Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB2352
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Full Text of SB2352  98th General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Unified Code of Corrections is amended by
5adding Article 2.7 of Chapter III as follows:
6    (730 ILCS 5/Ch. III Art. 2.7 heading new)

9    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-1 new)
10    Sec. 3-2.7-1. Short title. This Article may be cited as the
11Department of Juvenile Justice Independent Juvenile Ombudsman
13    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-5 new)
14    Sec. 3-2.7-5. Purpose. The purpose of this Article is to
15create within the Department of Juvenile Justice the Office of
16Independent Juvenile Ombudsman for the purpose of securing the
17rights of youth committed to the Department of Juvenile
18Justice, including youth released on aftercare before final
20    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-10 new)



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1    Sec. 3-2.7-10. Definitions. In this Article, unless the
2context requires otherwise:
3    "Department" means the Department of Juvenile Justice.
4    "Immediate family or household member" means the spouse,
5child, parent, brother, sister, grandparent, or grandchild,
6whether of the whole blood or half blood or by adoption, or a
7person who shares a common dwelling.
8    "Juvenile justice system" means all activities by public or
9private agencies or persons pertaining to youth involved in or
10having contact with the police, courts, or corrections.
11    "Office" means the Office of the Independent Juvenile
13    "Ombudsman" means the Department of Juvenile Justice
14Independent Juvenile Ombudsman.
15    "Youth" means any person committed by court order to the
16custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice, including youth
17released on aftercare before final discharge.
18    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-15 new)
19    Sec. 3-2.7-15. Appointment of Independent Juvenile
20Ombudsman. The Governor shall appoint the Independent Juvenile
21Ombudsman with the advice and consent of the Senate for a term
22of 4 years, with the first term expiring February 1, 2017. A
23person appointed as Ombudsman may be reappointed to one or more
24subsequent terms. A vacancy shall occur upon resignation,
25death, or removal. The Ombudsman may only be removed by the



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1Governor for incompetency, malfeasance, neglect of duty, or
2conviction of a felony. If the Senate is not in session or is
3in recess when an appointment subject to its confirmation is
4made, the Governor shall make a temporary appointment which
5shall be subject to subsequent Senate approval. The Ombudsman
6may employ deputies to perform, under the direction of the
7Ombudsman, the same duties and exercise the same powers as the
8Ombudsman, and may employ other support staff as deemed
9necessary. The Ombudsman and deputies must:
10    (1) be over the age of 21 years;
11    (2) have a bachelor's or advanced degree from an accredited
12college or university; and
13    (3) have relevant expertise in areas such as the juvenile
14justice system, investigations, or civil rights advocacy as
15evidenced by experience in the field or by academic background.
16    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-20 new)
17    Sec. 3-2.7-20. Conflicts of interest. A person may not
18serve as Ombudsman or as a deputy if the person or the person's
19immediate family or household member:
20    (1) is or has been employed by the Department of Juvenile
21Justice or Department of Corrections within one year prior to
22appointment, other than as Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman;
23    (2) participates in the management of a business entity or
24other organization receiving funds from the Department of
25Juvenile Justice;



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1    (3) owns or controls, directly or indirectly, any interest
2in a business entity or other organization receiving funds from
3the Department of Juvenile Justice;
4    (4) uses or receives any amount of tangible goods,
5services, or funds from the Department of Juvenile Justice,
6other than as Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman; or
7    (5) is required to register as a lobbyist for an
8organization that interacts with the juvenile justice system.
9    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-25 new)
10    Sec. 3-2.7-25. Duties and powers.
11    (a) The Independent Juvenile Ombudsman shall function
12independently within the Department of Juvenile Justice with
13respect to the operations of the Office in performance of his
14or her duties under this Article and shall report to the
15Governor. The Ombudsman shall adopt rules and standards as may
16be necessary or desirable to carry out his or her duties.
17Funding for the Office shall be designated separately within
18Department funds. The Department shall provide necessary
19administrative services and facilities to the Office of the
20Independent Juvenile Ombudsman.
21    (b) The Office of Independent Juvenile Ombudsman shall have
22the following duties:
23        (1) review and monitor the implementation of the rules
24    and standards established by the Department of Juvenile
25    Justice and evaluate the delivery of services to youth to



