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“Barriers in Rehabilitation Programs”

Author: Karlie Sanchez

Department: UIC Institute for Policy & Civic Engagement

Advisor: Dr. Joseph K. Hoereth, IPCE

Abstract: Youth crime in Chicago has continued to increase and recidivism is at a high due to the lack of effective rehabilitation programs. Programs that need continued support include equal accessibility to wellness, academic success, job opportunities, and pathways that allow youth to feel supported. In Chicago, many contributing factors affect youth crime, such as accessibility to diversion programs, the opportunity to talk about traumatic experiences, and the lack of a positive environment. The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of current rehabilitation programs for youth. This research will compare two models of diversion, the current Juvenile and Intervention Support Center (JISC) and the new Future Youth Diversion program. The city is removing JISC and is proposing the Future Youth Diversion model, but has yet to take action in moving forward with the newer rehabilitation program. Future Youth Diversion is proposing a service oriented model that helps promote pre-arrest diversion. The current JISC program has demonstrated various gaps in their curriculum such as short term reform and limited program funding. This literature review seeks to identify the barriers to the current JISC model and analyze the proposed Future Youth Diversion model in the City of Chicago. Findings show that these limitations can vary from limited accessibility to programs, gender and age limitations and lack of transparency and accountability in record keeping. This study recommends more funding from government agencies and community partners in programs that can include mentorship, job training, therapy, academic support, health and wellness. These programs should be equally accessible in all parts of the city and to all youth offenders regardless of the offense type.

Keywords: Rehabilitation programs, Youth, Crime, Juvenile Justice system, Recidivism