CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today appointed Candice Jones as the director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ). Jones has most recently served as Associate Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget and replaces Arthur Bishop, who has been named to head the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure the safety of all people and children in every community across Illinois.
“Candice Jones is dedicated to helping children and young adults get on the right track,” Governor Quinn said. “I look forward to her continuing the progress that former Director Arthur Bishop has made towards ensuring that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Jones has a long line of experience in the field of juvenile justice and at-risk youth. As an Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget, she managed the public safety budget and supported the executive team’s policy and planning. She also worked for years, driving juvenile justice strategy in Illinois and nationwide, as a Program Officer at the MacArthur Foundation. She has previously served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission where she worked to accelerate reform. In 2012, Jones served as a White House Fellow, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious fellowship programs for leadership and public service.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the people of Illinois, especially some of the state’s most vulnerable youth,” Jones said. “I am committed to continuing our progress in helping youth become productive members of society and reducing the numbers of those same youth returning to the Department’s custody.”
Jones holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor’s degree in African and African-American Studies and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Jones will be tasked with building on the significant progress made by Bishop, who served as the Director from 2011 until his transition this past week. Under Bishop’s tenure as Director of the IDJJ, the population of youth in state facilities dropped to under 900 as of Jan. 1, 2014. Historically, the average population was 1,500.
Today’s announcement continues the Governor’s agenda to make Illinois government more accountable, transparent and effective.