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1    ensure that the rights of youth are fully observed;
2        (2) provide assistance to a youth or family who the
3    Ombudsman determines is in need of assistance, including
4    advocating with an agency, provider, or other person in the
5    best interests of the youth;
6        (3) investigate and attempt to resolve complaints made
7    by or on behalf of youth, other than complaints alleging
8    criminal behavior or violations of the State Officials and
9    Employee Ethics Act, if the Office determines that the
10    investigation and resolution would further the purpose of
11    the Office, and:
12            (A) a youth committed to the Department of Juvenile
13        Justice or the youth's family is in need of assistance
14        from the Office; or
15            (B) a systemic issue in the Department of Juvenile
16        Justice's provision of services is raised by a
17        complaint;
18        (4) review or inspect periodically the facilities and
19    procedures of any facility in which a youth has been placed
20    by the Department of Juvenile Justice to ensure that the
21    rights of youth are fully observed; and
22        (5) be accessible to and meet confidentially and
23    regularly with youth committed to the Department and serve
24    as a resource by informing them of pertinent laws, rules,
25    and policies, and their rights thereunder.
26    (c) The following cases shall be reported immediately to



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1the Director of Juvenile Justice and the Governor:
2        (1) cases of severe abuse or injury of a youth;
3        (2) serious misconduct, misfeasance, malfeasance, or
4    serious violations of policies and procedures concerning
5    the administration of a Department of Juvenile Justice
6    program or operation;
7        (3) serious problems concerning the delivery of
8    services in a facility operated by or under contract with
9    the Department of Juvenile Justice;
10        (4) interference by the Department of Juvenile Justice
11    with an investigation conducted by the Office; and
12        (5) other cases as deemed necessary by the Ombudsman.
13    (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the
14Ombudsman may not investigate alleged criminal behavior or
15violations of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act. If
16the Ombudsman determines that a possible criminal act has been
17committed, or that special expertise is required in the
18investigation, he or she shall immediately notify the
19Department of State Police. If the Ombudsman determines that a
20possible violation of the State Officials and Employees Ethics
21Act has occurred, he or she shall immediately refer the
22incident to the Office of the Governor's Executive Inspector
23General for investigation. If the Ombudsman receives a
24complaint from a youth or third party regarding suspected abuse
25or neglect of a child, the Ombudsman shall refer the incident
26to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline or to the State Police



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1as mandated by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.
2Any investigation conducted by the Ombudsman shall not be
3duplicative and shall be separate from any investigation
4mandated by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. All
5investigations conducted by the Ombudsman shall be conducted in
6a manner designed to ensure the preservation of evidence for
7possible use in a criminal prosecution.
8    (e) In performance of his or her duties, the Ombudsman may:
9        (1) review court files of youth;
10        (2) recommend policies, rules, and legislation
11    designed to protect youth;
12        (3) make appropriate referrals under any of the duties
13    and powers listed in this Section;
14        (4) attend internal administrative and disciplinary
15    hearings to ensure the rights of youth are fully observed
16    and advocate for the best interest of youth when deemed
17    necessary; and
18        (5) perform other acts, otherwise permitted or
19    required by law, in furtherance of the purpose of the
20    Office.
21    (f) To assess if a youth's rights have been violated, the
22Ombudsman may, in any matter that does not involve alleged
23criminal behavior, contact or consult with an administrator,
24employee, youth, parent, expert, or any other individual in the
25course of his or her investigation or to secure information as
26necessary to fulfill his or her duties.



