County of Iroquois/Iroquois County State's Attorney Office
The County of Iroquois, through the Iroquois County State’s Attorney Office, has been awarded fiscal agent status of a Drug Free Communities grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) DFC Support Program, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce underage drug and alcohol use in Iroquois County. The Juvenile Justice Council of Iroquois County (JJC), under the direction of the State’s Attorney, Jim Devine, is the driving force behind this initiative focusing their efforts on underage alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use (including vaping).
Through numerous county-wide community partnerships and collaborations with schools, civic organizations, government entities, the military, law enforcement, media outlets, healthcare facilities, businesses, religious entities, parents and teens, the JJC has made great strides in their efforts to thwart this epidemic through the TIP the Scale parent communication campaign and youth prevention education for kindergarten through 12th grade students in all Iroquois County schools. (The JJC had previously received the Strategic Prevention Framework-Partnership for Success grant in 2014 when they began their quest.) The County of Iroquois is excited to grow prevention in Iroquois County.
This campaign was developed under a grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) DFC Support Program, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the ONDCP, HHS, or CDC.
Juvenile Justice Council of Iroquois County
Juvenile Justice Councils were created in Illinois to bring stakeholders together promoting interagency communication and cooperation. These Councils are also tasked with assessing county juvenile delinquency issues and providing direction, guidance, and programming to fill service gaps whenever necessary.
Under the direction of State's Attorney Jim Devine, the Juvenile Justice Council (JJC) of Iroquois County began in 2004 with a mission to work collaboratively to solve problems related to Iroquois County youth and their families with an emphasis on prevention, community involvement and improvement of the quality of life for all Iroquois County families. The first of many successful endeavors for this council was the creation of a local Teen Court program. Over the years the JJC has also co-sponsored several teen/parent training and helped fund delinquency prevention programs in all areas of Iroquois County. The JJC meets quarterly to conduct stakeholder assessments of issues youth are experiencing on an everyday basis.
The Juvenile Justice Council is committed to keeping Iroquois County a safe place for parents to raise their children. We will continue to work as a team to deter/prevent juvenile delinquency. If you would like more information or are interested in joining the Juvenile Justice Council, please call (815) 515-8970.
Iroquois County Probation Department, JJC Chairperson
Parent Communication Campaign and Youth Prevention Education
Through survey, focus group, and interview research, the JJC found that communication between parents and their teens was lacking in Iroquois County. Therefore, the JJC created the TIP the Scale parent communication campaign to reduce underage drug and alcohol use in Iroquois County. This movement is based on the belief that Talking Improves Parenting. Thus, parents are encouraged to communicate with their teens about the risks of underage alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use and also reminded to never provide such substances for their teens. Various outlets, including posters, postcards, radio PSA's, newspaper ads, social media posts, informational booths, etc. are used to reach parents of 8th-12th grade students in order to achieve this goal. The TIP campaign motivates community members across the county to work together to improve the lives of youth and TIP the Scale to reduce underage drug and alcohol use.
The JJC found through the same research mentioned above that teens did not believe the harm that could result from underage drug and alcohol use. Therefore, the JJC, with the help of school administrators and teachers, researched different evidence-based school-based programming to include youth prevention education. They initially decided to purchase the Too Good for Drugs programming through Mendez Foundation for the 7th and 8th grade students throughout the county and the Project Towards No Drug Abuse programming for high school students. The JJC has now evolved to 7th – 12th grades utilizing the Too Good for Drugs programming for continuity purposes. These evidence-based programs are taught by trained teachers at junior/senior high schools throughout the county with the goal to educate students on the risks of drug use and abuse, how to set and achieve healthy goals, and how to deal with peer pressure situations. Through interactive games and activities, students increase their knowledge about the harmful effects of underage drug and alcohol use and develop their communication and interpersonal skills. This holistic approach to prevention empowers students to make healthy decisions that can lead to positive outcomes.
