Briefing on 17-year-olds in Illinois' Adult Prison
Youth, or individuals under the age of 18, may still be tried as adults in Illinois. Youth with adult sentences can be housed in Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) custody once they turn 17, including both youth entering from county custody on new adult sentences or those transferred from Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) facilities. Over the past few years, the number of 17-year-olds in IDOC has declined significantly. As of February 2016, there were 13 male 17-year-olds housed in IDOC facilities. While these numbers reflect a reduction of more than fifty percent over prior years, IDOC must continue to be prepared to meet the demand of housing this special population, particularly given that these numbers will continue to fluctuate unpredictably absent legislative action or other universal statewide agreement between custodial entities to house youth elsewhere prior to their 18th birthdays.