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1    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-30 new)
2    Sec. 3-2.7-30. Duties of the Department of Juvenile
4    (a) The Department of Juvenile Justice shall allow any
5youth to communicate with the Ombudsman or a deputy at any
6time. The communication:
7        (1) may be in person, by phone, by mail, or by any
8    other means deemed appropriate in light of security
9    concerns; and
10        (2) is confidential and privileged.
11    (b) The Department shall allow the Ombudsman and deputies
12full and unannounced access to youth and Department facilities
13at any time. The Department shall furnish the Ombudsman and
14deputies with appropriate meeting space in each facility in
15order to preserve confidentiality.
16    (c) The Department shall allow the Ombudsman and deputies
17to participate in professional development opportunities
18provided by the Department of Juvenile Justice as practical and
19to attend appropriate professional training when requested by
20the Ombudsman.
21    (d) The Department shall provide the Ombudsman copies of
22critical incident reports involving a youth residing in a
23facility operated by the Department. Critical incidents
24include, but are not limited to, severe injuries that result in
25hospitalization, suicide attempts that require medical



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1intervention, sexual abuse, and escapes.
2    (e) The Department shall provide the Ombudsman with
3reasonable advance notice of all internal administrative and
4disciplinary hearings regarding a youth residing in a facility
5operated by the Department.
6    (f) The Department of Juvenile Justice may not discharge,
7demote, discipline, or in any manner discriminate or retaliate
8against a youth or an employee who in good faith makes a
9complaint to the Office of the Independent Juvenile Ombudsman
10or cooperates with the Office.
11    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-35 new)
12    Sec. 3-2.7-35. Reports. The Independent Juvenile Ombudsman
13shall provide to the General Assembly and the Governor, no
14later than January 1 of each year, a summary of activities done
15in furtherance of the purpose of the Office for the prior
16fiscal year. The summaries shall contain data both aggregated
17and disaggregated by individual facility and describe:
18    (1) the work of the Ombudsman;
19    (2) the status of any review or investigation undertaken by
20the Ombudsman, but may not contain any confidential or
21identifying information concerning the subjects of the reports
22and investigations; and
23    (3) any recommendations that the Independent Juvenile
24Ombudsman has relating to a systemic issue in the Department of
25Juvenile Justice's provision of services and any other matters



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1for consideration by the General Assembly and the Governor.
2    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-40 new)
3    Sec. 3-2.7-40. Complaints. The Office of Independent
4Juvenile Ombudsman shall promptly and efficiently act on
5complaints made by or on behalf of youth filed with the Office
6that relate to the operations or staff of the Department of
7Juvenile Justice. The Office shall maintain information about
8parties to the complaint, the subject matter of the complaint,
9a summary of the results of the review or investigation of the
10complaint, including any resolution of or recommendations made
11as a result of the complaint. The Office shall make information
12available describing its procedures for complaint
13investigation and resolution. When applicable, the Office
14shall notify the complaining youth that an investigation and
15resolution may result in or will require disclosure of the
16complaining youth's identity. The Office shall periodically
17notify the complaint parties of the status of the complaint
18until final disposition.
19    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-45 new)
20    Sec. 3-2.7-45. Confidentiality. The name, address, or
21other personally identifiable information of a person who files
22a complaint with the Office, information generated by the
23Office related to a complaint or other activities of the
24Office, and confidential records obtained by the Office are not



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1subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The
2Office shall disclose the records only if required by court
3order on a showing of good cause.
4    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-50 new)
5    Sec. 3-2.7-50. Promotion and Awareness of Office. The
6Independent Juvenile Ombudsman shall promote awareness among
7the public and youth of:
8    (1) the rights of youth committed to the Department;
9    (2) purpose of the Office;
10    (3) how the Office may be contacted;
11    (4) the confidential nature of communications; and
12    (5) the services the Office provides.
13    (730 ILCS 5/3-2.7-55 new)
14    Sec. 3-2.7-55. Access to information of governmental
15entities. The Department of Juvenile Justice shall provide the
16Independent Juvenile Ombudsman unrestricted access to all
17master record files of youth under Section 3-5-1 of this Code.
18Access to educational, social, psychological, mental health,
19substance abuse, and medical records shall not be disclosed
20except as provided in Section 5-910 of the Juvenile Court Act
21of 1987, the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
22Confidentiality Act, the School Code, and any applicable
23federal laws that govern access to those records.
24    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon



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1becoming law.