JJI supports the Timely Review of the Decision to Hold a Child in Detention
In Illinois adults who are arrested must be taken before a judge “without unnecessary delay” at which time the judge will set bail and determine if the person charged can be released from custody.
Children, too, are entitled to a detention hearing but within 40 hours not including weekends and holidays. This means if a child is arrested on a Friday evening before a Monday holiday, a judge may not review the decision to detain him/her until at least the following Tuesday morning. This lengthy detention review process is an unnecessary delay at the child’s expense.
JJI supports HB678, co-sponsored by Rep. Robyn Gabel and Rep. Justin Slaughter that seeks to make the timeframe for juvenile detention review the same as the custody review (bond hearing) for adults – within 24 hours, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays. Read the full bill here. Read the fact sheet here.
In 2014 in Cook County, 1,215 children were detained on a weekend (27.6% of total detention admissions). Of those nearly 25% were released on a Monday.
Research shows that detention is harmful to children. No child should have to stay in detention longer than necessary. It is critical to have the decision to detain a child reviewed within 24 hours so they can be reunited with their family as soon as possible.