Legislative Updates

Legislative Report June 2022

SB 3936 Student School Helpline; Public Act . . . . . . . . . 102-0752. Effective Date: 1-1-23.

Creates the Student Confidential Reporting Act. Subject to appropriation, requires the Illinois State Police, in consultation with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, State Board of Education, Department of Children and Family Services, and the Department of Human Services, to establish a program for receiving reports and other information from the public regarding potential self-harm or potential harm or criminal acts directed at school students, school employees, or schools in this State. Requires the program to include a Safe2Help Illinois helpline (defined as a school helpline involving a statewide toll-free telephone number, social media, a website, or other means of communication, or a combination of a toll-free telephone number and another means of communication, that transmits voice, text, photographic, or other messages and information to the Safe2Help Illinois operators). Provides for referrals from and the discontinuance of other State-operated school violence help lines (excluding the CPS Violence Prevention Hotline). Sets forth other program and Illinois State Police requirements. Contains provisions concerning the confidentiality of reported information, funding, and annual reporting. Provides that a Safe2Help Illinois employee, law enforcement agency, or law enforcement official acting in good faith in compliance with the Act shall have immunity from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise occur as a result of handling tips, with the exception of willful or wanton misconduct. Provides that the Illinois State Police may adopt emergency rules to implement the Act. Amends various Acts to make conforming changes. Further amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. Permits the disclosure of juvenile law enforcement records to the appropriate school official only if the agency or officer believes that there is an imminent threat of physical harm to students, school personnel, or others (removing "who are present in the school or on school grounds").

HB 3277 JUVENILE CT-COURT APP SPEC ADVOCATE; Public Act . . . . . . . . . 102-0607. Effective Date: 1-1-23.

Amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. Requires (rather than gives discretion to the court) to appoint a special advocate upon the filing of a petition to declare a minor an abused, neglected, or dependent minor and to adjudge the minor a ward of the court. Establishes qualifications of a court appointed special advocate. Provides that a court appointed special advocate shall: (1) conduct an independent assessment to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the case by monitoring compliance with the court order; (2) maintain regular and sufficient in-person contact with the minor; (3) submit written reports to the court regarding the minor's best interests; (4) advocate for timely court hearings to obtain permanency for the minor; (5) be notified of all administrative case reviews pertaining to the minor as defined by and work with the parties' attorneys, the guardian ad litem, and others assigned to the minor's case to protect the minor's health, safety and best interests and insure the proper delivery of child welfare services; (6) attend all court hearings and other proceedings to advocate for the minor's best interests; (7) monitor compliance with the case plan and all court orders; and (8) review all court related documents. Provides that upon presentation of an order of appointment, a court appointed special advocate shall have access to all records and information relevant to the minor's case. Provides that all records and information acquired, reviewed, or produced by a court appointed special advocate during the course of his or her appointment shall be deemed confidential and shall not be disclosed except as ordered by the court.

HB 3886 JUVENILE CT-MEDIA ACCES TO A MINOR; JUV CT-MEDIA ACCESS TO MINOR Public Act . . . . . . . . . 102-0615. Effective Date: 8/27/2021

Amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. Provides that any party may file a motion requesting the court to review the decision of a temporary custodian or guardian appointed under the Act to deny a minor under the age of 18 access to the media. Provides that the Department of Children and Family Services bears the burden of demonstrating by clear and convincing evidence that its decision to deny the minor access to the media is in the minor's best interest. Provides that, in making its determination, the court shall weigh specified factors. Provides that the Department of Children and Family Services shall provide notice to a minor's guardian ad litem and attorney appointed under this Act any time that the Department, in its capacity as the minor's temporary custodian or guardian, denies a request by the media to speak with the minor. The Department shall provide the notice within one business day of its decision. The notice must at a minimum include the following: the name of the child, the name of the media, the date of the inquiry from the media, and the rationale for the Department's decision.

Legislative Update
Illinois Juvenile Officers Association
By: Fred Chinn
August 5, 2022 Meeting

Amendments to sex offense statutes In a prosecution for a criminal offense defined in Article 11 or in 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20, 11-1.30, 11-1.40, 11-1.50, 11-1.60, 12-13, 12-14, 12-14.1, 12-15 or 12-16 (sexual crimes) where the alleged victim of the offense was a minor under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, the court may exclude all persons (except the media) who, in the opinion of the court, do not have a direct interest in the case, from the proceedings while the victim is testifying. It does not matter what the age of the alleged victim is at the time of the victim's courtroom testimony. When the court publishes to the trier of fact (e.g. the jury) videos, photographs, or any depiction of a minor under 18 years of age engaged in a sex act, the court may exclude from the proceedings all persons (except the media) who in the opinion of the court, do not have a direct interest in the case. The court must enter its finding that particular parties are disinterested and the basis for that finding into the record. 725 ILCS 5/115-11, PA 102-994, effective 5/27/22.
It is unlawful for a child sex offender to knowingly operate, manage, be employed by, or be associated with any carnival, amusement enterprise, or county or State fair when persons under the age of 18 are present. 720 ILCS 5/11-9.3(c-5), PA 102-997, effective 5/27/22.

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