Prevention begins well before the teen years in Iroquois County. The Life Education Center has been working with Iroquois County schools, families and community members for over 30 years to bring Kindergarten – 6th grade students educational programs encouraging students to choose “Wise Highs…Choices You Can Live With”. These efforts include teaching kindergarten through sixth grade students in the mobile Life Education Center unit both how and why to choose healthy lifestyle choices, as well as medication safety practices with the help of mascot Harold the Giraffe. This initiative began with the Pledge for Life Partnership through the Iroquois-Kankakee Regional Office of Education. The JJC has partnered with them both to continue this programming in Iroquois County.
DFC Project Coordinator and Life Education Center Educator
Youth Prevention Education/Communication Campaign Coordinator
OUR VISION STATEMENT
To create a community where all youth are drug and alcohol free through a better understanding of the physical, medical and legal consequences of underage drinking.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
To reduce past 30-day alcohol use rates and negative consequences of underage drinking among 8th to 12th graders in Iroquois County.
To decrease past 30-day alcohol use among Iroquois County 8th-12th graders to less than the 2016 rate of 23% by June 30, 2020.
- Decrease low Perceived Risk of Harm regarding underage alcohol use.
- Decrease Provision by Parents regarding underage alcohol use.
- Decrease Permissive Family Norms regarding underage alcohol use.
- Decrease Permissive Community Norms regarding underage alcohol use.
The Juvenile Justice Council of Iroquois County is comprised of knowledgeable, caring individuals who are dedicated to working together to improve the lives of area youth and their families. To see some of the faces serving on the coalition and the helpful prevention advice they have shared, be sure to visit our Prevention TIPS for Parents page.
In order to sustain the JJC's youth prevention education programs and TIP the Scale campaign, a case statement was created in 2019. This document was shared to educate the public about the JJC's efforts and achievements while also encouraging potential supporters to join the coalition, volunteer, or donate funds to continue these worthwhile initiatives.
A professional summary was also created in 2019 detailing the JJC's work and accomplishments through the Strategic-Prevention Framework-Partners for Success (SPF-PFS) grant. This Executive Profile was shared with other professional agencies in order to help sustain the JJC's youth prevention education programming and TIP the Scale campaign.
Juvenile Justice Council of
Iroquois County Member Agencies
Central Community Unit School District #4 • Christ Lutheran High School • Cissna Park Community Unit School District #6 • Clove Alliance for Hope and Healing • Crescent-Iroquois Community Unit School District #249 • District #21 Illinois State Police • Donovan Community Unit School District #3 • George Cuonzo • Gibson Hospital & Health Services • Gilman Nursing Home • Harbor House • ILNG Counterdrug Task Force Illinois State Police – Vermilion County MEG • Iroquois Community Care Services • Iroquois County Chamber of Commerce • Iroquois County City Municipalities • Iroquois County Community Unit School District #9 • Iroquois County Coroner’s Office • Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency • Iroquois County Opioid Coalition • Iroquois County Parents • Iroquois County Probation Department • Iroquois County Public Health Department • Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department • Iroquois County State’s Attorney’s Office • Iroquois County Youth • Iroquois County Youth Center • Iroquois Memorial Hospital • Iroquois Mental Health Center • Iroquois West Community Unit School District #10 • Iroquois-Kankakee Regional Office of Education • Milford Area Public Schools District #124 • Nexus Family Healing - Onarga Academy • Prairie State’s Christian Camp • Robinson Chiropractic • St. John Lutheran School • St. Paul Lutheran School • The Garage in Gilman • Times-Republic Newspaper • Trinity Church - Celebrate Recovery • United Way • University of Illinois Extension Office - Ford-Iroquois • Volunteer Services: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren • Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce • Watseka Kiwanis Club • Watseka Masonic Lodge • Watseka Park District • WGFA Radio Station • Local police departments in Ashkum, Buckley, Cissna Park, Clifton, Gilman, Milford, Onarga, Sheldon, Watseka and Woodland