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Juvenile Justice Organizations

Illinois Resources

BPI, Business and Professional People for the Public Interest. An independent public interest law and policy center serving the Chicago region.  BPI works on general justice reform and police accountability, with some reform efforts in juvenile incarceration.


Cabrini Green Legal Aid. Direct services organization providing legal representation and wrap around services for those impacted by the criminal justice system.


Equip for Equality. Organization advocating for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities in Illinois, through direct legal services and public policy. Resource for people wishing to expunge juvenile records in Illinois. 


Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice. A needs based philosophy about repairing harm and creating space for open communication with all parties impacted by conflict.  There are several restorative justice communities and/ or schools in Illinois.  

Illinois Collaboration on Youth. Advocates for policy and services for the youth of Illinois. Links to fact sheets and Illinois resources. 


Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Source of research about general criminal justice issues in Illinois. 


Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.A federally mandated state advisory group for the Governor of Illinois, the General Assembly and Illinois DHS. Has links to juvenile justice reports and facts sheets on issues such as redeploy Illinois and racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. Also provides a list of juvenile justice resources.  


Illinois Justice Project. A justice reform project focused on policy and legislation to benefit the youth of Illinois. 


Illinois Legal Aid online. A source of information for youth caught in the criminal justice system- including expungement. 


John Howard Association of Illinois. Organization that independently monitors conditions of confinement for adults and juveniles in the correctional system, with the goal of creating a smaller, humane, effective rehabilitative system. JHA regularly releases reports on conditions of confinement in adult and juvenile facilities.


Justice Divided. Website with Illinois specific data sources about racial and ethnic disparities. 


Juvenile Justice Initiative. Illinois organization advocating for juvenile justice. Regularly releases information regarding on-going legislative efforts that impact youth.


Lawndale Christian Legal Center. Direct services organization for the youth (24 and younger) of North Lawndale, Illinois, accused of a crime.


Loyola University of Chicago, School of Law, Civitas Childlaw Clinic. Law school clinic primarily serving youth through abuse and neglect and custody matters, with some delinquency practice.

Moran Center for Youth Advocacy

Direct services organization dedicated to providing legal and social service assistance to the youth of Evanston, Illinois.


Northern Illinois University, College of Law, Criminal Defense ClinicLaw school clinic with a juvenile area focused on helping youth petition of the sex offender registry, where registration required due to a juvenile sex offense adjudication.

Northwestern University School of Law, Bluhm Legal Clinic. Legal clinic providing direct services to youth in conflict with the law through the Children and Family Justice Center and the Center for Wrongful Convictions of Youth.


Office of the State Appellate Defender. State agency created to represent indigent individuals, youth and adult, on appeal in criminal and delinquency cases in Illinois.  Also statutorily required to provide information on expungement to youth and adults.  Provides resources as well as direct services.


University of Chicago Law School, Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid ClinicCriminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic, legal clinic providing direct services to youth in conflict with the law.


National Resources:

Annie E. Casey Foundation. National foundation funding juvenile justice work across the nation.  Provides resources and publications on a variety of juvenile justice issues, such as juvenile detention alternatives initiative and racial and ethnic disparities.


Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth National organization advocating for humane sentences for youth in the adult system, in particular advocating against life sentences for children. 


Campaign for Youth Justice. National juvenile justice advocacy group which tracks and advocates for youth in the adult criminal justice system.


Coalition for Juvenile Justice. National coalition of state advocacy groups on juvenile justice, dedicated to preventing youth from becoming involved in the courts, and upholding the highest standards of care if they do.  Source of federal reports and facts, and publications on topical issues.


Haywood Burns Institute for Justice Fairness and Equity. National organization working to end racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system.


Impact/Justice. Center on Youth Registration Reform. National organization working to end youth sex offender registration through education and advocacy.


Juvenile Law Center. National juvenile advocacy organization, litigating and advocating for youth in conflict with the law on a national level through appellate advocacy, legislative advocacy, education, training, and strategic communication; including resources relating to all of the above.


MJDC- Midwest Juvenile Defender Center Offshoot of national juvenile defender center- for the Midwest, provides information about juvenile defense in the Midwest region.


Models for Change. Juvenile Justice Project of the MacArthur Foundation, provides resources on a number of juvenile justice issues.


National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice. Improving life opportunities for youth by advancing policy and practice that ensure the well-being of youth, families, and communities.


National Juvenile Justice Network. National juvenile justice organization with member organizations in states all over the country; provides a huge body of searchable resources. 


NJDC- National Juvenile Defender Center. Resource center for juvenile defenders, committed to excellence in juvenile defense.


Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice. Organization working on reforms in the probation system and with dual status youth, in Illinois and across the country.


The Equity Project. National LGBTQ juvenile justice organization dedicated to providing training, education, technical assistance, resources and advocacy at the local, state, and national levels on issues that face LGBTQ youth in conflict with the law.


Vera Institute - Status Offense Reform Center.  Center dedicated to helping jurisdictions eliminate “justice based responses” to status offenders such as truants, run aways, and curfew violators.


Youth First. National organization dedicated to ending youth incarceration and investing in community based programs and services.


Youth Transitions Funders Group. Organization made up of membership from major groups funding juvenile justice nationally.  Separate working group for Youth Justice- with updates and policy pieces on juvenile issues.