Staff

Luis Klein, Executive Director 

Luis Klein was appointed the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Initiative in June of 2021,  Prior to June, Luis served as Director of Policy for JJI with a focus on legislation and policy reform for youth in Illinois. Prior to coming on board at JJI, Luis spent the last four years as the District Director for State rep. Will Guzzardi, where he developed and executed the representative’s legislative agenda and budget. Luis has extensive expertise in campaign finance and field operations, and has worked as the Director of Finance for multiple campaigns, where he was in charge of donor cultivation and event management.  Luis earned his Bachelors  degree in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago. You can contact Luis at [email protected], or 773-318-2963.

Elizabeth Clarke, Founder and immediate past President

Elizabeth “Betsy” Clarke, J.D.,  is the founder  of the Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI), a non-profit civil advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring human rights for all children and young adults in conflict with the law.  JJI has raised the age of juvenile court from 17 to 18, ended automatic adult prosecution for 15 year olds, required lawyers during interrogation for children under the age of 15, nearly ended detention of children under the age of 13 , reduced incarceration by two-thirds and closed three juvenile prisons.   In June of 2021, Ms. Clarke stepped down as President, and was elected Treasurer for JJI for a term ending in January of 2022.

In addition to JJI, Clarke co-founded the Midwest Juvenile Defender Center, and the North American Juvenile Justice Network, and was a founding member of the National Juvenile Justice Network.  She is a frequent speaker and author, including Disrupting Injustice:  Fifty Years Post Miranda and Gault: A Call to Action to Re-Examine the Rights of Children in Conflict with the Law, 62 S.D.L.Rev. 608 (Issue 3, 2017).

Prior to the Juvenile Justice Initiative, Clarke served as attorney and policy advocate in both the Office of the Cook County Public Defender and the Office of the State Appellate Defender.

You can contact Betsy at [email protected] or (847) 894-4206.