternative sentencing-focused Deferred Prosecution Program in February 2011. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority awarded a grant to the Loyola University Chicago to evaluate the program in 2013. The program became the model for the Offender Initiative Program, enacted by state law (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.3) in 2013 to promote public safety, conserve resources, and reduce recidivism.
By Tracy Hahn
Evaluation of youth summer job program suggests targeting at-risk youth
August 18, 2015 | Article | Prevention
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority researchers conducted an evaluation of the Community Violence Prevention Program’s Youth Employment Program. The program, which ended in August 2014, sought to increase job readiness skills, build relationships with a caring adult, improve attitudes toward employment and violence, increase self-esteem and conflict resolution skills, and offer community service and engagement.
By Jessica Reichert
Evaluation of St. Leonard’s Ministries: Case studies of former residents of St. Leonard’s House and Grace House
July 29, 2015 | Research Report | Reentry
More than 2.4 million people are confined in the U.S. in state and federal prisons, juvenile corrections, and jails. Each year, more than half a million individuals are released from prison and return to their communities. After leaving prison, offenders with criminal records face obstacles such as difficulty finding employment and housing, significant debt, outstanding fines, and restitution payments.
By Jessica Reichert
Evaluation of the 2014 Community Violence Prevention Program’s Parent Program
July 29, 2015 | Research Report | Prevention
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority researchers conducted an evaluation of the Community Violence Prevention Program’s (CVPP) Parent Program. The program, which ended August 2014, sought to increase protective factors to reduce child maltreatment by employing and training nearly 1,000 Chicago-area parents to lead service projects to help other parents in 20 communities.
By Jessica Reichert
Performance incentive funding for prison diversion: An implementation study of the DuPage County Adult Redeploy Illinois Program
July 10, 2015 | Research Report | Adult Redeploy
Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI) applies evidence-based, data-driven, and result-oriented strategies to curb prison overcrowding and enhance public safety. Since 2010, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (Authority) has administered grant funding for ARI and offered research, evaluation, and technical assistance to the program.
By Jessica Reichert